The good, the bad, and the beautiful – Life is a package.
It is why I haven’t been online much the past few weeks.
A good thing is our son unexpectedly came home for five days last week. It was a sweet time of being together as a family, of reconciliation, of love, and just plain fun. It’s not often I get to be with our three grown children at the same time.
Mid-January I focused intensely on a project started in 2014. I felt the Spirit’s prompting and power as I got up to work in the wee hours of the morning. Then, just as I was finishing, my computer crashed. It had been randomly shutting down for the past week, so I had some warning. That day it crashed for good and I took it in for repair. In order to recover my data, they also needed my back up drive. No computer, no back up, no data from the past four years. If you are on the computer as much as I am, you know what this means. I felt very vulnerable. This was an incredible opportunity for me to surrender and trust God on a new level. What a journey of faith.
Also, during this time, my dear aunt went in for emergency brain cancer surgery. The tragically unexplainable was added to the unexpected. I find myself praying in the night, contending for healing, seeking God in deep ways, and daring to embrace the mystery I may never understand.
The past six months have been more tumultuous than usual. During the summer, I decided I needed to process (aka do some art) without any planning, deadline, or expectation of success. There was this 30″x40” canvas in my closet, so I got it out and started painting without any idea in mind, using any colors I wanted. A certain verse came to mind reflecting the meaning of the season: Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it. – Psalm 127:1
Because I had no agenda for this painting, I didn’t feel the need to build anything, but rather needed a break from “building.” As I painted with abandon, a sense of freedom (my word for 2017) rose up within me. I asked Holy Spirit to encourage and comfort me through the process. The partially painted canvas had been hanging around the studio for the past six months. I’d work on it now and then, mostly when I was either feeling really good or bad. A few days ago, while with my daughter and her little baby in the studio, I started painting on it again, casually as we talked, being totally fine if I ruined it. As we left, I looked at it and thought, “Wow, it might be done. One little thing and I think it is.” Unexpected. The next day, I hung it up over the fireplace and the personal meaning jumped out at me. It looks like creation when the Spirit of the Lord hovers over the water, vibrating, creating. This painting tells me even when I don’t see it, don’t plan it, and don’t work for it, God is at work creating, making beautiful through the Spirit.