My soul is at rest - for the moment. My heart is content - for the moment.
But it's a constant struggle to stay that way. I continue to reread the verses below, and cling to Hope - not hope in being healed or in everyting getting fixed, but Hope in God - my source of strength and endurance.
Many, many years ago, I read a wonderful book by Larry Crabb titled "Finding God". It's a great book with a challenging message - "Do you really believe that God is good?"
I've been challenged - ever since reading that book - to recognize God's goodness. But of course, during the hard times it can be difficult.
I've noticed though, that people in difficult times, are still able to say "God is good", but the disconcerting thing to me is that it is always a phrase that is used when something happened that we wanted to happen - a surprise, a positive change, an unexpected gift... these things are what lead us to say "God is good".
Back then, I thought that people should be able to say that God is good - even when life stinks. I wondered if I would ever be able to do such a thing.
Well, yesterday, in the midst physical pain and fatigue, in the midst of lonliness and loss, I heard myself say - "God is so good". I actually shocked myself. Nothing good had happened - no new answers - I wasn't feeling better - I hadn't won any prizes... The only thing that had happened was that I had read God's words in the Psalms of David. And my mouth uttered the words "God is good".
Wow! Something I had always hoped about myself, was shown to be true. I CAN praise God when things STINK! I DO believe God is good - no matter what circumstances I find myself in. I greatly rejoice in learning this about myself! And I wanted to share it, in case it encourages others to believe in His goodness - even in the midst of their own dark valley's!
I also want to share something else about my life. I said above that I am lonely. That is only at certain moments. One great thing God has done for me through this illness, is to provide me with new friends. Though I've been removed from the normal society of church and dance studio friends - he's provided me with awsome online friends.
Art has become a big part of my "sitting down" life, and on eBay I have found a place to chat and spend time with other artists. I just posted this on my art blog, but I'd like to share it here too!
I've long admired Amy's art! She and I are both Washingtonians and we belong to several eBay art groups together. So when the chance came along for me to do a collaboration with her, I, timidly, accepted.
What fun it has been!
First, we each began an ACEO (2.5"x3.5") on hot press Artistico watercolor paper. We both use watercolor and ink in our work as well as watercolor pencils and occaisional other media.
Then, we mailed the half finished ACEO to the other one, and we completed each other's ACEO's!
Starting one wasn't as scary as receiving one! I thought a lot about the animals and style that Amy loves to do and so I began with, what I hoped, would be the perfect springboard for her creativity.
Here's what I sent to her:
Here is what Amy sent to me:
It sat a few days while my mind whirled with a few ideas. I kept looking at those two cats... they seemed to say to me "What?????" with quite an attitude. I thought about what it was they might be doing - one on top of the other. Suddenly, the completed painting came into my head. A fish tree... they were attempting to pick the fish and got caught!
Here's the finished ACEO:
It's up for auction on eBay - you can click here to go to my auctions.
Amy has put her completed ACEO up for action too! Here's the completion of the half I sent her:
"Tree of Life"
Click Here to go to Amy's auction! A link to her blog is on my art blog if you are interested in more of her art!
Thanks Amy - this was a lot of fun!