There’s something to be said for pursuit. I remember the director training days of my Mary Kay Cosmetics career when a motivational speaker inspired us “to look for others like ourselves” ….strong personalities with passion for what we did…passion for helping others look and feel beautiful about themselves. Yes, these relationships didn’t just happen. They were pursued. But what is it about passion that we often feel that there is something wrong in the pursuit?
This year my passion found its awakened inspiration in numerous unlikely ways. Two years ago, I found a YouTube video called “Stewarding the Dream” by Matt Tommey, author of “Unlocking the Heart of the Artist” and founder of the Worship Studio. I also heard a message entitled “Seven Mountains” by Lance Wallnau, speaker, author, and catalytic thinker, who stoked a fire that I had thought, was long ago extinguished. I was a casualty of an inner war that swore “never more” to engage in any intimate relationship, love, and certainly NOT marriage, ever again. Through recent months and years, I had also abandoned the core message of my own existence, “creativity.” It was as if I was Eutychus in Acts 20 falling from the window sill while listening to the apostle Paul as he preached on for hours. After sinking into a deep sleep, “Passion” also fell to her death. My life’s circumstances and adversity had assassinated all her dreams.
As I listened with a new resolve to these two messages, I remembered a New Year’s Eve prayer from a special, dear friend who spoke that same “rekindling message” into existence and “Passion” was resurrected to a new life in me.
It wasn’t the typical New Year’s Eve bash by any means as our Bible study group met to fellowship over the last meal of 2011 and ponder the hopeful new year. As we were all departing, my friend, who I had known for about two years in other ministry circles, casually asked my opinion of artistic success in our local community. My response was lack luster and I am certain it revealed my discouraging dead dreams. I could feel a wellspring of tears building that, for a brief moment, could not be stifled. He took my hand and began to pray for “the Lord to ignite the embers that lay dormant in my creative soul.”
Three art exhibitions, this blog, and more recently, a song I have composed are the direct results from the Lord’s Voice in their mouths to my ears and hands. One of the assurances from Father God that I have realized is that the music, words, and art pictures will NEVER run dry. Lots of writers and artists angst over silence and blocked ideas. They wonder as I have, too, about all the “what ifs.” For example, “What if I have no ideas with real depth to convey? No new innovative concepts for dazzling my viewers? No new tricks for intriguing and entertaining their eyes and ears?” “What if, what if, what if?”
All fear messages begin with those two little words, “What if.” I should know. I listened to them as they whispered quietly about my progressing age, my career as I approached retirement, and what I thought initially would be a very temporary, apartment residential status that neared the two year anniversary mark. Their louder messages produced an incredible loneliness in my self-imposed isolation after a very difficult divorce. The absence of my immediate biological family, coupled with my daughter and son-in-law’s kind invitation prompted a decision to make a geographical move and write a new chapter of life as a “grandmother in residence.”
The time with my daughter’s family was a delightful treasure albeit a very short chapter. It was a costly move relationally, professionally and financially. It was physically challenging, emotionally wrenching for all of us, but spiritually renewing because within a short time, I suddenly returned to my former city to marry my special friend who had spoken the prophetic prayer over me that New Year’s Eve 2011. Courtship became an obedient response to His call on my life of ministry.
Little did I know then that his words would someday ignite a new and passionate flame for living a “honeymoon life.” My new husband continues to rekindle my hope with healing words, teaching words, reverent and nourishing words that nurture the passion for my smoldering creativity that was once bleak and frozen. We are two people who are living examples of Jesus as He rescues the perishing relational parts of us that were indeed, dying. His life was a solitary ministry life that similarly “had fallen off the window sill” but had been run over by an 80,000 pounds 18-wheeler truck carrying grapefruit. He spent several years in rehab learning how to walk again. We are both still in recovery but no longer walking alone.
The day I began writing this post, I watched the morning news from New York City. The network featured a video segment showing the communities in New Jersey that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year. Their residents had recorded encouraging messages to help soften the devastating blows of bombing victims at the Boston Marathon, an explosive blast in West, TX and the tornado victims in Oklahoma which also happened during the same months of my transition. It was a greater Community encouraging others and refreshing to see in the media.
The message from the network’s video struck a chord with me. We all suffer losses in life. Perhaps not because of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, or tsunamis, but they are calamities that implode our lives just the same. As devastating as these natural disasters are, the loss of lives, homes, families, friends, pets and material things, a pervasive truth that time and process hold dear is still true…there is HOPE for a better tomorrow. And this is the core message of my blog to you who continue to read and follow my posts. Whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed, your best days are ahead no matter what life looks like right now.
These aren’t merely romantic words to fill this blog entry. Truly, it is my effort at helping you to hear the Voice from on High and embrace the mysteries of a passionate love story meant to be lived to the fullest! My post today is for those of you who are struggling with all the love songs that serenade your memories of who you once were when “the two of you became one.” Each melody awakens a time of pleasure and/or pain that ignites or dampens your pursuits of discovery, recovery or rediscovery. Each lyric may actually be a poem written by the hand of God to empower you to be all He created you to be. Whether we choose to see Him or not, God is always at work singing Heaven’s Song, dancing with and caressing us. He desires to reveal Himself to us in countless, different ways that are unique to our design. His Voice calls to each of us with a Power to transform our lives with His Passion for living as He lived. Just like many of you, Jesus lost family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors when they didn’t understand, agree or fully embrace His mission. But He didn’t merely lose His life… He gave His life to establish a Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, a Kingdom on earth that for now is lived by faith, hope and love.
Do I have all the answers? No, and if I did, then I wouldn’t need God in my life. I don’t even pretend to know the WHY of it all. My husband’s scars are visible for the entire world to see while mine have been hiding away in my wounded heart. We both have made peace with how life has pushed us out of the upper room windows into each other’s arms. Embracing passion for life is beautiful and I think he would agree, “I wouldn’t change a thing. Each event was a northern star that pointed me to you.”
Dear reader, we all have a personal, imperfect narrative of how God is chasing us down and still wooing us back to our unfinished assignments. This is my story and what I know now is,
“There are canvases yet to be painted, stories yet to be written, and music in the air that is yet to be heard.”
(c) Copyright 2013-2016
(c) Copyright 2013-2016