In 2007 the Lord started opening our eyes.
It was a long slow process but as we came home on furlough we started to see our home church and certain supporting churches with different eyes. Or rather we started to hear the messages with fresh ears and comparing them to scripture and finding that so much was taken out of context that the messages were more opinion and very little biblical doctrine. We started praying about how to disconnect and it wasn’t until 2009 that we did finally disconnect. There was a change in leadership and it became more plain that it was time to make a more drastic change.
Disconnecting was an emotionally painful process because we loved our home church congregation, we loved the new pastor but could not abide with his decisions that were based on opinion and not scripture. Disconnecting could only be done by leaving the mission field. God’s hand was in it as the national pastor, who had been pastoring the church while we were on furlough, was ready to step into position and lead the church.
In February 2009, before moving to the states, I had a counselor friend ask me about my art and why I had stopped creating. As I answered him he said he wanted to cry. It was heartbreaking to him to think about the loss of all that I could have done with my art to glorify the Lord in the last 18 years. How much the world missed out on…
That really got my attention. It made me stop and think and to begin to consider what place art might have in my life again.
We moved stateside and my husband took a pastorate at a church that turned out to be extremely dysfunctional. Around the same time, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. Extreme amounts of stress had taken its toll on me. But our being at that ‘dysfunctional church’ is how the Lord brought me the help I needed. So though it was hard to be a pastor’s wife in that situation, God meant it for good.
In March of 2010, another counselor who has become a very dear friend asked me the same question and suggested I get my sketch book out and start creating again.
The sketchbook came out along with the pencils and a move to another faith community, one that breathed life back into our family instead of sucking the life out of us. Our new church also helped to heal deep wounds and still continues to do so even now.
Around this time I had “met,” through blogging, several ladies that influenced me to get back to art. I wrote a post about them and how their posts had influenced me to actually go out and buy and stretch some watercolor paper in 2011. The paper sat stretched behind a door for a long time.
I even wrote a blog post about it for (in)courage. Part of that post ended up in a published book. (But you can read about that in my sidebar on the right. If you click on the photos it will take you to the posts that discuss that part of the journey.)
I applied paint to paper and faced my fear.
For one painting.
That was back in 2012.
I set the brush down and didn’t pick it back up until this past May.
Though I was not using a brush I was creating art in colored pencils, but longed to have the nerve to pick up the brush again and squeeze brilliant colors out of tubes and onto a palette.
In the last three years, the Lord has brought several books, encouraging people, bible studies, and sermons across my way to lead me back to the brush and pigment.
But those are stories for another day.
Is there a box you need to step out of? Share about it in the comments below.
Do you have a creative streak that you have been keeping under wraps? Is it time to let it loose and create again? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Don’t miss out on the rest of the story! Put your email in the subscription box at the top of the right side bar and the latest from Hiking Toward Home will be slipped into your email so you don’t miss a post.
If you have missed the beginning of this story you can read it by clicking the links below: