How many times over the last several months have you almost succumbed to the dreadful pull of the thoughts that creep in, the ones filled with dread, with fear?
I use a phrase for this, I call them my "cliff moments". A description that came from a verse in the Psalms, "But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped." Psalm 73:2 ESV . This Psalm is about following after things because of envy or simply errant chasing of a different life, one that seems better. The Psalm concludes with another favorite expression, "it is good to be near God." (vs.28)
For me, it is listening to the voices that say give up or what does it matter. Last week, I commented on a post from a well-known writer and speaker. She polled the FB group as to whether she should write a book about being prepared for battles. There were numerous comments. Some wrote that maybe we are tired of books about being strong and fighting, maybe what we need is comfort. Others added that the message would be beneficial, especially if we all learned to do battle with the weapons of God's Spirit within us. I added an honest comment for this group of strangers. I wrote that it is my thoughts long ingrained from trauma that wage war against my faith, my abilities, my peace. Thoughts are my battle.
My comment resonated. Close to 75 other women agreed. 40 or so commented. It caused me to see that many of us walk around carrying secret sorrows we'd do well to share with each other. More importantly, we will change when we continue believing in the redemption we've been given, the sanctification that has begun. We can give ourselves credit for progress and keep moving steadily, prayerfully, and peacefully towards healing. This is my hope for the women I don't know who agreed with me. This is my hope for those who are reading this and secretly need it too.
Months ago, I wrote about continuing in the work God brings and so, here's the happy part of this letter from me...the updates and the links!
I now have an Etsy Shop! I nearly drove myself crazy believing I had to have a website. I changed my mind and with finger-snap ease, I am on Etsy. You can shop here or message about a piece you'd like another version of or a print.
Just search Etsy for LisaAnneTindal
I'm still writing on my blog, not as scheduled as I should be and I'm afraid not as actively building a platform as I used to be. The numbers game makes writing more about numbers than my truth. So writing for the sake of writing seems to be the thing that sustains my peace. Peace is what I'm seeking now.
But, about the numbers thing...I need more followers to help get the book, "Look at The Birds" into the hands of as many as possible. This story, I am certain came from God. When I wrote it, we all needed it. The pandemic had barely started and I wanted to help children know their value in the eyes of Jesus. I still do and I believe the message is still needed. I am moving the content from the Instagram page I created for this book to my artist page. I have more followers there and since the book contains my art, it makes sense.
How can you help? Follow lisa_anneart on Instagram. Let me know if you'd be interested in helping to launch the book by replying to this email. I'm brand new at this and so I'm learning as I go. To help launch the book you will essentially talk about it, share on your social media, if you like it, find it valuable, tell others to buy it. To be able to do this, you'll get a pre-release PDF of the book and once the book is printed, I'll send you a copy. Ya'll, its almost here. The only thing pending is the cover and the printing. I am pinching myself and I feel humble and at the same time, very brave.
So many people are struggling. If you've lost someone you love, I am sorry. I cannot imagine how hard it must be. If you're feeling hopeless because of your circumstances or by the barrage of suffering all around us, I can only offer what I am learning,
Yesterday, in the cold rain I had been dodging place to place with errands, I saw a young woman. The busiest intersection in town. If you're local, it was Whiskey and Pine Log. From a distance, I saw a figure. Her face was ash grey, her body cloaked in all black and she was so very thin, it was as if she'd draped a curtain over her shoulders. She stood on the sidewalk, then darted from the parking lot of Wendy's and then stood in the lane for turning and then carelessly crossed to the other side.
I wanted to know her story. I longed to know she would change the behaviors that led to her graven appearance. My eyes welled up. I thought, that could've been you Lisa. I prayed for her, I prayed that somehow someone in her life would help her be safe, get better, not be starved for whatever had her body so emaciated.
I've always been a noticer of people. I know redemption is possible.
So, what's your story? What mental battle and/or physical battle are you weary from enduing? What's your mountain?
I won't win this battle with the strength in my own hands
You're the mountain-mover and only You can
I won't build my life on sinking sand
You're my hope forever, the rock where I stand…"Confident" Bethel
Finally, I have art for you if you'd like. A favorite verse, a mainstay for me is Luke 8:48. It reminds me to go in peace, I have been healed.
If you'd like a small print of this drawing, just reply and I'll send right away.
Thanks for encouraging me to be creative. Praying for you as we move through these days.
Continue and believe. You are healed.