Last year, my friend P started talking about her experience with “prophetic painting”. Stopping by her house to visit with her one afternoon, she took the painting from behind her computer and proceeded to walk me through the process.
She was so excited!
I did not fully get it.
Then she mentioned it again because she would be hosting a prophetic painting event in her home and wanted to me to experience it for myself. The opportunities never fit my schedule until a mutual gal pal experienced it and was compelled to host one of her own.
The timing was right and I felt ready for it. Or I thought I was ready…
I arrived at my friend’s home to yummy food, lingering hugs and including one from our facilitator. She had about 40 different colors on a table, gave us a paper plate and told us to “choose five colors that made us happy.”
First, I struggle with the term “happy”. It seems so temporary and fleeting, something I’m always chasing. So I immediately began to wrestle with how to associate colors with my happiness and here’s what I came up with.
Black and gold hold significance on so many levels for me.
For one, they are the primary colors of my sorority and now the subtle color scheme for Simply Sather. And black because I think that it is a color to be celebrated for the people who are grouped into that racial category. Peach sticks out because of how it’s played a role in mine and Mister’s courtship. Navy Blue because I think it’s the most versatile color to wear plus it just reeks of sophistication. And the orange because – I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED! Of that part of the exercise, it was the most “out of control” and under thought out thing I did.
Once everyone completes this step, our facilitator had each us step up to a canvas. With worship and praise music in the background, we listened as she explained why there would be no paint brushes. (If you guessed it had something to do with releasing control and desire for perfection, you’d be right.) Then she told us to begin!
Before I even began, I knelt before my canvas already weepy from an emotional experience earlier that morning and flipped my canvas to sit horizontally.
“Stop trying to fit in. Do it the way I tell you to.”
That’s what I heard whispered to my soul. Then I began to paint.
It’s an amazing experience. One I think would be powerful for tweens, teens and young adults to help give themselves permission to hear from God in creative, unconventional ways. Because as a 45yo woman, it was powerful and meaningful and the one regret that kept surfacing for me is that I had not known that worship, freedom, and communing with God could be so connected to creativity.
After this first round of painting, our facilitator (who is amazing by the way!) had us clean our hands, gave us notecards and encouraged us to write what was happening within us. I mean, soul tending as its core!
Here’s what I wrote:
On the left side of the card (focused on the left side of my canvas): exciting, rising, cleansing, new, hope, big, BIG NEW, still bumpy or hard at times but more good. On the right side of the card (focused on the right side of my canvas): limits, fear, death, storm, darkness, small god, big people
After another round of flipping and painting, we wrote again.
Oh! Before I share my written reflection here, I need to mention that I started weeping almost immediately after the activity began (remember, I was already a bit weepy) . I’d had an emotional morning sharing a chapter of my story from 14 years ago that involved the war-related death of my first husband, then went to church that evening and wept through most of the worship. My heart was extremely soft for this experience. I believe that is why the other dates and invitations didn’t work out for me; my soul was not ready, my heart was hardened.
My reflection after this rotation:
Messy, but beautiful, moody, complex, everything means something, will not be contained, it will/is all coming together for your good Regina, for His glory, every stroke is with purpose and intention
(And yes, I’m getting emotional revisiting this experience.)
I started to see what I wanted to or thought I wanted to after this round…
I thought that this was a beautiful piece of art. I could begin to picture where it would hang and wanted to start to applaud myself for making something so aesthetically pleasing without intending to.
My revelation after this round was this:
Revival, in it, but I’m not sure if I’m done, know I’m not done (and then a few moments later I wrote) feel like I did it wrong
It may not seem like it, but this was difficult. To wrestle within myself about whether I ought to add more or do more when it was already so pretty.
I went to our facilitator with tears on my face, barely able to form the words to share my heart. This round had tugged on the deepest part of my soul. The part that I often try to hide and rename because of the shame and insecurity there. The part of myself that has been validated in the horrible things people have said to and about me that I’ve allowed to latch on to my identity seeking self and define me.
I was exposed.
She helped me give myself permission to fight myself (my flesh) and receive the grace already given to me to rest, be done, to stop and walk away. I sat still and worshipped in that stillness, watchful and making myself ready.
After what felt like hours (surely no more than five or six minutes), I was compelled to get back up, get more of my paint colors and move freely into the space where I was no longer in control, moving myself and my painting forward in a way that would not be clear, easy explained, neatly presented or even close to the expectations of others.
We were prayed over and our hostess sang a couple of soulful worship songs, with her talented self, and then we came together to speak what we saw in other women’s paintings.
I won’t share what the women saw or heard when looking at my painting. I recorded it and have listened to it several times to hear more deeply. When I got home, I shared it with Mister and he saw something completely new. It is definitely something to be revisited and laid before God in prayer.
I say that because I can be tempted to want to understand “why” or have a more clear picture right now, often leading to frustration and disappointment. As I mature in my faith and get more years and life experience on me, I’m releasing the need to “have it all figured out”.
I am so grateful that I was able to experience this with this friend (our hostess with the mostest!) a couple of my other gal pals and meet some new people too. It was a simple, but powerful experience. One that I would recommend – you can learn more here!
By the time I got this beauty home that evening, I was exhausted from the whole day. But it invigorated me in my soul. It made me strong, bold and walking tall with The Spirit in me.
The idea that I could experience God in a new way is still my favorite thing about this time and I’m truly eager to continue flipping my painting and letting the Holy Spirit continue to speak to me through it. It’s never too late to grow in your understanding of God and His perfect love and care for you.