There's a Psalm in the Bible that speaks of God "being our refuge & strength." While I am at a crossroads with my faith (more on this in another post) I'd like to believe that God is our refuge & strength by actually giving us things that bring peace & provide a shelter from the chaos & realities of life...or our minds.
I spent some time in the hospital last week. The psych ward. After being hypo manic for nearly 4-5 weeks I started to crash into depression close to 3 weeks ago and wound up having suicidal ideation & thoughts...I'll talk more about this experience later but for now, I'll just get to the intent of what I want to share with you today.
What I've learned since I started painting at the beginning of the year is that painting is my refuge and fills me with a strength I've yet to experience otherwise. Yes, at times I've found myself leaning on God & my faith to pull me through the rough seasons of my life....
BUT-through this season, this time of grappling with my illness and striving for longer periods of stability, I've come to realize that painting, brushing strokes of color across a canvas brings me a calm & peace unlike any other. When I paint, the thoughts that yell & clamor for my attention quiet down and go back sullenly to their dark corners. I choose colors & sweep them across the canvas without a single thought.
Silence. Peace. Light. Wholeness. Myself. I feel the most like myself when I paint. I paint and afterward can go and laugh with my kids, deal with the frustrations & joys of life...and the crippling pain of a mind that at times seems to want nothing more to bring about my demise & the destruction of my family.
The Bible says God is a restorer. I like to think that He's placed this, this whatever it is in my life to do just that-restore. Restore parts of me that I forget are still there. The parts that still exist among the scattered puzzle pieces that are my brain & body chemistry.
I've painted quite a bit the last few days, finding solitude & comfort after a painful & desperate couple of weeks where I clutched sanity & life with as much strength I could muster. For myself. For my boys.
Well here's a look at what I've been working on...
What do you find comfort & strength in? What restores you?