Life in Color represents more than just beauty.
It stands for a life full of joy, fulfillment, passion, motivation, connection & love.
It is about living for a purpose, the right purpose. Not just surviving but thriving. Walking through life in freedom and faith with confidence to face any circumstance with grace, mercy and peace.
Life in Black and White is more than just boring.
It stands for depression, anxiety, stress, dread, a denial of one's true self and unique calling, it has fear crouching at every corner and weight burying us in worry, hopelessness and sorrow.
That's pretty heavy stuff, but I know what it's like to be there, sometimes it seems almost unavoidable. Life in B&W may become a temporary season but it doesn't have to be our permanent state of being.
This is the journey God took me on and what I took away from the experience.
WATCH THIS SHORT FILM FROM ISRAEL!
My front yard in West Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) 2018
I was living in a colorless world.
Void of inspiration, life, passion and purpose. I was running on auto-pilot with barely enough time to complete the next task ahead let alone reflect on my inner self.
It was not necessarily about the weather outside, although the bone-chilling Canadian winters were devastatingly long and relentless. Living in a colorless world was a state of mind.
I told you I was going to take you on a journey.... so let me start at the beginning.
B A C K S T O R Y
Yes, that's me! And yes... that's a brutal Candian snow-storm hitting right in the smack dab of yet another bitter winter.
When I had moved to Canada I knew it was God prompting my family and I to transition and step out into the unknown but I didn't expect to be met with so much opposition.
I expected to blend in seamlessly and get right into the flow of life and that's exactly what happened...right? WRONG.
I was faced with learning how to adapt into an entirely new culture, lifestyle and society all over again. I took this in stride.. at first. Filled with awe at the massive malls, movie theaters, churches and, most importantly, abundance of drive thru's! - all mainly non existent back home in Israel.
After the initial excitement wore off I thought "well, where do I go from here?"
It's been a long three years of ups and down, I couldn't even begin to share the entire story here but I hope to convey the message that's been burning in my heart for quite some time now.
Here it is, buckle up... grab a steamy mug of tea... or okay hot chocolate, why not, and settle in.
This is LIFE IN COLOR.
P L A C E O F D E A T H
"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." (Deut. 30:19)
The city I've lived in for the past 3 years has earned a nickname due to it's dull, dry, long winters Edmonton is frequently called 'Deadmonton.'
Maybe you're blessed with a warm climate, who knows maybe you're reading this post on your hammock in hawaii overlooking the ocean. Maybe your afternoons are kicking it with sea turtles and slurping down pina coladas but regardless I'm not just talking about the weather.
We've all been in a place that feels like spiritual death.
At some point or another life has bogged us down to the point we've been driven by accomplishments and made pretend like we're all put together when inside we're really we're struggling.
I was in that place when I began losing sight of my identity as my passion dwindled down to almost nothing. It felt too cold to for a fire to survive... even if it was one meant to burn inside my heart.
B E G I N I N G O F T H E E N D
Slowly things began to fall apart and eventually I didn't recognize the person I had become. It seemed like all the color had seeped from my life and the cold winter air entered my heart.
I felt this enormous pressure to perform, please and perfect. Even at the cost of my peace, purpose and personal relationship with God. I had all the materialistic things I could ever wish for yet it felt empty and shallow to me.
I enjoyed the opportunities I got to speak into the lives of others, invest into the next generation and worship on stage but I felt inauthentic and fake standing on a platform while inside I felt disconnected and disengaged with the transformative Spirit of God.
Haven't we all been in that position before? Striving and straining to accomplish our will instead of submitting to God's. Yep, it's a trap, one that many of us fall into.
I kept pushing myself and pushing myself until one day I broke... and I knew something needed to change.
T H E C H A N G E
I decided I needed some perspective. Some time to get away and evaluate things. So I boarded a plane and flew back to Israel. To re-connect with my roots. Hopefully to rediscover some of my true self.
Late for our connecting flight we raced through the Toronto airport lugging our oversized suitcases behind us praying that they would still let us onto the plane.
We arrived huffing and puffing panicked, we rushed over to the front desk. "Did we make it on time??" we asked the El-al representative. She looked at us with compassion "yes of course! Did you see anyone else on your way? We're still waiting for a few more passengers." We breathed a sigh of relief. "of course they're late, they're Israeli." my mom muttered under her breath with a twinkle in her eyes.
As we boarded onto the plane my ears perked up at the sound of Hebrew being tossed around between the aisles. To my surprise my eyes began to tear up and when the screen flashed before me with the airlines catch phrase "El-al achi b'bayit b'olam" (Translated as: El-al the most home in the world.) I knew that message rang true for me. Loud and clear. This was more than just a vacation, I was returning home.
I was rediscovering my place of true belonging. And this was just the start.
L I F E I N C O L O R
The next few weeks were a blur of traveling, sunshine, beaches, adventure, fresh air and quiet.
Shockingly different from rushing about from task to task, spending long hours on the computer and early mornings downing buckets of caffeine (AKA my normal)
I was a makeup-less mess most days but didn't care because I was free and living life in adventure.
There was space to roam and explore, blue skies overhead and every day was completely unknown.
It was a story willing to write itself.
As time went on we settled into a beautiful rhythm of rest, work and play. The entire time we spent in the Land I convinced myself "this is only a visit and soon I'll be back to face reality."
But it seems like God had different plans...
S I N K O R S W I M
One of the highlights of the entire trip for me was when we got the opportunity to swim with free dolphins in the Red Sea in Eilat. It was this moment of wonder for me and I cherished every second.
Looking out onto the waters of the Red Sea it struck me that the ground (or shall I say sand) I was standing on was significant. This was not an ordinary day at the beach. This place signified a monumental milestone in the history of my people and one that would leave it's mark me as well.
F I N D I N G F R E E D O M
Standing there on the Red Sea beach with my toes digging into the sand I could picture the entire children of Israel standing at the very same shore looking back in panic at their enemies chasing after them and the massive Red Sea in front.
Not all of us have been to Egypt physically but spiritually we've all gotten 'stuck in Egypt.'
Egypt: is a place of bondage and captivity. It is a place of material wealth and abundance yet they come at the high cost of our freedom.
As I stood there I knew I had a choice to make. Was I going to return to Egypt? Return to Life in B&W?When I made the decision to let go of my 'Egypt' & place my faith in God I knew he was going to make a way for me to enter into the Promised Land - both physically and spiritually.
Check out this song 'Split the Sea'
T H E K O T E L
My family and I decided to go to the Western Wall (Kotel) towards the end of our trip.
Something you need to know about the Kotel is that traditionally once you're ready to leave the wailing wall you back away slowly and remain facing the wall you don't just turn around and walk away.
This is a sign of respect between the Jewish people and God.
Read my blog post: "The Power in His Presence" for more insight into this special place and it's significance in our faith journey.
N O T U R N I N G B A C K
That day I was searching for answers. I didn't walk away with all of them but as my hands reached out towards those ancient stones my heart was reaching out to my heavenly father. I then knew:
I could not turn my back on God as he was inviting me to walk in His perfect will.
I could not turn my back on Israel, my home that I had abandoned, my family that I had neglected, my calling that I had put on hold, my passion for creative expression that I had shoved aside as 'not important.'
It was time that I stoped placing value on things that would fade away and start letting God deem what was valuable in my life.
He had his best in store for me but He was asking me "do you trust me? will you obey me? will you let go and let me lead you."
I'm so glad that my response that day was "yes, Lord have your way."
Are there areas of your life that you've turned your back on? Are there ideas, passions, giftings, opportunities, people or places that you've dismissed yet always seem to come back and beg for your attention?
Is God maybe asking you to honor the things he's placed in your heart to pursue. It's not too late to turn around now and face the things that God is bringing to your attention.
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
It took heart-break and loss to wake me up out of my numbness, my routine, my determination to settle for what's safe and pull my eyes away from what I knew into a brighter future.
God met me in the midst of my pain, my uncertainty and my wandering. He brought me to a place of surrender through love, gentleness and His constant, reassuring presence in moments everything seemed to fall apart.
He asked me to let go of my fear and loosen my grip on what I idolized and thought I needed. Things I thought were my source of fulfillment and joy but were really holding me back and causing my grief and suffering. He promised to replace it with something much better and in the waiting he promised me His grace.
This message is more than "life was boring so I took a trip and had fun and felt better."
This message is how God met me in the middle of my mess, even when I didn't know I needed rescuing he reached down and saved me because he loves us too much to leave us alone to our own devices.
The moment I laid down the things I held close to my heart and made room for God to take the throne He began the process of bringing me into the abundant life I was lacking.
Life in Color is not about comfort, or constant beauty and paradise. It's not about taking the easy road, or finding a pretty place to settle. Life in Color is about embracing the purpose God's given us, not compromising the truth he's shown us for a cheap second best. It's about facing hardship and struggle head on and choosing to adventure through steps of faith when we're called out of our comfort zone.
Now I am excited to head into the new season God is calling us into - returning back to Israel and getting planted in the Land.