Recently at a Museum of The Bible weekend event in Washington DC, I was invited to participate in a painting class. When I first saw the class being offered on the schedule I was a bit hesitant if not intimidated. I hadn’t painted anything since the 3rd grade. I consider myself a fairly creative person having worked as an actress in Hollywood and producing media projects for many years with Cooke Pictures. The thought of being exposed as an inept artistic painter was petrifying. Nevertheless, I forced myself to go, inevitably knowing, that I would embarrass myself.

In my experience, insecurity and fear keep people from achieving greatness more than anything else. It robs us of God’s joy in allowing Himself to be exposed in us in new ways. When we step into the fear, we step away from areas that we’ve built around us as safety zones. By staying in those safe places we rob ourselves of freedom and purpose that God wants to bring into our lives. New environments and situations that we have to depend on Him for to accomplish.

God made us each uniquely creative. He introduced Himself to us as a creator in the first chapter of the Bible – Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created…” The direction we go with a project may often be completely different from that of our peers. That can be scary.  The projects we produce or the business choices we choose can be painted with many colors and with many different kinds of strokes.  We see images differently, so why do we expect that the way we approach a project has to be the way it’s always done?  God wants to take our unique colors and paint brushes and create something that’s never been seen before. When we do, we expose the beauty of walking in God’s creativity.  We must, however, fight off fear and the insecurity of being different.  These courageous choices will lead to new levels of trust in Him and influence others for the Kingdom of God.

I was surprised as I painted how peaceful I felt. The angst I had about attempting the class melted away. The joy and fun of expressing myself and creating something that was a challenge for me brought fulfillment – a higher lesson. It was a renewed lesson on overcoming fear and exposing myself – being vulnerable. Finding out that in my inadequacies God was working and creating a new level of understanding of who He was in my life. His pleasure working in me brought new found joy. He’s placed that same creativity in you and He wants you to walk in joy – fearless and secure.

As I participated in the class that day and watched fellow classmates follow the encouraging instructor, everyone’s cherry blossom painting (the image we’d been instructed to paint) began to take on a different and unique shape. Some were different colors, shapes, and sizes but all had a beauty and individual perspective. At the end of the class, we held up our paintings for a class picture. It was incredible to see how diverse they were – each with a special creative eye and no two alike.

I came to the class unschooled with bad memories of producing paintings and drawings as a child that were truly awful. God taught me yet again that He uses the beauty of our individuality to accomplish His purpose but we have to first choose to step out of the fear and insecurity.

Are you ready to paint your unique picture and let God expose you to greater challenges He has in store for you? What challenges has He already walked with you through?