Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
One of my dreams was to be an artist. Creating artwork came to me late in life. I was one of the ones who said they couldn't draw a stick figure. Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain changed that. I was able to become quite proficient at drawing and enjoyed it immensely.
I put that love on hold as I went back to school for a profession that would give me a "day job." There was time enough for art after my career was established and I had the time and the money. I had life all planned out.
Depression swallowed that plan as my career came to an abrupt halt with the gradual onset of my challenges and a debilitating car accident. I did think about picking up drawing and painting again, but the simple act of cleaning up and putting away materials was too much for me.
I wondered why God had seemingly given me that gift and then taken it away. It didn't make sense. Was it because I hadn't used my gift? It was easy to view my challenges as some sort of punishment for something I'd done wrong.
It took a lot to budge me off of that spot.
I began putting God first. I re-ordered my thinking. I let go of the expectations I had for what I can and cannot do. I put everything back into God's hand. Simply put - I let go and let God be God.
Through a series of coincidences, (I call them "God Things") I learned about a new type of art media. Something called PanPastel. No mess. Little clean up. And beautiful colors.
My family went in on a combined birthday/Christmas gift and got me a set. I neglected them for a long time. It was too late for me.
Then I saw an online demo of them and my love of art was rekindled. It hasn't been easy.
Large paintings were too challenging. I learned about tiny artwork called Artist Trading Cards - 2.5" by 3.5" works of art that are quite doable for me. I work through pain and tiredness - but it has been worth it.
Now I have all the time I could ask for to learn to use them. I can at long last see a dream coming true. I jokingly say that I have found out what I want to be when I grow up.
My point in this rather rambling story?
At the time I wanted to go into art - PanPastels hadn't been invented yet. I had four kids. I didn't have the time. So many things didn't work then that work now. Artist Trading Cards didn't exist.
I sometimes feel this new endeavor simply dropped into my lap. Deep inside I know better.
I used to look back at my desire to be an artist and think to myself, "God said, 'No." Now, I look back and realize that God was saying, "Not yet."
It's all in the timing.
I had to wait. Bad things happened. I couldn't foresee anything good. I wasn't trusting God to keep his promises.
But he did.
Putting God first was key. And, I had to stay open to the possibilities. I had to do what I could do. Sometimes that was just being online and looking at webpages of things I liked to do - something that seemed rather pointless at the time.
Yet, God DID grant me the desires of my heart.
He DID allow me to see goodness in the land of the living. I've met amazing people in my art-making journey. I feel joy again - something I never, ever thought I would feel after my daughter's death.
I look out my window now - and in spite of everything - and maybe because of it ... I see beauty.
I see the hand of God.
The timing just had to be right.
Father God, I am continually amazed by the ways you work in our lives. I pray for each reader who is discouraged and depressed this day. Grant them to see that they are not leading wasted lives and that these lives, handed over to Him can bring unexpected joy from the most unlikely places. Encourage them in Your word, Lord. Grant them the desires of their heart as they come to delight in You. Help them to see Your goodness, even if at this moment all they see is darkness. Amen and amen.
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