The Light in My Darkness

It has been almost two months since my last post. As to why, well, the answer can be quite complicated and too personal to want to talk about. I’ve been struggling with life, mostly, which means I am also struggling with my art. Or rather, I find when I loose interest in life, then I also loose interest in my art.

There is one thing which has remained consistent since I added another element to my journey a few months ago. That element is reading the bible every day. I don’t know why NOW is any different from the times I tried to do this in my past.  I only know that it is. If I miss a single day in reading the bible, I feel compelled to read twice as much the next day. The hunger inside of me to read and learn what the bible has to teach me is strong. It keeps me going. Though I have felt lost these past few months in my life, the one thing which has kept me from loosing myself completely is my daily reading.

I have heard other artists say that art has saved them or helped them through some tough times. I wanted this to be the case for me but it wasn’t. I believe we all have something which can help us and we each have to find what that one thing is. I’m learning, mine is feeding the hunger I feel in my soul to get to know God through my reading of the bible.

I pulled out a bible I bought some time ago. It is called “Inspire, The Bible for Creative Journaling”. I bought some clear gesso and started prepping the pages so I could use markers for making annotations in the wide borders or coloring in the artwork that was already in the wide margins. If I don’t do this then the markers bleed through the page to the other side and I’m finding I don’t like using colored pencil as much as I thought I would. It is too slow for me to keep up with my reading. Also, some ink pens will also bleed through the pages so the clear gesso prevents that.

On two of the pages, I discovered parts of scripture which has come to mean a lot to me these past couple of weeks. I decided to create a couple loose art journal pages so I could display them as reminders. Below are the two pages I created.

IMG_1509

This first one comes from 2 Chronicles 20:12 but is a shortened version and I changed it to have a more personal meaning for myself, which is why I didn’t reference the verse of the bible on the page. It has become a daily prayer of mine when I’m feeling particularly lost.

IMG_1505

This one, I did reference the bible verse. Though it isn’t the whole verse the words are verbatim and part of the verse. This one gives me hope that my prayer is being heard.

It may seem odd that I came across the verses in the order they are presented here since I’m reading the bible from front to back and not skipping around. Not even to read any versus that are referenced in my study bible.

How I discovered these verses is like this…

I was feeling rather tired and went to put my bible on the table but instead it fell on the floor. My first thought was, “I wonder what it opened up to.” This is what I saw:
IMG_1510I immediately knew I needed to make this my daily prayer when I’m feeling lost and in the need of help.

I don’t remember if it was the same day or the next day or the day after. All I know, was within a day or two, I came across the second verse when I was flipping through the pages getting ready to prep them when I saw this:

IMG_1511

I knew I wanted to put these two versus on display in my house so I would be reminded every single day to not loose faith.

Things happen in the way they do, for a reason. I believe I was shown these two verses in the order they were given to me, to help me regain my faith.

I had both of the verses in mind when I started working on the first page. On the day when I put the finishing touches on the first page, I was given an answer I was looking for. I created the second page soon after and finished it tonight.

I have a lot of hard work ahead of me in order to follow up on the answer I was given. My artwork will continue to be a part of my life and always will be. There might be times when it seems like it has taken a backseat but hopefully if I do my work, and keep my faith. All will become clear.

After adding the text to my second page, I was given another answer I had not really known I was looking for. I knew art would always be a part of my life but as time continued, it was beginning to look more and more like my time was going to be pulled away from art. I wondered if it would slowly disappear from my life completely. Then, just as I was almost completed with the second page, I received my second answer.

I had been doing the steps for Let’s Face It 2019 and Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019 to try and win a spot in their giveaways. I started doing this last year when I realized my income might not make it possible for me to purchase both the courses and art supplies. If I could win the courses then I should be able to purchase the art supplies.

Let’s Face It was easy to get the information for each of the artists to enter the giveaways. However, Paint Your Heart and Soul was rather frustrating. There were some I couldn’t find any postings for at all. The dates in the post containing the list of artists indicated it was the date for the giveaway. There were links to the artist’s social media pages but a couple had issues with the links, others had no posts for the course or any instructions for the giveaway and there was no way to tell when the artists would post for the giveaway. Some artists posted well before the date of their giveaway and others, well, some I never found and I reached the point of just giving up and be satisfied with just the ones I had entered.

Then one morning (20 Sept) I was checking Facebook. I discovered a friend request from Sabra Awlad Issa.  I didn’t realize immediately that she was one of the artists only that she was friends with other artists, so I accepted her. That was when I discovered, I won a spot in “Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019”!

Sometimes signs/messages/answers come to us in ways that we may miss them or barely even notice them and we barely acknowledge them and most often forget about them. Then there are times when they come to us like a bolt of lightning or a two-by-four over the head or just so blatantly obvious we can’t ignore what we are being told. This is how I feel about winning the spot in “Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019”.

I hadn’t realized I was looking for a second answer regarding my art. I have always been creative and though I had doubts about how much time I would have to devote to my artwork, I didn’t doubt I would continue. This, however, was a sign to tell me it will continue to be a major part of my life.

Between the two answers I received, I understand the message being given to me. Work hard to get what I want. Stop doubting my abilities. But most of all be strong in my faith.

These past few years, I have felt like I was being buried alive. I have felt like I have no future and my existence on this earth has no meaning. I’m still not sure about the last part but at least I don’t feel like I’m being buried alive anymore. I have my work cut out for me. There might be gaps in posting because I have new priorities which I must not let slide. I might just post a piece of art once in a while but I can’t promise that because I love writing too and I feel like I need to write too if I post any art. Only time will tell what I’m inspired to do.

I am so thankful to God for all that He has done for me, especially this past week. I was so deep in my own darkness there was no light at all. But now…. now there is light and I’m hopeful but most of all I have faith and a direction to head towards.

❤ ❤ ❤

~Patti