Attending a women’s retreat, one day our speaker invited us to paint a picture while listening to her story. I painted a cross with the Sun rising in the background and a bunch of birds soaring in the skies. My drawing was about freedom. It was the first artwork I’ve done in three decades and I remember how good it felt.
I’ve always been artistic. At age 11 I picked up my first instrument. At school I majored in fine art. My art teacher encouraged me to do something with my talent. I couldn’t see how.
My life’s journey has a lot to do with getting out from underneath a pile of rubbish. The first ten years of my adulthood I basically went undercover. I hid behind the walls of a religious community that dictated every aspect of my life and separated me from family and friends. After 12 years behind walls I was fed up and got out.
Here I was, 35 years old with no professional degree or experience. I didn’t want to be a starving artist. So instead of pursuing the arts I became an administrative assistant and worked myself up to payroll management. That’s as far away from the arts as I could get. In my private life I found happiness when I married the love of my life, but professionally I felt miserable. Three heart surgeries later, I am no longer a payroll manager; I am now a self-employed artist.
Looking back, I can say that major life decisions, especially in my early adulthood, were fear-driven. A fear-driven world is extremely small. It’s a world full of limitations. I don’t believe that anybody wants to live in such a world. We are created for so much more! Our world has a lot more potential when we are connected to the Creator of the universe.
Thanks to God I am where I am today. I know He is the reason for the hope I have. Without Him I’d still be stuck under a pile of rubbish. Inspired by His Spirit, the sky is the limit, and I am free to thrive.
God’s world is so much bigger than ours ever could be … “and I think to myself: What a wonderful world!”