Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Letting Go of the Outcome

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Alicia on the phone, and we got to talking about a painting I had just done for a friend's birthday. I explained how I used to have a hard time with watercolors because they are so unforgiving if you mess up. If you mess up, you either start over or have to creatively find a way to conceal it and make it look purposeful. Except now, I love watercolors. I love them because they just are. There is no pretending with them. There is no fake. If I mess up, I don't start over. I find a way to work around it and finish with a beautiful product. And sometimes the final product is not what I had envisioned when I started the painting process.

Prior to this part in our conversation, we had been talking about lots of things. Most of it had to do with our marriages, God, and trying to do His will. We talked about following His plan and how impossibly hard it sometimes seems to give Him control. We talked about how utterly scary  it is to give the control over to God because we have no idea what the outcome will be, and we have to have faith and hope that He will give us the strength we need to get through our trials. And we have to have faith and hope that the outcome will be in our favor.

So, as I talked about my art and how watercolors just are and how you sometimes don't have control over them (like if you've used too much water or too much pigment), she said, "Kilee, I would love to see an watercolor representation of what it means to give our will over to God and let go of the outcome."

Yesterday we were snowed out of school. And Ben left to start his new job in Plano. So, after laying in bed for about an hour thinking about how hard the next four months will be, along with surfing Facebook, I decided to give this watercolor representation of letting go of the outcome a go. That's what I'm doing in so many aspects of my life right now. I'm trying to turn myself over to God and let go of this desire to control the outcome of what happens.

I know to some people, these pieces of art may be the kind like, "So not impressive. A kindergartner could do that." But I don't care. These pieces are close to my heart because of the emotional process that went into them. I don't really know how to explain what I had envisioned with this "letting go" idea, but it definitely wasn't what the final result was. I got some fun ideas while painting (like putting big watery globs of color on the paper and just blowing on it and letting it go wherever. That's where those streaky things came from). Anyway, I can't fully explain the process because I'm not 100% sure what happened here, either. All I know is that the act of painting these was wholly therapeutic for me. I just went for it and let it become what it became. Some parts are not that pretty. But some parts are awesome. It's just like life.

Ps, if you are in the Lehi area (I wish I was so I could attend this), there is a WoPA conference happening in a couple of weeks. Check out this flier. 


  1. I love this! And your paintings, btw :) It was freeing to me to realize that I couldn't force, and therefore wasn't responsible for, how things turn out. I trust in God that no matter what the outcome, it will be alright in the end.

  2. This made me want to pull out my water colors, took me over an hour to locate them, now to be brave enough to actually use them! ;) (Also, great post :)

  3. Thanks, both of you! I've clung to this idea as many things have hit me over the past week. Knowing that I can't control the outcome and truly turning myself over to God is hard at times, but it's so freeing and brings peace that I couldn't find any other way.

  4. Love your art. But not as much as I love your heart.