I’ve been in a painting block recently. My emotions this past month have been all over the place as I felt things surfacing that haven’t been dealt with, both in past circumstances and in the present time. It’s definitely a season for me of learning to own my own voice, opinions, and beliefs. I think a lot of people are going through something very similar, where you may be feeling shaken in so many areas of life at the moment. For me, it’s been a time of trying to run a race with obstacles that just continue to trip me up. Maybe I’m the only one feeling this way- like just as I catch my balance and am back on my feet, something else is thrown down before my path and I am tripped up all over again. They aren’t even big things, but because of my emotions being so incredibly heightened, I am finding those things just send me toppling right back down on this rollercoaster I’ve been experiencing lately. (Just being vulnerable here- and hoping that if anyone reading this has been feeling the same recently, you are definitely not alone!).
I’ve been wanting so badly to paint in my time with God- but it just hasn’t happened. I’ve sat down before a blank canvas and nothing has surfaced, or I’ve become frustrated and given up before even starting. Again, it’s just the time I’m in right now where my emotions are feeling all over the place.
When I was in America 3 weeks ago, I was at a local park. I was not feeling too well, and decided to lay in the grass, looking up at the sky.
A bald eagle flew over me and I was in awe because these birds are so rare, and yet there it was. It simply glided in the wind, in great circles above me, slowly going higher and higher until it was just an unrecognisable dot in the sky.
I don’t think I ever saw it flap it’s wings once. I knew God was speaking to me in that moment, as He does a lot in nature and times of reflection. But instead of pressing deeper into what he was saying, I soon became distracted again with life and my schedule for the day.
But this week, an order came through on my Etsy store for my artwork of the bald eagle. As I was packing up this print of my painting, God began speaking to me through this piece of art that I painted several years earlier, and reminding me of that rare eagle I had seen a few weeks ago.
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow weary, and his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and increases the strength of those who have no might. Every man and woman, young and old, shall grow weary- but those who wait on the Lord shall find their strength again; they will rise up with wings like the Eagles- and they will run and not grow weary. They will march and not grow faint.” – Isaiah 40
This verse has encouraged me in this season so much. It doesn’t say we never fall, or grow tired. I am exhausted; and feeling as if I’m just trying to catch my feet from under me at the moment. But it reminds me that I’ve been carrying so much crap that I don’t need to be carrying- I don’t need to sort this junk out that I’ve been trying to process and figure out on my own… it’s just led me to more questions and confusion.
I know who my God is from my own story of life, and the (many) miracles that I’ve seen, dreamed, and experienced. In this time, I’m simply reminded to stop trying to ‘run this race’ right now, and simply stand in who I am. Just as the verse says every man and woman grow weary, we find our strength renewed in waiting for the Lord (YhWh).
I love when I see ‘the Lord’ written in the Bible, for everywhere we see that word, the original was actually the world YhWh; and it reminds me, that the only way to pronounce this most ancient name of God, is to breathe.
As I reflected on this, I heard God speaking to my Spirit, so I began to write what I heard:
Breathe, my child. Be still and know I Am the creator of the ends of the earth- the beginning and the end. I am your breath of life that abides in your very next inhale. Always with you in every circumstance, and every situation. Wait on me, and renew your strength. This is not your battle. Be still- listen… know… receive. In the waiting you will learn to soar, as my wind will be the one that takes you higher, lifting you over this great mountain you face now. So in your waiting, be ready. Stretch out your wings of faith- let go of fear and possibilities for I am about to show you the impossible. You will be lifted higher- rising up on wings like the eagle- and you will soar.
(In The Shadow, I Stand – Prismacolor and Ink)
Being a visual person, my paintings have always reminded me of the truth that rises up and flows from the Spirit within me, speaking to me right where I need it most. They become something beautiful that I can hang on my wall, and be that constant reminder to myself of His word, the living word, and His love that abides in everyday, and over every situation.
As I paint from faith, I am filled with hope, and experience the Love He pours out for all of humanity- for we are all Children of God.
I believe we are all much more connected than we realise, so I write my struggles here from a place of vulnerability, hoping that it encourages others who may feel shaken in this season, to stop trying to run- and stand. Stretch out your hands, open your heart, and find your wings in the waiting… it’s the wind of God that is going to lift you over this next mountain- not your own two feet.
But most importantly, as you stand in this time- you are not alone.
Sarah Camille Soltani Icely