How I Connected with Jesus Through My Art

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Time stood still. I had driven under a bridge in our home city and I had prayed, “Lord, if you are really real, please guide me to know you.”

At that moment I cried out to God because I couldn’t understand my purpose here on earth.

Don’t get me wrong – my life was great. We had a loving family. We attended a church with some “friends”. I had been treasurer of the growing church plant. I had taught Sunday School. We had enough money to be comfortable. I had enough time for some recreational pursuits.

But I had this ache inside. An emptiness. So I prayed that prayer.

And God led me. I found a new church home with loving caring, encouraging friends who wanted to know the real me. I attended their Bible study – I had gone to Bible studies previously but I didn’t feel comfortable.

I even made this stipulation to my new friends:

“I will attend your study if I don’t have to hold hands, I don’t have to pray out loud and I don’t have to share about myself.”

They accepted me. Loved me. Cared for me. They let me ask questions and patiently answered them.

I questioned. I really questioned. I read books.

Then I tried to read my Bible – failed.

Tried again  – failed.

I bought another version of the Bible – failed.

My mentor friend said: “Why don’t you ask Jesus to open His Word to you.”

I tried again and the light started to penetrate.

But I still, even though I “prayed in Jesus’ name”, I didn’t know Him. I started to have some head knowledge of Who He is but I still couldn’t believe in my heart.

Such a doubting Thomas was I.

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One day, on the prompting of my spiritual mentor friend, I asked Jesus to reveal Himself to me. It was early morning; I was sitting in my chair in my family room. All was quiet. As I asked Jesus to reveal Himself, suddenly I felt this “whoosh” come over me and I dropped to the floor. I felt His presence so strongly. It overpowered me with a peace and understanding. And I said, exactly what Thomas said: “My Lord and my God”.

That was the beginning of my journey – almost 20 years ago. Since then I have had such a wild, crazy ride.

Some of the highlights:

I wrote daily in a journal while I studied the Bible.

I wrote 150 poems.

That led me to attend Christian writers’ conferences.

And over the years I occasionally took some art classes.

I studied early every morning.

I listened to God. I woke up and saw everything around me.

I wrote, illustrated and published two children’s books. (http://www.janiscox.com/bookstore/)

I went on a mission trip to Poland 5 times.

Hope Stream Radio asked me to podcast for them and I have done over 120 podcasts.

I grew in my knowledge of God. I grew in my knowledge of His Word.

I grew in knowing Who I was.

And I am growing still.

Never stopping. Always changing.

Right now my faith is as strong or stronger than ever. Each day God teaches me something new. I can’t get enough of His Word or His Voice.

The one thing I have learned more than anything else is to LISTEN to Him.

That takes practice, patience and perseverance.

And I have led my own Bible studies since that first hesitating time. And I do hold hands, I pray out loud and I share and listen to others.

My art has expanded because I always pray before I do anything – including art. I paint pictures, make greeting cards and do Bible Art.

Now God is telling me that my purpose is to lead and guide other Christian writers in their faith and their writing.

This is my new walk. And I don’t know what it will look like. I am a work in progress.

To that end I am working on a free Bible journaling course.

And I have a free PDF for studying the Bible called The SIMPLE Method of Bible Study.

 

 

 Janis Cox Raising World Children  Janis Cox is a creativity catalyst with a heart to connect people to God. She specializes in creating art based on Scripture so that the Truth penetrates hearts and not just minds. The world needs more pictures, art and colour. God speaks through our creativity. We connect deeply with God through creativity because it is play. Our doubts fall away. We become like the little children that Jesus invited to Himself. Janis helps people play, connect to God and connect to each other. She gives honest simple reminders to remain rooted in Him. Janis lives in Haliburton, Ontario Canada with her husband and their small dog, Snowball. Besides writing and painting, Janis podcasts for HopeStreamRadio. She can be reached at Janis Cox.

 

 

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