“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
Isaiah 30:20-21 ESV
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
I sketched an oak tree years ago, green grass water colored and a blue sky with the words above added in a sort of filigree.
I worked for the Department of Family and Children Services aka DFACS aka The Welfare.
I gave this sketch to my first real boss, the County Director back then, thirty something years ago.
Something in me has always understood the something in others that causes harmful, negative, risky behaviors.
Causes giving up or succeeding.
And so, I had work to do, very hard work, but I tried to be kind.
Because, I’m certain every single person in the world is battling something.
Many times it’s something they’re hoping to outgrow or to not hand down to their children.
As I age, I’m beginning to see the battle of becoming, either fear of what I may become or a greater fear of what I will not.
I knew a woman once who should’ve been a chef. Her meals were spread out like royalty when family came on Sunday. She retired from professional management type work and she immersed herself in cooking. She became the cook at a little campground type place where men shot dove. The tips were good, the encouraging compliments invaluable. She was on top of the world and then, she just couldn’t or decided she couldn’t anymore.
Sometimes, I’m asked in these days of either anxious anger or languid depression, how I stay motivated, how I keep painting, I wish I could be like you, have a calling and purpose.
And I’m honest. I say,
I’ve seen what happens when you stop doing what feeds your soul. I’ve seen how quickly you don’t leave your house, grow weak and weary and weaker and worn out.
I’ve seen how becoming what you longed to be only lasts for a minute. I’ve seen how one sweet hope that gets stolen or is forced to be given up because of hardship or loss can break a strong soul.
I keep painting because like probably you, I want to become the mama who lived life fully not the one who decided she couldn’t keep on.
Feed your soul. Cook. Write. Paint. Sing. Dance. Plant your roses.
Every bit of you is the beauty you’re becoming.
The battle we all fight, the hard one?
The battle not to let ourselves quit, not to let our hopes go.
Continue and believe.