Waking up with a song in my heart regardless of the pain my body is in, is truly a great blessing. Those of us battling disease with chronic pain know the grueling task of the mornings and the evenings most often. The term “crawling” out of bed is an honest depiction of this words meaning. Therefore when a song overwhelms my mind and heart before the pain insists on showing its horrid face, I am nothing less than grateful. Song vs pain…I’ll take it any day instead of the other.
With one step of aching joint at a time the song battles for priority of my mind. Once my nutritious tea is poured as the warmth from the mug soothes my clutches I give into the morning pain by curling up in my prayer basket with my doggies beside. I didn’t move far but I made it to my safe spot. At least this is what I tell myself. I find myself being my own personal cheerleader on days like these. Most people in this condition pop a pain pill or go back to bed and close the shade. Choosing to overcome and stay alert through the process sometimes seems relentless. The reminder of how I am able to overcome sits beside me in my basket. I reach for my reminder and open its pages of His living word and I grab my glasses in order to inhale. Some days its the internet teachings that bring forth the reminder of how to overcome. Because truthfully there are days when reading is too much yet my ears are always awake so I listen. On the days when my eyes need to rest I close my eyes and soak in a trusted teacher of Gods word and study and test later when I am not so broken.
So when the song comes in the morning and the battle to hear it louder than the knocking of the chronic pain wins, I am one happy happy camper. Giving voice to the song even if in a whisper promotes growth in the need to sing it. My husband has told me a few times in our life together that he always knows I’m “ok” when “his girl sings when she wakes up”. Truly I never knew I could really be heard. His love for me seems to always be confirmed in moments like this. To know he listens and cares for me so deeply enough to listen for my whispers as he lays in bed tired. What a gift to be loved as he loves me. I am no doubt so blessed to have such a man called husband.
A few mornings back, I woke to an old hymnal that I knew as a little girl. Couldn’t find all the words but I sang what I could. It overwhelmed my heart. Finding myself so thankful to have it so strong within my heart that I felt the need to search it on the internet. I found my tea and I searching page after page on the net. My doggies sat faithfully beside me as if they were eager to know each word in its entirety also. It helps that I talk to our dogs, they seem to chime in on when something is important to me. Dogs are called companions for a reason without a doubt. Back to my search, I found it and listened to the old version several times. Deeply inhaling the words. Once I was full from the song spiritually speaking I searched more into scriptures and followed along a Biblical teaching that moved my heart.
I felt Gods grace and love pour over me. I sat at the desk without pain even penetrating me. It simply did not matter to be in the condition that my body often claims it to be. As I reached for my head covering or prayer veil, I felt Gods presence so strongly. Far beyond what I can explain. It was as if His favor was falling on me for submitting to time unto Him in a stance of pure love and adoration for my Abba God.
Seems in time of today, the prayer veil or head covering is a lost obedient art. Through the years I wear mine in the quiet while in prayer or when I am in another country. The fabric chosen in my quiet place (prayer closet) I wear specifically for the Lord. For those of you reading that do not understand, I would love to share more yet I hope from reading my share of intimacy with God that you would open your Bible and do the research and hear the words and call all on your own. It is a personal matter with God. A beautiful reveal indeed.
This specific morning I felt the need to pray and snap an intimate raw picture with my eyes closed and give it to God. Not to be confused with a “selfie” which I am known to take for a purpose bigger than I have ever shared. To be brief, the “selfies” that I take have been an ongoing testimony of how God is healing me. A picture does not lie, at least if you do not “fix” the photo which I do not. I add light if its dark or change the color to black and white but the pictures that I take are raw, preserved to be real not altered. In 2012 when I almost lost my life to one of the blood clots that fought to shut my lungs down, my husband and I began taking selfies together and apart to capture the moments of life and to celebrate that another day was given. They mean so much to us, to me. Not always do we have proof of the day…I hope to leave many “selfies” for my husband, my kids, my mom and whoever loved me enough to keep them after God brings me home.
After I snapped the few pictures I laid my phone camera down and finished praying. When I opened the pictures up, I had no idea how special the pictures would be to me. Right away I shared them with my husband and my sister in Christ, Vicki then my mom. The very colors of my prayer veil did not fully register to me until the I saw the picture. Clouds and blue sky all over the fabric that lay over my bowed head.
For God to make beautiful a sinner like me always finds me baffled. His veil of forgiveness and renewal escapes my view of myself. I do not see myself as He does. I fight shame, guilt, pain, failure, critical thoughts, anything ugly I’ve swallowed it. Through the years of falling down and in the battle to get back up again leaves a thick trail of yuck. To witness in the palm of my hand a simple picture taken with my eyes closed in the state of prayer unto God broke my heart and showed me another piece of How God loves me and sees me beautiful in His eyes.
For that moment I saw a tiny piece of how He made me and how He holds me. All I could do is bow my head deeper into my hands on my desk and give thanks for His overwhelming love, sight and forgiveness. I’m new in Him the minute I lay it down. I often have said while ministering to the broken that we serve a God with a bad memory, cause he simply forgets the past the second we nail down our repented heart. He revives it with one breath and resets the following second. If only I could learn how to dwell completely in this instead of allowing the enemy to seep in only to take it back even if just a smidgen. Oh how He loves us…OH how HE LOVES US.
So as the day filled up with joy and pain moved out the window, I had no other desire but to pop open the paint tubes and whisk my paint brushes over my hand to start my fingers feeling what they are about to embrace. My version of sight while I paint tends to veer on the side of abstract and impressionistic. My spatula, Qtips and fingers are most often the bulk of tools used as I transfer my thoughts onto the canvas. Today for the first time I painted from the portrait of myself praying. I sang so many songs as I painted. The form of nose came from a slight swipe of my finger and the three abstract folds of the veil on top of my head symbolize the Trinity. My hand holding my veil shows no fingers only an impression of a hand under the veil. Just a slight of me as the meaning of the abstract view is the impression of something intimate, calming and close.
Today I am sharing this…there will be more to come. I see a series of prayer paintings now and I am already dreaming of them as I prepare the colors for the next canvas to come. I took a “selfie” a few days after I painted and sent it to my husband. I woke up out of pain that day and enjoyed swiping my favorite dark red lipstick on knowing that God hath given another beautiful day to be alive. “Embrace the day” and “love love love” is a common post of mine when I finish something that I write I tend to say one of the two “quotes” if you will. Maybe now a little glimpse into my world of thought and heart you know the depth in which I say it. With that said…Embrace the day & love love love