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October 3, 2021 1:55 am
In our final episode of Crafted we are joined by Bethany Farrel. She is the Creative Arts Director for The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory. Rather than focus on one artform, in this conversation, she shares the importance to live a creative life and allow God to move your heart in seasons; using art to express our joys, pain and love for our Heavenly Father.
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Welcome back doors of life by Bernie Dick and Chris Benjamin. We are very excited to introduce to you one of our friends and some of that I've gotten to work with over the last several years. Her name is Bethany Pharaoh and in our series called crafted she's going to talk about the creative life and this is something that Bethany knows very well that she I mean she's passionate about dance about theater about a mean painting and you name it. And so the direction our conversation went was really just embracing the creative life in general and really big point that we make and in this episode is making sure that you know your identity in Christ first and then allow these artistic expressions to open doors to to share his love and share your love with the world around you men I know.
You can enjoy Bethany and we hope that you see the Lord in her and that you come back and see us next week right here on words of life. Bethany welcome to words of life and I'm here thank you for having me. We are currently in a series called crafted and were just sitting down with several different artists of all kinds of mediums to just find out there their passion how they use their craft their art for for worship for expressing themselves for even just time alone with God. And so you are a delightful person to chime in on this conversation, so where were very glad to have you here.
I was so excited to hear that you are doing this series because there's nothing I love more than to sit and listen to artists talk about what they do and hear about their passions that was so me to do the interview because I feel like expressing it personally and talking about this thing that such a huge part of my life is difficult. People can claim something I dance and I am a musician, I am a seamstress sign gardener, which is something I got into lately and terrible app. I really clean any one of those.
I don't I don't know that I'm an expert. I don't know if I can take anything and say oh I'm fabulous at this. This is what I just built to do but I cannot point to a single time in my life for some artform has not been important in life. Bringing I think that the Lord has always used creativity in some form or another to just keep me close to give me life in its various forms and exchanged over and over what it is that I'm drawn to you. Sometimes it's situational as a child I couldn't afford dance classes and when college came suddenly have these opportunities and they were really great selling. There's been different.
In my life I have time for it. In past times when I don't, I mentioned that I recently have gotten into gardening, which I've never been able to do before and always live on a small farm, now I live on a small farm, now, now that I say that I would like everybody to know you can guide in any size.
But it comes with heartbreak. I am not by any means an expert in any field, but I am deep, deep love and appreciation for all the art forms how God has given us creativity as a way to express ourselves as a way to draw closer to him to learn more about who he is. I like to bring up that the first thing we read in the Bible is in the beginning God created he created. He's the creator and the coolest thing is we learn a little bit later that we are made in his image, which means all of us have that piece of the creator. Now it looks different for every person.
Some of us are dancers. Some of us put paint on paper and masterful ways and some people can create intricate and flawless Excel spreadsheets and I think that there is value to all of that, everybody's got their own form of creativity and it's just a matter of honing in and finding what that looks like for you today. This pressure, especially when you were younger to find this quote true North. Everyone's looking forward thing they were called to do this in Oscar Wilde quote that I love and he once said, if you know you want to be inevitably become. But if you never know you can be anything and I've learned that it's okay to find multiple things that you're drawn to you and it doesn't make you any less of an artist in any way to say will not an expert in all these things. It is kind of appreciate this like to hold you know Jack of all trades master of none that has a terrible connotation like that. I completely disagree with that I think is nothing wrong with empowering and exciting. You don't have to be a great painter that knows all the skills to take joy out of the paintbrush and colorful paint put on the canvas right there is so much joy and freedom claiming mastery status and just allowing yourself the experience of the process. You don't have to be a master. You don't have to know that you've been trained for this you can just joy at all the stars parts having such a beautiful ability to worship and connect with God in and learn more about ourselves and how has art also been therapy.
How is that work for you to work through darker periods in your life yeah so I have had couple periods of life that have been very heavy and hard and we've all experienced these kinds of situations right where it's heartbreak or loss on postpartum depression dealing with overwhelming changes. These are things that pop up in our life and everybody handles them differently and sees them differently but on for me. I was not. When I feel like I was not in an expressive place when I was at my lowest. It kind of felt like this black hole. Everything that I pictured of who I was in my head. My ideal self would be bright and happy and colorful and cheerful and creative right all these words that you hear about yourself growing up, but then you hit these moments of loss and it's like it just washes down the shower drain just leave this emptiness. To me those low places where filled with emptiness and avoid them just darkness is kinda how I see it in my head when I look back on this piece. The black the Lord reach out to me with color and with vibrancy. So in the midst of the blackness. There was this bit of color that started to calm like a beacon bringing you back.
And so I learned that I've started being purposeful about that and putting a beautiful piece of art.
In my line of sight right by the bed whatever it takes right putting in a beautiful piece of art or taking a beautiful marker. Don't just pick up a pencil or pen but take the pretty markers to write out the scripture passage that will be affirming to you.
Maybe it's putting on happy piece of music and tensing around in the kitchen when you're feeling better, but it's just about being purposeful about bringing that art bringing the color bringing the texture and the beauty into those dark places to help bring you out because that's how the Lord to me has used art as a therapy. He will bring the color and bring me back to life.
You responding in that way to to hear that from him is is you walking through faith and in speaking about things as though they were when you're in the darkness.
It doesn't mean you forget the truth, it just gets kinda clouded out so you have to remember that doesn't want you sitting in a pit of despair doesn't want he's that's not what he has for you. God used a bright colorful rainbow to promise the world that there is a future that there is a beautiful future for you and I embrace that matter what it is, how do you invite the Lord into your creative space. So for me I feel like it's actually the opposite way around and that God has made all of these created bases for me to step into and if I and he purposeful about seeking him and looking to him whether it's a writing project or music or program that I get to speak into the Lord has already prepared that for me. He's created the way for me and I just get to step into it and let it flow me and wash over me and it become so much more piece of worship hi get to just jump into what the Lord already has for me to talk to our own. Like maybe some other point, but stop a little bit about older you. I think what I appreciate about this series is that you've been very purposeful in getting people from all walks of life are all stages of life into the booth to hear from them and I think one of the mistakes that we make is when we talk about the arts or creative arts. We tend to look to the young people and we say okay these are the young people programs. Let's even creative arts, but by the time their adults we take those things away and set this terrible idea that you age out of creativity. We are called to a creative life, not a small period of time when you're young and vibrant and can touch your toes. Good for you right now what it's about.
It's about having your heart and your eyes be open to the different ways that God can speak to us and through us and that's not something that changes. Now, the details of it can change significantly and that something that I've struggled with a little bit been quite vulnerable with you here as I've grown from being a teenager and young adult into being a mother and I'm still young adult I refuse to claim otherwise. But I'm not. You know I'm in my late 30s and it changes things. Your body becomes shared space.
Your energy gets divided immeasurably and though there is utter joy in the gift of a child. There's no denying that there's a dramatic metamorphosis that happens to a woman. Things don't fit the same way they don't line up the same way and it doesn't feel right and things are hurting like they never use you and it just felt unfamiliar, like I couldn't find my way back I remember memorizing scripts was it used to be so easy I could do it in a snap. And suddenly my brain broke stop working. That's what happens their shifts and there is massive things that happened as you grow your priorities change your passions can change do and that's okay. It's okay. You don't have to do the same thing. Your whole life for it to be valid. You can enjoy the experience. While it's there, doesn't mean it's not going to circle back around and you get to experience that again we feel the loss when it happens.
I think that learning to have Grace with ourselves and with our bodies and with our situations helps us to embrace the full life of creativity, not the periods of creativity are the small experiences that we have, but seeing the full picture. It helps me appreciate what it means to be human lemmings to be a woman and more importantly to be a follower of Jesus in every season. Thank you so much for joining us this certainly the series would enter revisit again. Probably the year.
So glad to hear and Justin now to get the sitdown chat with thank you, pleasures nine think of blessing the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs to become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email email@example.com or call 1-800-229-9965, write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony. Would love to use your story here. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes favorite podcast store and surely give us a rating search for the Salvation Army's words of life always on social media for the latest extended abuse and more. And if you don't have a church home.
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