Thursday, March 12, 2015

"To Be Set Free" - A WIP (Work in Progress) in Colored Pencil Over Graphite

This originally was a graphite drawing I started in college, but I saw my friends black and white colored pencil drawing and immediately fell in love with the way it made everything look like a photo, and so I set to work right away on re-drawing it right over the original with colored pencils. Right here it's in both phases, so you can see the hair is graphite, as well as from her shoulder and collar bone and down, and the rest is colored pencil, just of white and black, though I'm adding grey in later as well. It's got a long way to go before it's even close to being finished. Definitely a Work in Progress at this point. By the way, the blackish brown lines around the outside are just my couch. Not part of the picture. Just really wanted to get this posted because I miss blogging sooo much!
God has been working on my heart in ways that you wouldn't even be able to believe or imagine. He's brought some absolutely amazing women of faith my way that have been such needed encouragers of the faith and speakers of God's truth through LOVE  that they have taken this wretched woman in me who has been engulfed in bitterness and anger over losing soooo much in my life - nearly everything I hold dear - and I mean it - when my illnesses hit, it was like our lives stopped dead in their tracks - both Tyler and I are still reeling from the suddenness and severity of how intensely we lost nearly everything we held dear to this absolutely mind boggling constant and excruciating pain. I know I've said it before, but my pain is literally so insanely bad that nearly every specialist I've seen - like my Dr. at the pain clinic, my rheumatologist AND Sleep Study Therapists have ALL said is off the charts it's so bad - that I have pain so severe they've never seen anyone with it worse than me for what I have, and that it literally doesn't get any worse than what I have. And to add insult to injury, the sorrow on their faces as they empathize with us over our age and the fact that we have two little babes at home is just heartbreaking. They all tell us how sorry they are for us - it's been crazy to finally be validated, and yet heartbreaking in it's own right because not only am I the worst they've ever seen, but usually you start out really bad and get better each year but for me it's not been the case. It's gotten worse and worse each and every year - it's just crazy town. But God gave me this burden to bear, and I am convinced wholehearted that He is going to do AMAZING things out of it!!!

Detail of her mouth, chin and some fly away hairs - still working on it - needs it's highlights for sure on those lips and a lot more blending to make it smooth. Loving to work on this again. God is sooo good!

And what's even better is that God is now speaking hope into my life again. Showing me that joy and praise, not bitterness and anger, are the way to a happy, positive and God-filled life, even if it's a life lived on the sofa just about 24/7. And yes, that means it's my lonely little bed if you're wondering... Anyways, God is teaching me that to let go of all the pain of the past AND present, of all the hurt I have over abandonment by friends, or loneliness, or any other host of issues. But to hold on to the pain is to give Satan a foothold over my life, and I just WILL NOT HAVE THAT ANYMORE!!! I RENOUNCE HIM FROM MY LIFE, AND I CHOSE THE LIFE OF REPENTANCE FOR ALL MY OWN SINS, FOR THE UNFORGIVENESS IN MY OWN HEART, THE BITTERNESS, THE ANGER, THE DARK PLACES I GO TO WHEN I FEEL SO MUCH PAIN THAT I JUST WANT TO BE REUNITED WITH MY KING! I CHOOSE JESUS, AND FORGIVENESS, AND LOVE, JOY, AND HAPPINESS. To try to be a peacekeeper instead of stirring up drama, to try to love others and realize that when they sin or hurt me they do it out of their own brokenness, and I'm no different. I want to be FREE and POSITIVE and full of HOPE again, SO THAT I CAN SERVE God in MIGHTY, MIGHTY WAYS,  AND BRING HIM AS MUCH GLORY AS I CAN - TO BE A CONQUERER FOR HIM, because I LOVE Him sooo, soooo very much.

What I found very odd about all this, is that when I started making these choices in my life and asking for forgiveness, forgiving others, uprooting these ugly roots of bitterness that so deeply entangle me, well, I started getting passionate about my art again. And I mean VERY passionate about it. I've been drawing again, with a Godsend of a friend who met because I saw one of her gorgeous drawings and immediately had to introduce myself, we immediately hit it off right away, and now she comes over just about every week to draw together. And now I have the blessing of being able to try to paint again as well because of another one of my Godsend friends who was sooo sweet that she sat down in Hobby Lobby for like who knows how long and literally sat with EVERY lap easel in her lap to find the lightest one for me for my birthday knowing that I can't paint because of my pain, and so she knew that if the easel was light enough, I could do so (isn't that such great love?) that I might be able to paint again - I am soooo truly blessed!!!

In fact, we're hoping to start up a little group of artists who can come and pray and read the bible and do art together we're sooo inspired by all this. God is soooo good!!! And what I've noticed so fully and truly is that in order to truly get rid of all the filth inside - the anger and bitterness and unforgiveness - is to fully fill our minds with praise and all that is pure and lovely. As the Bible says:

 Philippians 4:1-9
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

So basically, I've learned that I have to get my heart right by forgiving those who hurt me, by becoming a peacekeeper rather than someone who tries to constantly fight or be "the one who's always right all the time" and by giving up this spirit of arrogance and rebellion that I've had for FAR too long - something that at times I'd confuse with confidence and pride and get all mixed up until I was all twisted up inside. But by coming to God DAILY first with a heart of praise, thanking Him for all that IS good in my life, praising Him for His Glorious creation - one that is soooo breatakingly beautiful and that I have the privelage to try to re-create WITH Him as I do my art and spend time with Him in worship. There is almost nothing more that I love to do than to sit alone with God and paint with Him by my side, or draw with Him out in nature, marveling at all the glorious beauty that he has created! My, what a Majestic and Artist and Gifted God do we serve!!! <3 The more you sing praises to Our King, the more that peace and tranquility creeps into your heart and soul, as the light, the GLORIOUS LIGHT pushes out the darkness because where there is LIGHT no darkness can reign. Halleluiah! I am so on FIRE for our King, let that fire NEVER falter, let it never grow dim or burn out, but Lord, let it grow and grow until it is all that people see when they see me - You and Your light in me. AMEN to that, right?!

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