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For the past 3 years, I have had an increasing sense of being out of alignment in my life: over busy, over tired and a longing for my spirit to breathe more deeply & feel more connected to God & the world I live in.

This, alongside a persistent nudging from God: that my work should have more emphasis on connecting my art & spirituality, has only served to increase my frustration.

This has emerged over the years, in the form of pictures drawn in my sketchbook, poems written, messages in my journal; so that when I look back I have that unsettled feeling when you just know that God is trying to tell you something. In fact, right now, the message seems so obvious, that I wonder why I haven’t just got on with what I am supposed to do before now, rather than thinking I have the answers.

I have tried pushing several doors; ones that I really thought were the right way- only to find that the doors have been gently closed as I approached. They haven’t slammed- it’s always been a gentle but determined push from God, back to the path from whence I came.
This has left me not quite knowing where to go; learning to be content in the waiting, learning to turn aside from the frustration and be mindful of all that God has in store for me in the now. It’s not easy, but I have read several books in the last few years –(Midwives of an Unnamed Future: Spirituality for Women in Times of Unprecedented Change by Mary Ruth Broz & Barbara FlynnRunning over Rocks: Spiritual Practices to Transform Tough Times by Ian AdamsHaving a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver, to name a few) that echo this call for us to stay in the now; use what we have; discard things or ways of working that no longer work for us, acknowledging their gift in the past and being mindful of and present to this moment, this day, this time and to enjoy, celebrate, be grateful- and I am terribly guilty of not doing this for far too long. The grass is always greener…, we think, until of course we arrive and find that the view from the other side is equally fraught with its own difficulties.

So, I am changing tack, trying to get on with what I have now; all that God has given me and use that to its full potential if I can. For too long, I have allowed myself to not exactly turn my back on my calling, but huffily ignore some of it, thinking that I can do better my way. Yes, I long to combine my love of textiles with my faith; my love of God but sometimes we think we have the better way….I really should know better not to trust God…He has always provided…it’s hard though, to step out, let go, begin to be real to the world…don’t you find?

WHERE SOUL & SPIRIT MEET

textile artThe following piece of textile art was created this year-three years after the original little pencil sketch that I have in my notebook. The two sides- blue & pink -represent the two sides; one-the passion for textiles, the other my faith. As they overlap in the middle, the two colours create a third colour: a fusion, like a chemical reaction that produces ripples of life and movement; an explosion of colours; a sense of celebration and sparkle. This: life in all its fullness, is I think what God wants for each one of us… for each of us to dare to sparkle and shine, doing what we enjoy and allowing Him to use it to connect with others, invigorate each other, support each other and take encouragement from each other in the hard times as our stories interconnect to create more of his movement; His light and love.

For me, it is often only after I have stitched a piece of art that I realise what God is saying to me. It’s a bit like looking back through journals or mulling over the day’s events…it is only with hindsight that we see the pattern of events; the clues; the crumbs of bread that lead us to the trail of understanding.

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 4:12 (CEV)
12 What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.

Before the comfort
of the cross,
I come again
Trying to weave my way
into Your plans
trying to organise
and bypass the
messy, painful route
of creativity.
And yet…knowing me,
You still bless
the anguished tears;
the darkness of doubt
kissing the bleak times
and frayed seams of my life
blessing them with Your love
bringing forth colour
in hope and joy
watering & nurturing my growth
through the rivers of
Your Grace.

Karen Herrick Feb 2013

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