Through a Looking Glass

For a long while, I have been debating whether or not I should take this blog down. The raw honesty of it has terrified me. I guess I've been afraid that it will contradict the message I'm trying to put forward in the Faithdrawn Studios brand. I’ve felt like the point of putting it up in the first place was to keep from holding back... but now that it's up, I haven’t wanted to post anything too personal, thus defeating the purpose of it. Then, I’ve felt like taking it down would also defeat the purpose as well.

However, a wise philosopher named Emily Adams recently told me that “If the message you are putting forward in your brand can’t stand up to a bit of raw honesty then it isn’t a very strong message,” so here I am, writing this post.

Faithdrawn Studios has been experiencing an identity crisis. My heart and mind and spirit have all been in turmoil for this reason for many years. I’ve feared that I’ve missed my calling from the Lord and that He took my blessing away and gave my mission to someone else because I haven’t been creating anything of worth...or anything at all as I’ve ‘slacked off’. It’s been seven years since I’ve felt worthy of this calling!

Everything boils down to the fact that I’ve felt like quitting more than ever for the past two years. The only thing that’s stopped me from doing so has been meeting all of the amazing folks at the Christian Game Developers Conference last year, but that spark has since grown faint. Even while I was there I removed myself from the excitement and sat outside in tears because I felt everyone had their crap together except for me. There were amazing demos, stories, and fully fleshed out characters, and lots of exciting buzz in the air while the Fayestory Universe remained locked in the deepest parts of my mind and soul, never seen my anyone but myself aside from the handful of crappy drawings I brought which had zero impact on telling that story inside of me.

Where words have failed to help me express the heart and soul of this universe and of the deepest part of me, art and storytelling have always stepped in. Now, even that is gone. I have this incredible world in my head, and no amount of banging it against the wall will make it come out, figuratively speaking, of course.

It’s been a decade of mental hell with no escape. My perfectionism and desire to output high quality work has kept me from sharing the journey and the small things that matter. The things that Faithdrawn was built on.

Fun fact. Faithdrawn Studios used to be called Fatedrawn Studios! Yes, that’s right. Looks strange, doesn’t it? I lived in my head all these years. I didn’t socialize with anyone. I believed in Fate. The concept that states that our outcome is in the hands of chance or something external, not in the sovereign control of God. I’m thinking this has been a byproduct of my upbringing. Always being told I’m worthless. Always being told I will never become anything except my father. A cracked out, washed up nothing. I’ve been led to believe that by many people. Worst of all, I’ve subconsciously told myself this for years.

I’ve been learning to transform how I see the Lord. Understanding his personality and what He wants for me. This has been the only peace I’ve felt in years. However, this, for some reason, has not cascaded into my creative endeavours. Something is blocking me there. I believe something, yet still act as though I don’t.

Diving deep into my psyche, perhaps I’ve been held back for so long that I’ve wanted people to feel sorry for me. But then what would I gain from that? An easy route? An excuse for not reaching my full potential? But why wouldn’t I want to? Fear of failure? Or even worse...fear of success? The weight that it brings? The weight of outliving my parent's failures into a greater calling? That's something I've never been able to claim I'm able or allowed to do, perhaps. I think that I've always believed I would never achieve anything above what they did, which was never much. No car, no steady job...no house. For much of my time with them we were homeless and I was the dumpster diving toddler, pulling beer cans out to exchange them for pennies.

But I’ve already surpassed those things. So then what? Perhaps I'm not taking credit for doing so  because I don't think I deserve to accredit success to myself, so I keep putting myself down, because that’s what I was taught? Growing up in foster care, that’s certainly what was always done to me.

Also...I think because I keep raising the bar, it's never met. Because of this, I never celebrate. Only frown at the fact that it's always just a bit higher than my fingertips and I feel like less than the rest as I see everyone else reaching it. But maybe that's because their bar is lower? Maybe they lower it to feel a sense of false happiness and success, but is there a happy, healthy medium that I can bask in?

I think I'm clinging to the old vision of what I wanted to be, trying to fit into that old mold, when in fact I'm not nearly the same person anymore. I'm afraid to start over. Afraid to give up what I've built. It sucks. Major. Because it's all I've ever accomplished. So, I cling to a dead carcass of an old version of me, swearing it's still what I look like in the mirror.

I guess it's because I've been in such an internal conflict with my old self and my new self that I’ve been at a standstill. I’ve been swallowing quick sand.

I was afraid that I was just lazy and procrastinate. Instead, I’ve realized that all of this means so much to me that I’m terrified to move. Terrified to create as I’m wanting it to meet a specific standard and help me express myself so well that I refuse to create it at all.

I’ve been living in fear, but I no longer believe that we have ONE calling from God and that we can miss out on enjoying a fantastic life of living and loving those around us, impacting others and changing our reality. Fatedrawn Studios was changed to Faithdrawn Studios for this purpose. I came to believe that despite all of the crap I’ve been through in my life, I’ve always been drawn back to God by Faith. I was Faithdrawn, and I still am.

The characters and stories that I’m creating reflect my faith journey. They reflect yours. They allow for a level of introspection not seen in games thus far, and I believe that if I can pour them out into the world they can help people draw back to Faith and Trust in God despite what they’ve been through. I’m a living testimony of this. I’ve been beaten, mistreated, belittled and more since I was born, but that’s not who I am. Everything seems so backwards, like a looking glass...or in modern terminology, a mirror. I should be condemned for my actions in the past. The sin I was born into, the divorce I initiated a few years ago, the person I still struggle to kill within me when I mistreat others. Instead, I am flourishing with a community of people who care for me, I have a son and a girlfriend whom love me. God loves and accepts me. I should be dead many times over, but here I am.

Once again, like so many millions of times in my past, I’m drawn back to the Creator. Logic aside, I’m all in.

Anyways, I’m speaking about a legal entity/brand that exists, but truly has done nothing of note to warrant its existence, or this post for that matter, yet it still burns within me like an everlasting flame. The desire to turn it into something that changes lives is ever awake and screaming. Perhaps it’s my folly. Perhaps it’s something special. Perhaps I’m just crazy. I suppose we’ll see in time. Until then, I’m just going to focus on telling my Story. The story of how I feel inside. The Story of why I’m Faithdrawn. The Story of how you can be Faithdrawn too, despite your past. Despite your present. Despite your uncertain future. We Are Faithdrawn...Now, I guess the only thing left to do is to figure out on the daily what the hell that actually means.

Anyone want to explore that with me?

 

...Let’s do this.