There are so many things we want to pass onto our children but certain ones stick out. Number one, we want our children to know God, love him and run after him and his crazy ways, no matter how strange it seems to others. The next, to love others in a way that shows God’s love to them. And, to never stay in a comfortable place, to jump outside of that zone and go for it if God’s calling you to it. As Bob Goff would say, “Love God, Love People, Do Stuff.”
Part of jumping out of that comfort zone will be failing. We don’t want them to have a fear of failing because we learn so much from it. And other times they might not fail really, but it will just look different than they originally thought.
And that’s exactly where we stand today. Today, we closed the door to our studio/offices for the last time. When we started this whole journey to create The Blank Space we felt like God was screaming at us to take the leap of faith, get a space and also have my office there. And we did it. We had so much help from friends and family who came to work on getting the space ready to donating everything from paint to tile. When I walked around this afternoon, I looked at it all and remembered the smiling faces of our friends as they laid laminate flooring, painted walls and the teenagers that were spray painting chairs in the front lawn. It all feels like just yesterday and yet God has taught us so much in the past couple of years.
First of all, we still do not have a non-profit status for The Blank Space. We are going on the third year in waiting, have only heard back once about additional questions (which they gave us a week to respond…after they took almost two years to get to that) and now nothing again. It’s super frustrating and The Blank Space evolved as we tested out students coming in after school and finding out there was more a need for art shows for teenagers. We hope to still continue those and offer scholarships eventually to those pursuing art in college, but for the meantime, we have to let it sit until we hear back from the government.
Due to the evolution of the space, I had taken over more space than I needed. Truly, I only need a space to meet my clients for consultations and ordering appointments. Pat having an office was a luxury. Before Veda was born, we had been feeling out the idea of leaving the space and moving our work space back home. As you know, we have a small house but we knew we could make it work. We waited on those thoughts for several months and God certainly showed us that it was time to close the door on this chapter. We hung on a bit longer because so many had helped with their hands and funds. Friends came to the space to prayer for us and what would happen there. We didn’t want to let them down. But someone reminded us that those people choose to serve us and that alone shows how God was moving. Finally, we decided to move on, we figured out a way for me to meet clients outside of our home and we’ll be doing the rest of work from our family homestead.
Once we made the final decision and started moving forward on leaving, things started happening. Pat has been doing awesome work and God reaffirmed some things in my business too. Plus, we’re already realizing what it means for our family and the time we’re together or available for one another. We have a dream of having a home with a little bit of land and a barn or garage we can turn into a studio space for both of us. Paying rent to someone else just didn’t make sense if we ever want this to happen. We’ll see if that is what God has in store for us.
The bright blue door welcomed us this afternoon as we carried in cookies to have a picnic treat on the floor. We did the same thing with our family when we first got the space, eating pizza on the floor and talking about all the people that would come in and out of the space once we had it ready.
Here is what I know…God showed up in that space. Friends filled it to get it ready, students helped prepare it for kids their own age. It became a place that five-six students came twice a week and bonded with each other and Pat. The first art show held in the space had over 100 people show up, causing us to hold the next show offsite for more space. I laughed with with my clients as I got to know them. I watched moms and dads cry as they viewed the photos I captured of their seniors. I’ve hugged moms as they’ve shared with me stories of struggling with their teens and I’ve watched confidence rise in front of me as a senior sees her photos for the first time. He’s been there the whole time…filling that space.
We’ve been talking very openly about all this with the boys and Zane said last night he was “feeling a little sad about it and excited too.” And that’s where we all seem to be right now. Sad for the ending of something we envisioned and truly felt God’s push towards. But yet we are excited because God’s tugging us another way. I can’t say that I understand it because I’m still confused a bit but God doesn’t always move in ways that are for us to grasp 100%. I do know that I look back on the past couple of years and I am proud of us for going for it. For stepping out in faith and saying yes. It might not have “failed” completely…rather it just looked different. As Pat prayed for us, standing in the middle of the empty space, with our boys not understanding the depth we were feeling everything, I had tears running down my cheeks. Honestly, they’ve been flowing frequently tonight. We are at peace with this decision and how God has led us there but it still hurts to leave a place we really did love.
The future is unknown and I know God will only continue to pull us towards him and what he desires for us to do for this world to bring glory to him…whether we understand it completely or not.
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand