“Creativity is a way of living life…” Madeleine L’Engle

 

For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:10)

 
CREATIVITY IS BENEFICIAL TO OUR WELL-BEING

Creativity forces us to pay attention to details. Besides that, it’s fun! When you have fun, you relax, which helps to relieve stress. Even amid grief, illness, or other challenges we face, creativity can help us find new hope and joy in life.

 “Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living.
Creativity is not limited to the arts or having some kind of important career.“
~ Madeleine L’Engle in Walking on Water

 

Utilizing various forms of art, writing or music enables us to process, express, and release emotions as well as clarify thoughts. This short article, How Creativity Positively Impacts Your Health, shares some benefits of creativity, including how to enhance it in everyday life.

 

CREATIVITY IN GRIEF THROUGH SCRIPTURE, POETRY, AND ART

After my son died, I turned to scripture and art journaling. Grieving with Hope: Poetry, Journaling and Lament explains how creativity helped me as I grieved.

Around that same time, I was experiencing feelings of helplessness, lament, surrender and joy all mixed together. Writing this poem helped me sort out all those mixed-up thoughts and brought comfort to my heart.

FROM LAMENT TO JOY

My beloved son
You have left a gaping hole
Our hearts are broken

You fought a battle
Day after day you struggled
I felt so helpless

You thought you were weak
But you faced many trials
Never backing down

You had so much pain
No one knew how hard it was
But you kept fighting

As the days wore on
Your strength began to falter
But, yet, you held on

Even when struggling
You told stories to explain
How it felt inside

My heart broke for you
I could not make you better
God had called you home

Now you are alive
Though your body rests nearby
You are in God’s hands

Pain has gone away
Full of joy and whole you stand
I can see your smile

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I also turned to watercolor painting which brought much joy, enabling me to express feelings with my paintbrush. On the evening we arrived home after my son’s funeral, we were met with the most beautiful sunset. I snapped a picture, then used it as a guide to paint my own version. It took a few days to finish it, but each stage was healing to my heart. I called it Sunset Promises.

GRIEF IS HARD BUT NECESSARY

No matter what type of loss you face, grieving is hard, but necessary. Ask God for help as you navigate your losses.

  • Feel the pain. Don’t pretend it isn’t there – don’t try to stuff it away. Let the grief come. Face whatever pain you are feeling. Let the tears flow.
  • Ask the questions. Where can I find hope and joy? Why am I so sad? What can I do to relieve this stress?
  • See the beauty. Look for beauty in your ordinary days, even in small things.

 BUT DON’T STOP THERE

Let creativity become a part of your life. Everyone can create, even in a small way, because we are made in the Creator’s image. Ask God to show you how creativity can help bring joy even as you grieve.

Grief and Joy

Grief knows no favorites
often coming unannounced
dropping its burning coals
letting them fall wherever they may

No one is exempt from its clutches
Grief comes in many forms like
memories to open the tear ducts
letting them pour uncontrollably

Grief is not something we like
Yet there is healing, too, that
comes as we shed the tears
giving voice to our emotions

Grief is not pleasant but
necessary for our growth as
we contemplate what we have lost
letting our hearts feel pain

But in feeling the pain we
confront our emotions in order
to acknowledge the grief in our loss
letting memories wash over us

Grief keeps our memories alive
Comfort comes as we pour out our
hearts to God, knowing He hears
letting His love wash over us

Joy can co-exist with grief
Memories of our loved ones
remind us of good times past
letting sorrow mix with joy

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

“Remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty, and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation. Creativity is His gift to you and the ‘raw materials’ to be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well.”  Edith Schaeffer

 

Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:

  • Put a flower on your dinner table
  • Journal your thoughts and turn them into poetry or a prayer of lament.
  • Set a candle to cast a soft glow where everyone will see.
  • Draw a picture, doodle on a piece of paper or color in a coloring book.
  • Grab a notebook, magazine, scissors and glue and make a simple collage.
  • Try a simple watercolor painting (There are many tutorials on YouTube).

No matter how small or insignificant it seems, every act of creativity brings a spark of delight, even in grief. You may be surprised one day in the realization that you have more joy. Maybe there’s a new spring in your step, a renewed sense of purpose, a new outlook on life and less stress. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

 

BE BRAVE. BE CURIOUS.

LET YOUR IMAGINATION SOAR!

TAKE TIME TO CREATE.

Gayl Wright

Gayl Wright

Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team

Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. Besides having 7 kids and 14 grandkids (Some have chronic illnesses and one son is with Jesus), she and her husband Steve also hosted foreign exchange students. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in the book, Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog, Words, Photos, and Art.

In the Midst of Grief • Navigating loss, suffering, and chronic sorrow.

CREATIVELY EXPRESS GRIEF

Creativity helps us to see our grief differently. Grief invites us to pour our sorrow into poetry, scrapbooking, pottery, painting, music, metaphor, baking, exercise, allegory, photography, journaling; serving creatively can also be a wonderful activity.

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