God takes a broken heart and turns it to a Masterpiece- Malika E Nura
God is always able to use our brokenness to create something beautiful-
Shelley Hitz, Broken Crayons Still Color
When the abstract paintings of Jackson Pollock were first introduced people said, that’s not art. It’s too weird, too chaotic.
Everyone hated his work. No one would buy it.
“What a mess,” they said. “My two year old could do that.” Then, one day art collector Peggy Guggenheim looked at a painting and said,
“Not a mess, people. You’re looking at a masterpiece.”
In 2006 one of Pollock’s paintings sold for $ 140,000,000.
We are all like Pollock’s paintings , a pile of mess or a masterpieces to the people we meet with. Those who see us as mess hate us but those who see our mess as masterpieces are happy to be with us, they are willing to do anything to have us in their circles.
To be honest with you, everyone is flawed. I find it sad when people are surprised or angry at celebrities when their famous celebrities make a mess; we forget that they too are human beings like us.
We live in a society that perpetuates perfection. We see celebrities with their perfect lives and their perfect looks. We look at our neighbors and think that their job, house, or relationship is perfect. We strive for that perfection. We envy that perfection. Then we become upset when such perfection is out of reach.
Just to be honest with you, you and I are struggling with this realm of wanting to be perfect and yet we feel flawed up. It’s the truth for me and the truth for you – for all of us. Every one of us have these competing voices in our heads. The voice that says that “I am a masterpiece” and the one that says “I am a mess”, “I am a loser.” Sadly, the the voice that says “I am a messed up” is usually the loudest voice we hear. That “mess” voice has been trained and perfected over many years of self-doubt, criticism, mistakes, etc. Sometimes that voice was fed by someone we thought was a friend, a well-meaning but misinformed family member, teacher, sibling, you name it. At times, that voice gets so loud and so big that we can’t hear anything else. The “masterpiece” voice has been stifled and disjointed. But here’s the truth: God sees you and me as an absolute work of art. That is so hard for me to process. I can see all sorts of beautiful qualities in those around me, but I have the hardest time accepting it for myself. God is the one that speaks those powerful, loving words into your heart. He is the one that makes your amazing qualities visible to those around you so that they can see them too.
Interestingly the Bible is full of people who felt “messed up” like we do. Adam and Eve felt that they were not good enough as they were, they felt a miss and insecure when confronted by Satan; Abraham, the forefather of faith, let other men walk off with his wife on two different occasions. (Genesis 12 and 20);Elijah himself ran for his safety after performing a miracle and hid in a brook to die, he felt messed up; Job, supposedly a contemporary of Abraham and the epitome of faith, suffered from the nagging of a faithless wife. (Job 2:9);Moses, the humblest man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:13), had a very serious problem with his temper (Exodus 2, 32:19; Numbers 20:11); Solomon, the wisest man in the world, was arguably the world’s greatest sex addict with 1,000 sexual partners. (1 Kings 11). I can go on giving examples about heros in the Bible who messed up in their lives. This illustrates lives of people who felt messed up, lives of people like these tell us that our thoughts and words have the power to make or break our future stories. We have the power to either accept that future or measure it with what we believe we are.
A few years back I listened to Watoto Choir, Watoto Choir for those who don’t know them are a Christian children choir from Uganda. They performed a titled “I am not forsaken”. The song told a story of kids who had suffered from lots of challenges yet they were hopeful of their future. As I sat there and watched these children sing I was reminded in a very personal way that I too was not forgotten and that God knew my name. He knew where I was, and He wanted me. As a Kenyan who grew up in poverty I know that it took total conviction and change of heart to see and believe on being masterpieces. In their humble states it is easier to feel self pity and see their “messed up “ stories than to believe that their maker is transforming them to be masterpieces. How do you feel today? Do you feel “messed up” or do feel you are being transformed to be a masterpiece?
Embracing your flaws or feelings of being a “mess”, with your head high is not easy. I have listed some tips that are helpful to us all in this journey of growing towards becoming masterpieces.
Here below are some tips that I want to share with you:
Be a GOAL Digger
Have you struggled with belonging? With feeling alone? Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, and anxiety at the age of 11, Jamie Grace navigated life on her own terms with resilience and dedication, building a platform to help others navigate the most challenging facets of life through her music and words.
When she was 14, she created YouTube channels for her music and her platform, “ImAFighter” that captured the attention of record labels and producers. At 19, she was nominated for a Grammy Award, Billboard Award and was recognized at the Dove Awards as New Artist of the Year. At just 26-years old, now independent artist Jamie Grace has four number 1 radio singles, many nominations as a singer-songwriter, and millions of views on her weekly Youtube videos.
Jamie Grace encourages millions who struggle with belonging, mental illness, feeling alone, and the most difficult aspects of life to find joy amidst their pain. She is a voice that speaks truth and vulnerably, and creates community in one of the most pure ways I’ve ever seen. Today, Jamie is going to teach us how to speak authentically, share our struggles with others, embrace our own stories, and ultimately, move forward into our best selves.
Jamie Grace started her YouTube channel as a way to connect with people. She laughed about it, “I was a teen with no friends. Can someone please talk to me!” Her very first video was an improvised monologue about escaping homeschool. Her second video was titled “What is Tourettes Syndrome?” and the third video was a Jonas Brothers cover. The line-up sounds random, but Jamie Grace says she recognizes now that her intention was just to share joy with people.
In her 20s, music became a bigger focus for Jamie. She used music as a way to express herself, and the more she put her voice out into the world, the more support she got… But the critics were there, too. Some called her out for her music sounding like love songs, which contradicted the image she had of being a woman of faith. The criticism was tough on her, because she viewed her faith as being all about love and though it sounded like she was singing about a boy or a boyfriend, she was celebrating what her faith meant to her: Love. With her music reaching the masses her dating life became everyone else’s business.
In response to all attention her love life was getting, Jamie Grace shared a YouTube video called Boys, Boys, Boys and addressed the questions about why she is single. The simple answer: Because she wanted to be. Jamie wanted to wait until she was older to make the decision to date. The video went viral and she received e-mails from pastors saying they were using it in their girls bible study classes. Now, most of what she talks about on her YouTube channel is about dating, relationships, and love.
Jamie Grace says she wakes up every day with the goal to share joy. Her full time job is writing, recording, and performing music, but she’s also a podcaster, a YouTuber, a blogger, and a speaker… It’s all part of her mission to share joy with people and connect and serve her audience.
Credentials are not what is most important to me. I would always begin a relationship by wanting to know what your name is, where in Country you’re connected to and where your ancestors are from. It’s a ‘learning’ for people to talk in a different way. I can feel energies change around the room when we talk like that because we start to see each other as humans rather than colleagues. People are craving to be seen like that.
Deep listening invites responsibility to get the story—the information—right and to be in right relationship. However, listening over extended periods of time also brings the knowledge that the story changes over time as healing occurs when people experience being listened to and [which include] having their pain acknowledged. As I still hold trauma, I have to constantly assess my reactions to conversations. I find I have to take a deep breath and ask myself, did she mean it in the way I heard it, or through her world view could it be meant in a different way. I am getting better at this, but what I find hardest is other people’s belief in why we do what we do. As for us as Aboriginal People it is easier to just work with other Aboriginal people, but how would that create change for our kids? I have to be brave and hope that change will happen. Not through anger but love. Sure, it is really hard but it is my Ancestors that remind me of why I do what I do, as well as changing society for our kids. Pain and trauma are there to remind us, but not cloud us from seeing hope of a better future, a safer one, one where our children thrive. That all children have the opportunity to thrive.
Love yourself, your whole self
We often associate what is a mess in our lives with physical imperfections, but no matter type think you are, you cannot let it consume your soul. Embracing that you are human, a flawed human, who is not and will never be perfect is the first step to truly loving yourself—your WHOLE self. Despite all of it, you are still beautiful, inside and out. Never forget that.
Each person in this world is both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. If we pause and extend our compassion to ourselves and to each person we meet, we will learn, grow and make all of our masterpieces a bit grander and our works in progress a bit easier. And isn’t that what we each want? A little more understanding and kindness as we move through life? I know it’s what I desire and what I strive to share. How about you?