What to Do When You Think You're in the Middle of a Wilderness Season?
Rediscover the Promises that Guide us through the Wilderness.
This guided tour through Psalm 143 is created for those who have committed to a relationship with Jesus and are in a dry place. It may feel like an extended "dark night of the soul," or a "wilderness" or a sense of perpetual stuckness.
Start your journey today
Psalm 143 lays out a path to moving from the wilderness to a place of life.
It's the prayer of someone who is not content to stay in the wilderness but doesn't know how to get out.
Me too.
The wilderness isn't a great place. I doubt God wants any of us to get stuck in the wilderness. But if we do find ourselves there, God wastes nothing. When we find ourselves in the desert, He will use it for our good and His glory in such a way that we will never forget the experience...
Or the rescue.
Here's the good news.
To start the journey, we don't have to do anything except cry out.
And then we keep going, following David who lays down a path from the wilderness to walking in the promises of God (and beginning to experience them again).
We are not meant to stay in the wilderness indefinitely.
But wandering in the wilderness, though it may linger for a season, is not meant for life, no matter how discouraging things seem. We are meant for union with God, incredible joy in our walk with Him and a productive life with Him.
 I'm ready to start painting through Psalm 143.
(Course starts December 29th)
The Surprise of a Wilderness Season –
I wasn't depressed.
This was something else. It was like something had been stolen or lost, something important, the vision driving me on, and I couldn't find my way back. I knew Jesus was with me, but I was having a hard time hearing Him.

I passed by my fortieth birthday a few years ago and something switched internally. Unlike the "soaring confidence" women told me they had after marking that milestone year, I was discovering a deep sense of loss and sadness. Things I'd prayed for and pursued were not only not even remotely on the horizon, there was a sense the opportunity was gone. Twenty-five years spent pursuing these things. What a waste, I thought to myself. What those things are isn't terribly important.
You and I may have different desires that we've faithfully prayed over and for, pursued and fought for, worked towards and persevered in.

Regardless of the specific "what," being in a wilderness, unable to figure out what to do and where to go is a bizarre and disconcerting experience.

One of the things I discovered during this time is that I was out.

Out of plans.

Out of ideas.

Out of options.

Out of energy.
Then, I came across Psalm 143.

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
Give ear to my please for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
There is something desperate in the psalmist's plea. His heart reflected my heart and silent cry in temperament and words.

The cry seems like a private prayer, one that needs to hammer out some stuff with the Lord that isn't meant for public consumption or discussion.

I certainly know that feeling.

This also isn't a person who is "deconstructing" his faith.

I am not either. And neither are you. It is possible to be deeply committed to Jesus, deeply committed to living faithfully and walk through painful seasons of wrestling in the wilderness.

Some of the psalms are labeled "to be sung with" or designated for a certain holiday or the Sabbath.

I don't know if Psalm 143 was intended for group prayer sessions. But it seems (and I could be wrong) as if at least this was birthed quite privately, between David and God. It is a very personal plea for help, an acknowledgement by one of the most powerful men of his time that he is helpless, in a corner, and doesn't know what to do.

Worse than being stuck and lost, he lost his ability to sense God's love and his direction.
"Answer me quickly Lord, my spirit fails! Send me word in the morning of your unfailing love!"
I don't know how long your wilderness may last.

But I've discovered a few things:
There is gold in the wilderness. Do not leave without extracting every bit of precious metal God will give you.
God is with you in the wilderness. You are not wandering alone.
There is something for you to glean in the season, that is not only for you, it is for the people in your sphere of influence – both present and the future. We are created for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Going through – and not trying to escape – the wilderness will change you. You won't be the same when you come out.
Going through the wilderness does not guarantee you will get what you want. But, you will get something that will set you on course for the next season of your life.
Start today
My goal is for Psalm 143 to saturate itself into your heart and soul and for you to saturate yourself in Psalm 143.
By the time we finish, you may not have the psalm memorized, but you may be surprised at how much of the psalm has implanted itself in your heart and mind.

As we meditate and act on what we learn, change comes.

Will change come in our external circumstances?

Maybe it will and maybe it won't. One thing I've learned is I don't control outcomes (and I'm very wary of anyone who guarantees specific outcomes).
Throughout this course you will
Quiet the chatter of the heart and mind through simple painting so you can pray and study the word of God. I've found doing something with my hands helps to silence the chatter in my head and prepares my heart and mind to study, pray, and worship.
Guide you through the prayers and promises of Psalm 143 one verse at a time, helping you to pray them for yourself and allow God to speak to you more clearly as you get to know Him and hear Him better.
Experience a renewed intimacy with the Lord exactly where you are, in the middle of the wilderness
What's included?
Have created six small mountain-scapes reflecting the "journey" of Psalm 143
Tips for Memorizing the Bible in adulthood 
Identified where the promises in Psalm 143 are repeated in other parts of the Bible, both the Old and New Testament
Bonus Workshop:
New to Watercolor? Three Rules to Follow (and one to Break) when getting started, video and worksheet
I'm ready
Hi friend!
I'm Melissa!
"Make it your intention to go deeper with less portions of the Bible, than shallow with a wide section of Scripture."
While you have not in any way, shape, or form given up on Jesus, it feels – and there are signs- of a loss of vision, purpose, and trouble in your soul that can't be shaken off.

I also wrote this in mind for women who have journeyed with the Lord for a long time and believed there were certain things He had for them, callings, and purposes. For reasons that elude you, there is no sign they are coming to pass. Now it seems only a miracle will bring them about.

I don't know IF those things WILL happen, but I do know the Lord is not finished with us (see Philippians 1:3) even if the calling on our lives appears to be thwarted and outcomes appear permanently derailed.
You could do a deep dive of the psalm with illustrations on your own. But, if this style of studying, meditating, and creating is new and may be helpful, I'd love to provide a framework for you to use, not only for Psalm 143, but for other portions of scripture you want to absorb at a greater level.
Let's take a peek inside...
  • Session 1
    We'll explore the colors and theme of Psalm 143. Get ready to dive into some gorgeous, muted colors as we start creating our mountain-scapes.
    Then, add in the words of the verse few verses and begin to pray through them.
  • Session 2
    Learn more about David's posture as he poured out his heart to God. In his grief and frustration, he remained reverent, yet completely open.
    We'll keep painting mountains, now going into a deep desert place.
  • Session 3
    Is there anything to do when life is as dry as a desert? There sure is! We'll keep painting and exploring the themes of the middle of the psalm. Add in your time of using the psalm to pray through your situation and listen to God's guidance.
  • Session 4
    Now we come to the pivot. In this session, the colors of the mountains change as the precious promises of God begin to unravel. Add in a few birds to the mountain scene (it's so easy and you'll feel like a pro!).
  • Session 5 - 8
    We're going to repeat the psalm, but now paint flowers instead of mountains. You may find yourself speaking the psalm in your own prayers without the Bible in front of you. We'll paint sunflowers, a ring-of-fire sunflower, blue wildflowers and zinnias.
  • Bonus - a pdf Devotional with optional Journaling
    Download a devotional to accompany the sessions as well as optional journal questions for further reflection and contemplation.
  • Putting it all together (Bonus)
    If you so desire, you can create a bound journal with all of the art. I go through how to create a journal with basic supplies.
  • Bonus! Create a Collage (Live Session!)
    I love to create something that will remind me of what I am learning, focusing on. It's so easy to put a study in a drawer and forget about it.
    In January, I'll share how I'm incorporating some of the art into different pieces, including a collage. This session will be recorded and placed in the course!
    In this session, I take the wildflowers we created in session 4, cut them apart and adhere them to a canvas. On the canvas, I've painted the verses of Psalm 23 with craft paint. It serves as a reminder of my time with Jesus, my Shepherd, and His great promises over me and my life.
"Lord, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief."
Psalm 143:1
What if walking through the wilderness of facing  losses allowed us to experience more of Jesus's presence?
Would that be worth it?

What if there was one more thing?

What if walking through the wilderness opened something new? Something unexpected? What if we decided to accept whatever Jesus had for us and believed it might, might, might be better than what we wanted?
I can't guarantee this.

I do know spending time with Jesus, listening to what He says through His word, talking with Him and doing what the word says will open a way through the wilderness.

And there are promises we can count on in this lifetime.
Lead me on, God. You are my Leader. Lead me on.

He did and He does. Our God, the God who is with Us, the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life is still in the business today of leading His sons and daughters.
How has this impacted you?
"Taking Melissa's course was so fun and helped me to finally pick up the paint brush again! I forgot how much I loved to paint. I felt like a part of me came alive again"
- Kendra C
"As a beginner painter I felt relieved by Melissa's encouragement that my paintings will look differently from her examples because I am finding my own style."
- J.D.
"Easy to follow directions, quaint and bright pictures that aren't too overwhelming. I've had the best time growing my skills with the tutorials from The Creative Season!"
- Jenelle
"Using pens is a new method to me in drawing, and I'm liking the dimension the lines add to my art work."
- Caleb
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't know much about the Bible?
No need to be a biblical scholar. This is perfect for those wanting to deeper their faith
You mentioned you read several books in preparation for this study. Do I need to purchase books?
No need to have a vast library of study materials – this creative, reflective, thinking course is focused on women who may not have a lot of time, but are willing to set aside some time each week to go over and over in the word of God. While I read through various books about the Psalm (for example, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 was an especially helpful resource), the ultimate resource is the psalm itself.
Can I do this with my small group or for a weekend retreat?
Sure! If you want to launch this course on a shared screen for a group, that is okay with me. If you want each member to have their login, please reach out to me for individual discussion. 
What if I  don't know how to create or paint very well?
I specifically designed these projects for each level of artist. I wanted the focus to be on the psalm so I intentionally did not create especially detailed or highly structured work. A bit of comfort with watercolors will make it easier to jump in to the lesson, but it is not a requirement.
Also, I am including a bonus workshop, "Getting Comfortable with Watercolor: Tips for the New Watercolorist" as a bonus in this course.
What if I don't have a lot of time?
Not a problem. Each lesson is meant to be completed in less than an hour and can be broken into chunks. I'm a stickler about giving you what I think is essential, without fluff. Some lessons are shorter than others.
Melissa AuClair

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