Finding Freedom in Art
Many children of broken homes turn to drugs and battle depression, but for Kyle Trudelle, he escaped his situation through his artwork. His passion started at a young age and his skills blossomed. Two years ago, Trudelle shared with us how people initially reacted to his art including asking him to destroy it and how he battled health and spiritual issues.
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Trudelle opens up how his artwork wasn’t first received by the church he attended and he was asked to destroy all of his artwork.
“I was in a church that was a place of bondage. They [church elders] told me that my artwork was not of god and that artists are not inspired by God saying, “Art is a secular thing.’ I was led to destroy all of the artwork that I created before I was 15 years old. I had some great work that I burned and ripped up; I began to die inside. My artwork is my worship. If you look at the Bible, the first characteristic of God is He is a creator. When I realized that, I got out of that environment. As I left that environment I got so much oppression from them. They told me God was going to destroy me. I went to a different church which was a better environment. I started painting again. I started getting letters from home of hate and people telling me I needed to change my life and come back. I started getting headaches and feeling sick. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to move. I woke up one morning and I couldn’t feel my legs. I started to panic. My roommate who was on the top bunk, I was at a Bible college, picked me up and held me like a baby. He began to pray for me as I was hysterical with fear. He took me to the hospital and I started having seizures. That’s when I got scans and they found the masses on my brain. The next day I woke up and didn’t remember where I was.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Trudelle shares what his recovery was like and how he realized it was a spiritual battle.
“After some recovery, my legs were feeling a little bit better. I didn’t want to leave the college because it meant having to go back to my home and the church environment that wasn’t healthy. The next scan I got doctors found a bunch of fluid on my brain. I ended up going back home for a bit. When I walked into my old church, many people were friendly and happy to see me but a lady came up to me and said, ‘God has told me, that if you change your lifestyle He will stop killing you.’ She told me that it was God who was doing this. I looked at her and started to weep. I told my sister to get me out of there. I walked out of the church and fell limp. I couldn’t move. I realized that I don’t think this is a sickness of brain tumors. This was a spiritual issue.
Prayed for God to help me fix this. I didn’t know about healing, but I prayed. ‘God you have three options. You can take me home, leave me a vegetable, or heal me and give me a purpose. I don’t have an agenda, You can pick. I want You to give me what You want me to have.’ I just kept praying. I remember waking up and opening my eyes, I felt good. I felt normal. I went to move my legs and I wasn’t paralyzed anymore. I actually got out of bed and walked downstairs and my mom was shocked to say the least. I told her, ‘I feel great.’ I remember just feeling God’s presence, that He was going to give me a purpose, and that I always had a purpose.”
Experience the creator. Whether you are an artist or just enjoy doodling, take time this week to experience God’s creation. Look at the flowers, bees, clouds, and even the weather. Reflect on how detailed each creation is and how much love and care He took when creating each of us. Take time to pray and thank God for his creation. If you have time, write it down in your journal.
Be inspired. When you have time, check out an art gallery or installation of art. From photography to sculpture, there are some many different types of art. Consider going with friends or your small group. Afterwards, grab coffee or lunch together and share what your favorite pieces were and how they inspired you.
Inspire others. Many churches are starting creative arts ministries to help cultivate the others gifts. If you have an artistic background, consider helping start one or mentor other artists. It can be something as simple as inviting people to meet at the church and everyone works on their projects or it can be a platform where artists are invited to share their experience and expertise so that others can learn.
To read our entire interview with Kyle Trudelle, click here.