A mighty fortress is our God! There are times in our lives when life throws us a curve ball and we may feel weak or unstable in the midst of the storm. We feel less defined when we go through life’s storms. My Dad passed away not quite two years ago. We knew he was in his final days as he suffered for several years. I was prepared for his leaving this earth and going to be with Jesus. I was not prepared for dealing with the ill actions of others in response to his death.
I was raised by my Granny and Poppy who were very humble, God loving and fearing people. I watched and listened to the way they responded to life’s ups and downs and modeled my response accordingly. Prayer is the first response for me. When I knew Dad had passed I went to The Lord for reassurance and guidance of next steps. I was filled with His perfect peace about Dad and where he was and so thankful that his suffering had come to an end.
Upon arriving at his home we were met with attitudes and such a lack of love that I was knocked stunned. I have never seen and experienced such poor taste and a lack of Christian love in my life. My response was to get quiet before The Lord and speak as little as possible. I knew if I gave into my emotions and flesh I was going to regret it. To say that the devil was on the rampage is calling it light. These people who say they are Christians were filled with satans venom and deceit. All of it about the almighty dollar. I will not digress into details as they are of no consequence to me or my family. The Lord is our judge and knows our heart and will deal with each one of us on our own and according to His Word and timetable. There are consequences to a lack of love and exercising faith and self control and it’s happened since my Dad passed away. Knowing His Word gave me peace and confidence in this season of hell on earth.
Funerals are something that I have always had a distaste for. I think it’s a money making scheme and the people in the business use a time of sorrow to make as much as they can while they can. My Dads funeral solidified that I will not have one. It will be a private affair with true family and friends and no pomp and circumstance. No opportunities for the devil to use people to hurt my loved ones.
I needed time to process the loss of my Father and time to process and forgive the actions and lack of love we experienced. We were met with some family who loved us and expressed their grief appropriately and I’m thankful for them. The ones who satan used are not related to us by blood and for that I am also thankful, as I can shut that door now that Dad is gone. I needed the Holy Spirit to heal my heart, renew my mind, and pour more of me out and fill the void with more of Him. I need Him to define me with the details and shadows of the past so I am able to reflect and be the light of the One who is my Lord.
I had to let go of the old past and the more recent past and accept what He could do out of the mess of what the devil meant for harm. That took some time, energy, and will power to do. I dug deep into His Word for comfort, examples of people who had experience such hatred and lack of love, and looked for the responses that God honored. I had to desire the Lords outcome more than what my flesh was crying out for. I had to face my own evil thoughts and repent of each one.
After this time of heart ache and grief, I can say that I am a stronger person in Christ Jesus. I know I have the One in me to deal with life’s ups and downs. I know better about the authority given to me by Jesus Christ to deal with the enemy while I tread upon the earth. I know better how to wield His sWord and take the blood of the enemy each day. I know that every battle I face makes me that much stronger each day to better deal with and defeat satan at his game. I have come to a place in life where I have risen up in Christ Jesus and put on the full armor of God and engage in the battle against the enemy!
Art Journal Notes:
I used a gel matte medium as adhesive to adhere my scraps of text paper to my art journal page. This caused some issues I had not run into yet. I was shocked as I have seen others use a similar product just different name brand and not have these issues. I pressed on.
I used spray acrylic paint for my back ground. I love how these backgrounds turn out. I let it air dry for the most part but had to use my hair dryer on cool setting to get the larger puddles completely dry before painting on my flower design using gesso. I dried the gesso design and then used fluid acrylics From DecoArt Media line. Love these! The colors are ultra bright and they go on your projects better than melted butter.
As I always have done in the past I use my acrylic sealant on my project and allowed it to air dry overnight. I came back in to do some doodling with my Sharpies and Pitt paint pens the next night. This is when I knew I had a problem. The page did not want to accept even a Sharpie! What is up with that? I was none to happy and yes I considered pitching this page in the trash. I used some masking tape to leave a space for my journaling and sprayed the project with another coat of acrylic sealant and let it dry for yet another night. Frustration set in along with a lot of questions as to why even continue.
My “never give up” attitude and resolve set in. I was determined to work through this no matter what! Yes in the back of my mind was there is always Gesso to cover it up and start over, but I knew I would find a path in the midst of the mess and end up with some good lessons of what not to do on future projects and victories of finding a surface my current tools would work with.
I had to really work to get my Sharpie and paint pens to work using some gesso on the spots that refused to take the pens. I used a dot method and then went back over them after they had dried about 4 times! Talk about some patience. I just put the final touches on it today adding a few shadows and highlights using paint pens. I learned that Gesso is my friend. I will always start each journal page and mixed media project first with a layer of Gesso. It makes using layered mediums easier.
I liken the gesso to the blood of Jesus Christ that covers all sin and makes every valley and mountain top in life more accepting of what this world has to dish out. One cannot have to much Jesus in their life. He doesn’t always remove the struggles and heart aches in life, but He always uses what our enemy meant for our destruction to our good and growth in Him. It is all for His glory! I am nothing without Jesus. I can do no good without Him in the center of my life. My first thought of the day and my last thoughts are centered in Him. He is my mighty fortress that I wake and rest in.
No matter what life brings into my path, I stand in Christ Jesus. By His name and power I am able to do all things according to the will of God. When I can do seemingly nothing in the physical realm, I can stand firm in my faith in Jesus and win victories over the power of the enemy in the spiritual realm.
There is no one like our Lord ! He has already won the victory, we just have to stand firm in child like faith in Him who was given all authority and power on earth. Acting according to the scriptures and in the name and power of Jesus there is nothing that can come against us that will prosper. Knowing and operating with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit along with the gifts and fruit of the Spirt we will overcome all that comes against us and celebrate with true joy the mountain top experiences.
The grass withers and flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever!
We know our time on this earth is short. We know hard times and good times will come and go. We also know that no matter what, as believers in Jesus Christ we stand firm in Him and will see eternity in heaven once this life is over. The promises of God are eternal and in Christ we have the victory now and in eternity.
The finishing touches of the markers and paint pens enhance the overall look of the original idea. While the page is less than perfect and has some scars as reminders of the battle to get it where it is I am reminded of the promise of the eternity of Gods Word for all believers.
The grass withers and flowers fade, the Word of our God stands forever!
Blessing and His Peace,