I also questioned the value of my art. I was easily discouraged and I would interpret my discouragement as a sign that I was moving in the wrong direction, that what I was doing wasn't valuable. I believed that art was valuable and I loved art, but for some reason felt that I wasn't really an artist so my work wasn't really valuable, wasn't actually art. I feel a little embarrassed sharing this--it sounds so wrongheaded, but I really felt like that, really thought those thoughts, and it feels like a miracle to me that I don't believe them anymore. And I am grateful, because I didn't get rid of that junk by myself. Wise leaders, shepherds in my church, helped me sift through the lies with God's help and leave them behind. God is extravagantly creative for no use but love, and he made me creative too.
But here I am again, not getting any younger, having lost traction again, neglecting the gift that is within me, for reasons seemingly different, but essentially the same. And like Sarah, I begin to feel discouraged. I wonder "will I have this pleasure?" I feel I've wasted so much time I could have spent developing my craft, my skills; I've fallen behind in the race. It's getting too late. But as I sit here typing, looking hard at these thoughts, they seem flimsy, a film of grime, and something better rises
inside me: peace, love, a sense of humor, thankfulness for the specific abilities and delights God has given me, and thankfulness for the time that I still have, time that participates in the eternal. What is ahead is so much greater than what is behind, and in this moment I am feeling that. Each step in the right direction is an investment in the eternal.
My last post was a baby-step. Writing this one was a bigger step. Taking pictures of some pewter charms I carved awhile ago and getting them onto my Etsy store is another.