Lessons From A Coloring Book



Have you ever felt like there’s something gnawing at you, but you just don’t know what it’s about? Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling this whole week.  There was a heaviness on my heart, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t figure out what it’s about. For some reason, God was present, but quiet. And that almost made me more nervous.  I knew He has a message for me, but I just couldn’t decode it…

My regular spiritual readings continued to remind me how much He deeply loves me and is intricately involved in my life.  And in those few quiet moments, I could even sense Him smiling and winking at me. Yet this mysterious puzzle remains.

What’s a girl to do?!  Feeling flustered, I dusted off a half-finished coloring project, hoping it will help me relax.  As it turned out, it was very relaxing to look at the beautiful colors and designs, but the process of actually coloring was quite stressful. Unlike a regular pencil, when you draw with a colored pencil, you can’t erase it!  What if I ruin this beautiful design by putting down the wrong colors?! And I had already put down some pretty “unique” color combinations. Eventually, I stopped coloring because this fear of messing up just felt too overwhelming.

Suddenly, I realized why I felt so frustrated this whole week. It was this same feeling – the Fear Of Messing Up… or the fear of failure, that hung over my head.  I’ve had some concerns about a work project for a while now. Since the project involved my boss directly and affected a lot of people, I was hesitant in speaking up. What if I said the wrong things at the wrong time? I kept asking God for “open doors” and confirmations, and only received silence in return. In the meantime, this burden to speak up about the project got heavier.

As I mulled over this new discovery, God reminded me that I’m also learning to take chances and risks in this new season. He is giving me less details and more freedom so I can learn to take more ownership and partner with God in a new way.  At times like this, I need to press through my fears and speak up even when I don’t have things all planned out. What I consider mistakes can also become “creative opportunities”. It’s time to take small leaps of faith, so eventually, I can take bigger ones… *gulp*.

Understandably, this doesn’t mean my FOMU (Fear Of Messing Up) will be going away.  But, this does mean that when it shows up again, I can recognize and work through it. I did eventually finish the coloring page. Taking risks and dealing with mistakes are still hard for me, but like what I’ve learned from the coloring books, God will indeed make all things beautiful, even my mistakes.

Here’s a finished photo of my not-so-perfect, yet still beautiful piece.


Illustration from “Secret Garden Postcard Set” by Johanna Basford. Coloring by Michele Chung.

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