Life has a funny way of folding out, kind of as if not all pieces can lie flat and smooth at one time–something always seems to keep it crinkled.
It’s a funny thing how high you can get doing something you love, and then just how low it’ll bring you back down in remembrance of things lost. Most days now are spent on the couch staring at the tv, with the blinds turned only a half inch to the right, more shade than light. A lot of the people I follow on social media have lives like mine, because maybe then the isolation won’t seem so bad…as if the pain doesn’t make it impossible on its own.
I never knew my life would fall to pieces so quickly, and especially in such a season of joy, around everyone and everything that I loved. I lost almost each piece of that joy, and four years later I’m still screaming for what I don’t have anymore; for every piece that I lost, every piece that I have is so touched by that loss. I feel for every person who deals with such losses, and on top of that, feels kicked to the ground again–so much hurt of one kind being kicked down by another. And whether it’s my health, my father, my friends, my worth…it’s a real fight to seek and grasp Him in it all.
Because within the blatant lies and the trembling cries, one thing I know for sure: the truth I have buried in my heart and no one can steal that. But for them to believe it…however that’s a much larger bet, because not many want to believe there is darkness right beneath their nose, especially when the painted pretty picture is so much more attractive.
And we’re all just that…paintings. Different in each person’s eye, all of our colors hung up to display a picture of life to those watching. And if you look close enough you’ll see different shades and tints of each, but every painting has some black mixed in there one way or the other. But sometimes it feels like merely that–our lives are made up of bits and pieces of different colors with no meaning, no end goal, no purpose…with a little bit more gray painted in while others get a little more color. A thousand colors slopped together to make one giant art piece…a masterpiece…as He says.
And I wonder, with all the darkness surrounding, will my finished painting have one giant blob of black in the middle? Or maybe even every inch of the board have a gray tint added to the once bright colors? How do the trials that carry on throughout our entire lives appear? Could it be that our once black and blue splotches have now mixed with the intermittent splashes of red to make up an entirely new color altogether?
Does He notice each individual spot of color in relation to our story, just as He notices each one of us in relation to His great design of life?
And still I wonder…do we get any say over the colors that paint our life stories? That maybe, in the middle of the darkest black years, we can decide to create some bright yellow joy? We can try to cultivate more light blue moments of peace even amidst the stormy grays?
We don’t remain aimless in our lives. While we have no control over what happens to us, we have a great deal of control over how it shapes us. Some of the brightest days might be the ones you’ve experienced without your darkness, but only because you’ve experienced the darkness. Or maybe you’ve seen the brightest lights appear within the darkest nights, because you couldn’t help but notice Him.
And this is the truth in each dark spot: the light inside us burns brighter than the darkness around us. Maybe as our story plays out, others will see just that? That we can live in a world of darkness and yet it pales in comparison to our brightness. His brightness.
Perhaps if we sought to see our story as beautiful from the start we would even see each dark paint as simply a color that gave our creation more depth. And each black spot as something to better reveal the vibrancy of the bright colors.
And in each season where it feels as though one dark color governs time, then He says it again, ever so softly, you are worth so much more than this, and it takes everything inside to believe it. But I’ll see it later, I know, once the whole picture is put together, and the paint dries.
He was with me from the start.
He never left the Artist’s chair.