Several years ago I created a video on my YouTube channel. It's called "Cool Cool Whip Art, The Emotional Porcupine".
To expand my creativity, I started this fun drawing project I called "Cool Cool Whip Art."
For this project, I took two empty Cool Whip containers and filled them with words. I filled one container with nouns and one container with adjectives. I then closed my eyes and pulled out one word from each container. Then with the words I had chosen I then challenged myself to come up with a drawing right then and there.
So, one day, all alone in my bedroom in front of a video camera, I picked the words emotional and porcupine. "Wow!" I thought. "How in the world am I going to draw an emotional porcupine? In front of a camera no less?"
I sat and thought about it for a while. "Hmmmmm, what would make me emotional if I were a porcupine?"
It took a few minutes to come up with something I felt would really convey the feeling of emotion in a prickly animal but when I had it I put pencil to paper and started sketching.
The Emotional Porcupine was born.
Now, before you go any further I highly suggest you watch the story of The Emotional Porcupine here to get the most out of the rest of this blog post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPhDRupmkcw&t=7s
So what do you think about what you just saw? Well, let me just tell you that I had no idea how powerful this particular little video and drawing would be when I was drawing it. In fact, I actually thought it was a stupid project and the fact that hardly anyone liked my Emotional Porcupine You Tube video made me think I was right.
But despite the harsh and mean inner critic, I have kept my video up on You Tube all these years for the world to see because there was just something about this story that I liked.
Now fast forward to just a week ago.
I was with some friends at an all weekend long LIFE CHANGE EVENT at my church, The Father's House. It was an amazing event and weekend and, well, life changing.
Afterwards we sat and ate some lunch together. We were sharing about the new levels and depths of freedom and peace we had just received.
After lunch, I pulled out my phone and showed one of my friends my Emotional Porcupine video. I am not quite sure what compelled me to show her this video just then but looking back, I now know the Holy Spirit wanted to show me and her something that day.
She had never seen any of my videos before. In fact, she had no idea I had created my own web site and made videos and did all the countless amount of things that I do. (It's a wonder I sleep.)
I did not have a clue how much this video was going to touch her. You see, she has a child with some very difficult challenges. Her child is special, requires a lot of work and energy and it has been especially hard for my friend since she is a single Mom. Interestingly enough and unbeknownst to me, this child loves balloons. Apparently, she loves to hold them and let them go. It gives her great joy and peace.
After my friend was done watching the story of the Emotional Porcupine she asked me if she could please buy the images as prints to frame and put up in her home. I was like, "What?!!! You want to BUY these prints? Like you really want them?"
"Yes!, I do!" She replied.
I could not believe she actually wanted a copy of my little green porcupine! For years these drawings sat in a bin. A bin FILLED with artwork I have created but the world has never seen. But the images spoke something to my friend's heart. Something about her daughter. What was this something? It was HOPE!
Then to top it off, that next morning another friend texted me something that really rocked my world. I had sent her a picture of a different piece of artwork I had done that morning. Not really expecting a reply, she sent me a text back saying something that really confused me. The text read as follows: "Mandy God shows you how much He loves you through your art. Not everybody has that." I was like WHAT?! What does she mean? No, my art is FOR people. It's not FOR ME. IN fact, most of the time I look at my art and critique it never thinking it is any good. What is going on here?! I actually felt a little angry by her response. Just being honest.
And then God spoke to my heart....
"Mandy, I do speak my love to you though the art you create. That is part of what it is for.
Mandy, my sweet, you are that porcupine! My dear daughter, you have been making lemonade out of lemons for a long time. You were making lemons out of lemonade when you made that porcupine video in your room. You were in so much pain but you didn't let that stop you. You had a headfull of insecurity and doubt but you put it out there anyway. You did not have people to help you and the money to buy equipment yet you used what you had in front of you. You educated yourself. You were so resourceful. You pushed through. You were in pain but you brought me into it. You prayed to me and I was with you. I am always with you. Even though you were going through so much turmoil, you thanked me for it all. You praised and thanked me during your times of great pain and sorrow. Even when you doubted. Even when you felt like you were not doing enough. You were.
You rose above dear one and as a result you are going to help many others know they are that porcupine too. That they too can rise above any circumstance. You are going to show them that, in life, you will always have troubles, but to focus on me and together we can make lemonade out of lemons.
Mandy, I gave you this talent to create art. It is for you to glorify me. It is also for you to inspire people and bring them hope AND, dear child, it is absolutely for YOU too!.
I am so proud of you. You took the talents I gave you and you multiplied them. Now I get ready for more blessings. Beyond your wildest imagination."
I was in tears! I couldn't believe it. I wish I could articulate just how amazing this realization was. I wish I could tell you how much hope and confidence and love and peace and direction this moment breathed into me.
I have been so hard on myself thinking I have been getting nowhere with my art and my life, wondering what I was doing wrong and why I was not a successful artist but that day, I realized I was successful. Truly successful. I did not let my circumstances crush me. The fact that I keep getting up is enough.
With Him by my side, I have done what seemed impossible. I rose above my circumstances. I keep rising above my circumstances, everyday. I still have challenges. Everything was and can still feel so against me succeeding as an artist. EVERYTHING! But I keep sticking marshmallows on my quills and I keep moving forward.
AND here I am today.
And I am not stopping...no matter what.
So, no matter what you are facing. Don't give up. Don't give in. Look for a way out and above your circumstance. Sometimes this may mean that it's best to sit and wait and NOT take a drink or NOT self-medicate with some kind of substance. Sit with the pain. Let yourself feel it. Journal it out. Let yourself go through the discomfort. Reach out for help. Pray. Talk. Be real. Take your problems to God and speak truth over yourself. He is an ever present help in times of trouble. It is though these times that we grow the most when we face it head on.
AND it prepares us to be able to steward and carry the great plans God has for us.
Whatever you are going through I just want you to know that you have a choice. You have power. You are capable. Everything you need is within you. Everything you need to break free. You can do anything through Him that gives you strength. It takes time to see big changes but it's the small changes that matter each day.
So dear one, know that whatever you are facing today will pass. You will rise above it. You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Now, go buy some marshmallows and celebrate!
To purchase prints of The Emotional Porcupine click here: http://www.mandysartandsoul.com/store/p31/Emotional_Porcupine_%28Sadness_%26_Happiness%29_Print_Set_.html
Watch the making of The Emotional porcupine
Motivated by the radical love of Jesus, I create beautiful works of art and passionately share my testimony to free people all across the earth to also fully and completely live the life they were uniquely created for.
I blog about things that I experiene and hope will motivate, guide and inspire you toward greater creativity, fulfillment, peace, and joy in your everyday life.