As long as I've known myself I've been on a quest to live in the awareness of who I truly am, my true design. Even as a child, I found it to be a disservice to be anyone but myself. To like things 'just because', to do things 'for the sake of it' or to pacify people with my interests I've found to be exhausting and worthless. I bowed to no one. If I ate something I didn't like, I spat it out. If a joke was not funny, I didn't laugh. If I simply didn't connect with what I was doing, I wanted no part in it. It had always been important to me to live a life that is true, one that is my reality, not copied, borrowed or to people-please.
In hindsight, I could see how the Lord was crafting lines of demarcation in me since I was a child. You see, God gives us all unique personalities and we are made to worship Him with it. The world and the devil will always try to have a taste of who we are. God was preparing me for a mindset of worship. Worship is linear. It is meant to go up and only up. It is singular and should be given to only One who is deserving. A worshipper is certain and unwavering. They know Who made them, who they are and why they do what they do. A worshipper has to know what God likes and what He doesn't. Hence, how will they know how to worship Him? How will one live a life that is true if they are blinded to their unique design?
As I fell more in love with Jesus, I wanted to know exactly how I was to worship Him with my gifts, talents and skills. None of it is mine. So how do I give it back to Him? What was Chanel designed to do? What did He like about me specifically? What fragrance did He want to smell on His altar? How would He get the most glory out of my simple life? I needed to know because I desired truth in my inward parts. I needed to know because I am in love with Him. I needed to know because if I am to establish His kingdom on earth I cannot do it blindly. I needed to know who I am in Him to be effective. And surely, me crying on the floor 24/7 about how much I love Him, was not all there is to it. I have to get up and do something with the everything He gave me.
And so as I loved Him, my dream life exploded, I prophesied without even trying, saw people healed and delivered. Saw things I didn't even know I could ask to see.
So I said, Lord "Art? How do you feel about that? You know it has been following me all my life. Afterall, you stamped me with it. People think it's just pretty colours, but what is Your heart for it? Certainly, it isn't merely a fun activity with no power. Nothing carrying Your beauty will ever lack power. I feel like the things I'm making is void of a foundation. So, what is my art to You? What is it to me? What should I stop doing and start doing?"
A new quest unfolded and Beth Autumn shifted gears.
The inbetweens of 2016-2019 the Lord started showing me the difference between simply being an artist/creative and art as worship; art as a sacred vocation. He took a fine-toothed comb through my life and showed me how to make everything in my life about Him. It is not limited to the laying on of hands or singing, our worship is also expressed through the businesses we create, the poetry we write, the food we cook for others—the very simplicities of life. In 2019, I read a devotional on Bezalel the artisan that left me beside myself. Even as I type this, I can still see myself in my minds eye laying on my bed having the revelation weighed on me like bricks. As I read Exodus 31, I could hear Him calling my name through the Scriptures. I was left stunned on my bed, slack-jawed and undone. I never saw myself in Scripture like I did on that day. I felt like I was looking into a mirror. Then I started understanding art being used as articles for worship in a way that I never grasped before.
Later that year, I was enrolled in my first year of ministry school at Jesus School. There I swam into the depths of Christ and things got clearer, and clearer and clearer. Oh, and clearer.
On Thursdays we would go out in groups to evangelize locally. October 24th, 2019 renedered itself as a catalyst. Things changed on that special Thursday.
A few weeks prior to that day, I had made these Holy Spirit earrings (pictured above). The Lord told me not to release them for sale as yet. So, I kept them for myself and actually anointed them with oil. I had never done that before with the earrings I made and I knew in my depths it was His leading. In this season, the Lord would reveal to me how compliments can be a footing to give Him glory. I told the Lord that anyone that complimented these earrings, I would know that it was a direct sign from Him that they needed healing. I decided to wear these on that Thursday, October 24th, 2019 to evangelize.
As I was standing in the park with one of my Jesus School mates, Emilie, waiting on the Lord, two girls walked by us. One of them blurted and pointed, "I love your earrings!". I froze immediately and could feel a sweeping wind within and on me. I said, "Emilie, it's them." And she agreed, being oblivious to what the Lord spoke to me in private. We hurriedly went to them and asked if we could pray for them. We found ourselves the greenest area of the grass to sit and they opened their hearts to us in ways only the Holy Spirit could have orchestrated. One shared that she was a stripper (let's call her Mary) and the other shared that she was a practicing Pagan (let's call her Deborah). As we were speaking the life of Christ into them, the sweetness of His presence enveloped us. As I prayed for Deborah, I watched her tears fall into the grass, knowing the Lord was catching them all. Emilie and I got to prophesy into their lives as the Lord was giving us information that only He could know about them. Mary shared how she wanted to leave stripping, but didn't know how to come out of that lifestyle. She said that she knew the Lord was answering her prayers by sending us. We sat on the grass with them for an hour that was filled with weeping, prayers and edification. We invited both of them to church, but only Mary came. She left before the service was over and I never saw her again...or so I thought.
Track with me.
Fast forward, about 3 years later, I graduated Jesus School and university and received my degree in Visual Arts. I was waltzing in the beautiful romance of being nothing, wanting to be so yielded to the Holy Spirit even more with all my endeavours, that I was willing to throw them away if needed. So, I began to seek the Lord again for what He wanted me to do with Beth Autumn and He kept revealing His pleasure over this artistry and what He already spoke. He reminded me again of what He showed me in the Scriptures in 2019 about Bezalel. He even showed me how to sell jewelry for the buidling of our new church facility. Waves and waves of revelation hit me again.
I went to live with my mother in south Florida to catch my bearrings on where to go next. The Lord's desire was not for me to move out of Orlando. He made it crystal clear to return, even if I didn't know where I would live. He told me years ago, that He gave that land to me. Trusting Him, I packed my bags again, and went back to Orlando and stayed with friends.
The second Sunday after returning, my pastor spoke briefly on Exodus 36 as it pertained to building the temple. As I was listening, I pondered in my heart "What are earrings and why do You even care about them as a tool to worship You? Maybe I should do something else." I doubted myself, even though I knew that this was the way I was stirred to serve the building project of our church home. That sweeping wind happened with me again and I was alerted to what He spoke to me in 2019. I left the sanctuary weeping and overcome by His voice in my life, His heart for my art and how He wants to use it.
On my way to the car, bent over, swollen eyes with tears, I heard a voice exclaim, "THAT'S HER!"
I turned around slowly, squinting my eyes, peering through my tears, I see Mary walking up to me. To say that I was shocked was an understatement. She spilled over with excitement how she stopped stripping, is born again and faithfully attends a local church, and how she visited and was describing me to people to see if they knew me so she could find me and she went on and on and on and on.
And I stood there, attempting to gather myself from all that took place in the service about God using my art to set people free plus this moment standing directly in front of the person who was a product of this. I was again beside myself. Almost 3 years later, I meet the very person the Lord started this with. Earrings? Who would've thought.
The Lord dismantled my doubts. The next day I was still weeping, the Lord led me to the Scriptures and impressed upon me to read just above Exodus 36 more intently. I hadn't noticed the detail of women bringing jewelry for the building of the tabernacle. His voice wiped me out on my bed that day, I felt like I was being punched by wind in my belly as I wailed in the spirit. Had I been disobedient and stayed in south Florida, I would have completely missed this moment.
Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the Lord. - Exodus 35:21-22
Friends, I believe that if you've read this to the end, this is for you. Do not run from what the Lord is calling you to do or despise its simplicity. If He told you to bake bread and sell, do it. If He told you to open a salon, do it. If He told you to be a doctor, do it. Whatever it is and whatever it isn't, obey. Joy will be found in it and restlessness will cease. You only tire yourself when you run in the opposite direction from your assignments.
Be your authentic self in Christ. It is the only way you can love Him well. It is the only way you will be effective.
From my depths,