In late December 2015, I made plans to finish a gallery wall in my bedroom. This project, among others, was supposed to be a personal source of inspiration in the year ahead. At the same time, it would help me put a few extra picture frames and craft supplies to good use…
While painting old frames and searching for new ones, I got a bit sidetracked, but in a good way. I decided to organize the gallery around a theme, so I took time to do just that, and eventually, landed on the following:
Image-driven statements that mirror what the word of God says about me (and all His people), or what some like to call “I am” statements.
About the Theme
My theme sprang out of an attempt to replace the unspoken lies I believe about myself with the truth of who I am in Jesus Christ. To start, I collected some of my favorite truths from sermon notes, journal entries, and prayers; then I invited friends to share their favorite “I am” statement(s) with me via text — be it direct quotes from the Bible or their individual interpretations thereof. Altogether, I had about thirty statements (not including overlapping ones) to include in my gallery. Here are some of my favorites:
- I am an ambassador
- I am forgiven
- I am chosen by God
- I am a new creation
- I am His workmanship
- I am an heir
- I am set free
- I am not alone
- I am holy and dearly loved
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made
About the Tutorial
I started a blog post to accompany this project (i.e., a fun, how-to entitled “Inspired Gallery Wall”), but I never published it because I wanted to have a beautifully-crafted, finished product before I unveiled the final look. I continued to work on the layout, and eventually, hung a few frames (sans images and text) to get a feel for how the wall was shaping up. The reality was (and is) that its unfinished state began to reflect my spiritual state: uninspired and in need of refinement.
The Not-So-Picture-Perfect Truth
My excitement about this project came in the middle of a test. A test of my faith and my will to persevere through one of the most emotionally-charged times of my life. I was looking for something … anything … to reignite the hope I felt slipping away from me, something to uproot the seeds of doubt and lies taking root in my heart. Sadly, that test got the best of me and I began to wonder if I truly believed in any of the statements I had so carefully chosen to fill those frames. It was then that I stopped reading my Bible and praying for relief … It was then that started to rely more heavily on the prayers of family and friends as I gave in to the lies I desperately wanted to replace with the truth. So my project was placed on the back burner.
Fast forward one year and there you have it: a wall that I look at every day — void of any signs of life, and thus, a constant reminder of the day that hope slipped away from me. I look at that wall now and I say to myself that I will finish what I started — not for the sake of completion, but for my good. I now know that I need to see and hear those reminders … those words of truth about who I am in Jesus Christ, regardless of how I feel at the moment, tomorrow, or a week from now. I need them as I seek to take back what was stolen from me.
At the end of the day, the power of God’s word will heal me and choke out the lies that try to entangle me. Moreover, it will show me where my inspiration and refinement begins and ends…
More to come.