Grace in the Not So Comfort Zone

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The restaurant was packed with people. As the waiter ushered us toward our table in the middle, with strangers in front of me, on the side and basically every corner, my heart did a nervous dance.

Am I really going to paint in the midst of all these people?! Can I just do the demo at home instead of doing it in public?

Husband encouraged me that whatever I will be doing, people wouldn’t mind. The voices in my head never stop whispering fear (and even shame) once I started to step out of my comfort zone. I realize that I didn’t have a choice but to surrender my fear to the Lord and know that He will give me the grace to do what He wants me to accomplish. With the camera rolling and materials ready, I began with the first stroke. I could feel the stares of people, the waiters rushing back and forth and my heart hammering. After awhile, everything around me began to dim. I painted for a good 30 minutes. All is well.

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Harmony Thoughts

Painting demo in a restaurant

I was able to finish one painting demo for the third upcoming online class. I thought it was a ridiculous move because I will never have done something like this in my life–painting my life in public–yes, but not in the midst of people watching my every move. But we were able to begin and finish by God’s grace. One stranger approached our table to take a photo while I was still painting. Curious kids tried their best not to come too close. The kind waitress was concerned about our cold untouched food.  Nelson Mandela said: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

My students from Sketch Your Life class has been a source of inspiration too. They shared about their fear of sketching in pen and sketching in public, but they still tried and took that first step. They got braver as they kept going and enjoyed the process. Here is the latest student gallery from Sketch Your Life 1 and 2. :)


I am an introvert and I have a bit of a social anxiety, but by His grace, I was able to do things and approach others (even strangers) to pray for them, greet good morning, share the good news (my faith), teach art, talk to parents, be filmed on location, sketch in public… This year has been full of that. Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”  Thank you Jesus for a wonderful 2016 in You. Your grace is sufficient in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

A grace-filled Christmas and New Year to you and your loved ones.

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Sketch Your Life Wherever You Are!

A free ebook that helps you create expressive sketches of your life in pen and watercolor.

2 Responses

  1. Carolyn

    What an inspiring read. Thank you so much for sharing your accomplishment with us. Your class was what really encouraged me to step out of MY comfort zone. Draw with pen? Surely you were joking. Now, it is my preferred drawing tool. Yes, God guides us in many ways. Wishing you the best of everything in 2017. I do hope your lunch didn’t get too cold…

  2. Elisa Choi Ang

    Thank you so much Carolyn. Your comment inspires me! God is so amazing. I pray for his grace to strengthen you to live for his glory in the year ahead. Blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones! PS* My lunch was cold but it was still delicious!

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