It seems as if people are choosing single words to focus on for 2015... A version of a new years resolution. Words like "LOVE", "RENEW", or "INTENTION". I didn't plan on it, but it is happening to me. I have felt "stuck" for quite some time now. Stuck in a life I wasn't really living. Feeling a bit like the wizard behind the curtain...not knowing that I didn't want to be found out, and just because I was used to hiding. I'm not sure what I was hiding from, but it might have been my true self. A self that was so lost, she didn't know how to be found.
God continues to work in my life. I've been honest at times, about my battle with depression and anxiety. For so long, my art was a means to please others. And not just my art. I lost joy, I lost passion. I tried to take an oil painting class this fall because I had just one little spark of creativity left in me. However, it was too overwhelming. Each painting had to be "perfect". I couldn't let myself make a mistake. I couldn't find the joy in it that I used to. How did I get to this place? I found this quote,and it may be the root of some of my troubles...
"Perfectionism is self abuse of the highest order". ~Anne Wilson Shaef
I think I have battled this for years. Overwhelmed with all the things I think I "should be or should do or should have". Like a perfectly kept home, (and perfectly kept kids)! Being a perfect mother and church leader. Becoming overwhelmed with a life that was not my own. Unable to keep up in a fast paced world, but trying my hardest to do so. Doing, Doing, and Doing, instead of just Being. Being the true me, the one God knows I am. Letting go of what I don't love, and finding what I do.
I started to search for joy. And on that path, a hope of discovering my inner artist. Finding what makes my soul sing. God is leading me on that path. He brought me to art therapy. At times I have had some powerful images come out of me. Especially in moments when He showed me truths in the scriptures. I was so filled with joy. I didn't know if I would ever share them since they are so personal, but I will because now I believe we are on this earth to help each other. And, just maybe, that someone out there will find this post that might need to hear something I have to say.
Joyfully free! Free from the chains that bind us, and filled with warmth and light!
Truthfully, before that joyful pastel, came this one days before when I felt "stuck" in depression.
A girl, stuck under a cloud, spiraling downward in a whirlwind while each drop of rain around her represented all the things she felt she must "DO". A very overwhelming place to be. In anger she made those rain marks.
I don't always know what everything means, but God teaches me when I need to know.
There is a world out there, not visible with earthly eyes. A world that only God can show us when we put our trust and dependence on Him, and have the courage to let our Savior show us the way. He can uncover our spiritual eyes. I am on the beginning of this journey. A word He is inviting me now to focus on is WONDER. He put me in a position to be a long term substitute at a preschool so I could remember how a child sees the world. There is a divine reason for everything that happens to us.
Then, He posted that word in so many different places and contexts in my world for me to see. If I wasn't open and looking for it, and His direction, I wouldn't have noticed the post it notes. The truth is, if we are open, He will show us. Each one of us, many things. I know I miss a lot, but I am grateful for what I have seen, and how He is nurturing me. It is good to ponder.
I feel like Lucy. Going through the wardrobe. I am slowly beginning to see the life He has to offer me. It will take time, and patience. It is in His time. I turn to Him more. I look to His guidance. I hope. I watch. As a new world slowly unfolds. I am a child. He is my loving Father. It may not be without bumps and bruises. I am not perfect, and that is ok. It will be hard to learn, and not always easy to let go of old ways and turn to Him.
I wonder at the many miracles that Jesus performed. Turning water to wine, multiplying loaves and fishes, and so many physical, mental, and spiritual healings. Jesus gave Peter the power to perform miracles when Jesus left the earth. It is still under His divine guidance and direction. Peter looked into a lame man's eyes as the man waited outside the temple to ask for alms, just as he had every day. People had to carry him to the temple. Peter asked the man to look into his eyes. He proclaimed that he had no gold nor silver, but then with the power given him from Jesus, he lifted the man by the right hand, and his ankles and feet gained strength and he walked for the first time. (Acts Chapter 3). The wonder is not just in that miracle, but that we have bones and skin and nerves to even walk to begin with. (Howard W. Hunter)
The man was so joyful as he ran! I wonder how he felt days later when he sat with his family and pondered on what had miraculously happened to him?
Are there things in your life, that you could let go of, and things that you could let yourself wonder?
This year, with God's guidance, I will start my journey with WONDER.