2014 was a killer year for me. Thanks to yet another one of my grand ideas, once the fun of dreaming up the new scheme wore off, the second half of the year was clouded by a black shroud of emotional turmoil, physical exhaustion, and often dark feelings of despair.
Kind of ironic for a person who loves to paint sunny days and happy moments.
I am not sure I was actually under more stress than the average person starting up a new venture, but for some reason I did not handle it well. At all.
Instead of trusting in the things that normally bring me peace and stability, I began to worry and cry. And worry and cry. And cry. And cry. And cry.
I would like to say that one day I had a revelation that caused me to snap out of it. I would like to say that the little trips we took to the Low Country to "restore my soul" where the fix that I needed.
Instead, I spend much of those trips crying and feeling even more hopeless.
I did spend a quiet Sunday morning on the beach, absorbing the immenseness of the ocean and soaking in the September sun. This was certainly a good reminder to me of the size of my God and his power. I sat in the sand, beside the word "Peace" which I had written as a note to myself. I prayed for peace, and it probably came as a small dose, just not in the quantity I was looking for.
The fall continued on, along with my feelings of gloom and doom, and I knew that despite the overwhelming size of my to-do list, for the sake of my mental health I needed to put the left-brained tasks on hold for a while and immerse myself into creating a painting or two.
This painting called "Breathe In" is one of a two paintings I began with the sole purpose of trying to find some rest for my troubled soul.
I am not sure they quite did the trick, but in the midst of working on them, I did feel the tangled nest of emotions inside me begin to loosen up a little. I did feel joy again, as I spent some time everyday losing myself and cares inside of this peaceful scene.
My problems were not gone, but I was able to relax a little and remember that the God who created all the beauty which inspired this piece, was not unawares of my current struggles.
Due to the upcoming Christmas season, and all that means for a person who somehow finds themselves in charge of a very large space that is now a retail store, I put my two paintings aside and dove back into conquering the more pressing problems at hand.
I don't think it was until the middle of December, while reading a new devotional on an airplane in order to distract myself from the thought of our "imminent" plane crash (and death,) that I was struck by the real root of my emotional turmoil over the last six months. It was nothing earth shattering or profound. But it was a Truth I needed to be reminded of.
I realized that God had not abandoned me. He had not placed me in the midst of a sea of responsibilities just to torment me. He DOES still love me.
He has some higher purpose for my current situation, and my job right now is to NOT try and figure it out, but rather to trust that He knows what He is doing.
Just like I often tell our son "you aren't always going to get an explanation for everything, but that doesn't mean you still don't have to obey."
I still do feel like my life is completely out of control, and am still sometimes overcome by a flood of hopelessness.
However, if in those moments I can just slow down and remember to "Breathe In" and "Breathe Out," and (more importantly) remember that He is well aware of my situation — it helps me to press through the moments of turmoil without FREAKING OUT quite so strongly.
— Marie Scott, December 31, 2014
PS If like me, YOU feel that your world has been shaken to the core, I would highly recommend this daily devotional by Paul David Tripp called New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional which you can purchase on Amazon http://amzn.to/1BlZmNZ and probably a lot of other places.