Usually the start is the hardest. You find yourself thinking very carefully where and how to draw the first line of a picture. How to write down the first sentence. The first chord, the first word, the first step. Many things are dependent on the first thing. Sometimes your fear of not being enough will stop you from trying. The fear wants you to close your ears and eyes, it wants you to give up on dreaming.

The second step is already easier. We know already where we want to go and how things should work. If the first step was steady, and the second as well, we are gaining confidence. Creating the second line feels easier than the first one. After a terrifying start we know a little bit more about the challenges we are going to face and we have a direction. The realistic picture is starting to come together: “I feel confident about this!” But then it is time to take the third step. The confidence you had turns into pressure that tries to complicate the next step.

And there it is! We fail. The pressure you felt made you focus too much on succeeding instead of the actual step. You let the fear take control and make your line on the paper shaky; you step on the slippery rock and fall down.

You find yourself on the ground thinking of choices that made you step off the path. The pressure others are creating makes you feel guilty; you feel weak and you wonder is it worth of all. Whispers of truths and lies; which one you choose to listen. Perseverance and power to choose. It is up to you whether you decide to stay on the ground or get up and take the next step. But it is also up to you whether to choose pride to drive your actions or let your actions be rooted in love. Are we choosing to listen to lies or do we choose to face the truth and learn from our mistakes? Should we erase the bad line on our paper instead of trying to hide it with a bolder one? It is our choice. 

And the journey goes on. We take more steps and we learn more about our strengths and weaknesses. Our actions and choices defines our journey. They are the lines that we are drawing on the paper.

God has called us to create a picture with him. Often we are inspired by him and we are waiting for him to get things started, but then something happens and we start to create the picture by ourselves thinking we know everything and all. It might be that we are still keeping God in our minds; we are thinking that we are creating the picture for him, but it is not the same than creating it with him. He is the one who goes before and behind us.

A little while ago God gave me a very practical example of this. He invited me to draw a picture with him. He wanted me to include himself in every stage of the creating process, and through each point he taught me a lesson.

I needed to give up my pride and my willingness to survive without help. I needed to wait on God and hear his opinion even though most of the times our opinion was the same; he just wanted to make sure that I understood how much we are alike. After all He is my Daddy. When the drawing got more detailed I was so focused on the task that I forgot he was still there willing to spend time with me, and when I noticed my mistakes through the picture he didn’t get angry but showed me again how gentle and loving He is.

God reminded me how much he wants to be part of my journey. He is the one who has called us and he is the one who knows what is coming up. Still he wants us to have power to decide how to create the picture. So often I choose the harder way; I choose to follow my instinct, my emotions because it feels better in the moment. But the more I learn about His character and His heart, the more I see his ways to create the picture the less I want to create my picture on my own.

Somebody said once “don’t give up on what you want most for what you want now,” and when creating the picture with Him is the thing I want the most it is easier to find a way to overcome the other desires. When we find motives behind our actions we will find how to remove the selfish motives and re-create new, loving ones.

-Heidi Aaltio