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processing our stories

As you may have guessed I've become a bit fixated on telling stories. But I'm also really impatient. I am one of those horrible people who skim boring parts of books, or tunes out if someone is a bit long winded. Given the opportunity I will choose the abridged version. Better yet, you read the book and then just tell me what the take aways are. I do not want to put in the work. I hate research and analyzing and even reflection is really boring, I mean challenging.

As I was updating my website I was stuck on the "bio" section. Being an artist you're encouraged to present yourself with these criteria of legitimacy. The artist statement. The degrees, distinctions, show you have been in, training you have received. The grandiose display of one's credentials. One must speak of one's self in the third person. One must include testimonies and pictures of one's work in client's homes. One must prove one's worth! So, being the dutiful rule following artist (oh wait, that was never me, why was I doing this?) I researched, I analyzed, and I implemented the plan. And, surprise surprise, I sounded like a fake weirdo. Briana is not the kind of person who writes about herself that way. But I tried, and I tried again. And it always felt...phony.

So, here I am approaching this new site, this new series launch, this new way of working and I'm sitting down to write this bio and I just can't do it. I can't "sell" myself and what I'm doing. Man I graduated with a blasted Marketing degree and I know what I "should" do but I just can't bring myself to do it.

So, instead I said, "Ok Holy Spirit. This is your thing. This project, this website, this art. What do I write?" And so when I don't know what to do but feel led to step out, I go back through where I've been. So I started writing my story with making art. And as I wrote and just kind of chronicled what I'd done, where I'd been and what has happened I began to see it make sense to me. I was able to step back and see my journey as a story. One that builds on itself and naturally progresses. I could see how all of these seemingly random parts actually fit together really beautifully to get me here. Going back through and reading what I'd written showed me with fresh eyes how God had worked it all perfectly together to get me where I needed to be, having learned what I needed to learn so I can do what I am called to do.

I had never noticed in Romans 8 where I explains that EVERY DETAIL of our lives is worked into something good.

"27 He knows us far better than we know ourselves... 28 That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. 29 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning."

As I wrote my own "art history" I was able to see the perfection of his plan in the orchestration of my story. All of these details building and moving towards something. It was like God pulled back the curtain just a bit and said, "See, in just this one area, in just these few ways, look what I was doing. It was all working for good, it was all meaningful and important." All the stuff I wanted to brush over and down play because it didn't help "sell" was important. It was part of the story.

As I said, I'm not much for contemplation and reflection but writing down my story. Processing it in that format allowed me to understand it in such a beautiful new way. It felt like a balm for my soul. Like Jesus was reminding me that all the details, even the bio of my website, are part of the plan. And they are working for good.

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Please note that all artwork and images are the sole property of Briana Elizabeth Taylor and may not be used or reproduced in any way for profit without permission.

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