I haven’t been writing a lot lately. The words just aren’t there. I’ve been sort of angry about this silent treatment, but then I remember that these words were never mine anyway. This life isn’t mine anyway.
God’s words to me have been so few, but during this time I have felt His love the most.
Instead of writing I’ve been trying to get back to the heart of who I am. I’ve been exploring so many new avenues and adventures that have helped me build this strong woman that people on the outside see. I am so proud of this strong woman. I love her. I am blessed to be her. But she needs some work on the inside.
God may not have been audibly speaking to me, but he was definitely showing me things in my heart that needed some sorting out. He gave me this quiet time to really look inside myself, to dig into the feelings I’ve let pile up, uncover the truth in hurts I’ve held on to, and to heal wounds I’d been ignoring for a long time.
I started “painting” when I was in high school. I use that word very loosely because I never touched a paint brush. I remember watching the movie The Princess Diaries and Anne Hathaway and her mom were splatter painting. They attached balloons filled with paint to an enormous canvas and then threw darts at the balloons, splattering the paint and letting it run down the canvas. That spoke to my teenage heart and I was hooked. I soon took over the family barn to work on my “painting” (no farm animals were harmed or painted during this endeavor; we sold the sheep and cows years before this).
I can remember coming into the house after finishing a picture, and I would be covered in paint, that’s probably why they wore plastic ponchos in the movie. But I loved it. I loved the mess of colors piling on top of each other and running together to form this intricate picture that I could just get lost in.
Somewhere along the way I lost this freeness and I stopped painting.
During this quiet time when I had no words to write, I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and on a whim I bought several canvasses and some paint. I took them home with the intention to let go of whatever was holding me back from getting back to something that made my heart so happy. I took them home….and then there it all set for a while in my dining room still in the shopping bag. I didn’t know where to start so I walked by it every day and tried to ignore it. I didn’t know how to heal or express my feels and hurts in my heart, and so there they sat, packed neatly in my chest; visible to me everyday, but continually ignored.
And then a friend offered me a partially painted canvas. “You used to paint, can you use this?” God gave me words for this answer, “Yes, I can.”
And then another friend asked to trade me paint and a brush for a beach blanket I was trying to find a home for. God gave me words for this as well, “Yes, let’s trade.”
I knew then that I was supposed to paint something. I now had all the tools, and a command to paint. A command to get into my heart. A command to find that freeness again….with a paintbrush (terrifying). God had given me all of the tools, but I had to make the choice to use them.
Not long after that God gave me an afternoon of nothing to do. My Charlie was at Grandma’s, my house was clean, and my possible excuses not to paint were eliminated.
I started with the partially painted canvas I’d been given, turned on some music, and sat down at my kitchen table with the foreign brush in hand. What happened next was weird….unreal…astounding. I just started painting. Like my hand and the brush just knew what they were supposed to do and all I had to do was pick the colors and watch as the picture emerged.
So I just felt feelings, I sang, I painted (with a brush), and I found that freeness again. This time it wasn’t the same freedom in the mess of colors that I loved to decipher when the picture was finished. No, this freedom was new and so so good. I felt the freedom to feel feelings that had been guarded for so long. I felt, and I painted, and I thought, and I painted, and I felt some more, and I began to heal as a new picture and a new me began to take form.
My first picture with a brush was a picture of feathers.
The next picture was of a human heart.
And the next was the sun setting over a cornfield.
And now that I’ve done some feeling and dealing, I have found the words that were there all along. The words were there that I needed to speak, and feel, but could not find the freeness to do so. I now have words to describe these paintings and what they have meant to me.
I can’t wait to share them with you.