Forever Yours

shutterstock_52902718There is this rush I remember from childhood, when someone would take me by the hands and spin me around and around and around so many times, with my feet flying and adrenaline rushing. All of the colors and objects of the world bled together as I spun, and when I was placed back on solid ground, although I was still again, the world around me looked as if it continued spinning. This feeling like I truly had no control over my relation to surrounding objects and events set in; sometimes terrifying and sometimes exhilarating.

While most people I know feel excited for the onset of summer break, expectant for relaxation and down time, my entrance into the season was met with busyness. The past few days have been wholly mind consuming. Even when seated my brain has bolted from event to event, making sure I have all materials, clothing, groceries, etc. ready for the next in line on the calendar.  With both girls home all week the past couple of weeks, I have worked extra hard trying to carve out a time to clean, because most of my usual cleaning time has been spent just uncovering the floor from toys and laundry enough to even see it. On top of the mental work of restructuring my schedule for summer, I have spent a great deal of fun time with my family. I attended the Texas IndyCar race this past Saturday night, got up and spent hours finally painting my youngest daughter’s room on Sunday. Monday was my oldest daughter’s first dance recital. Yesterday we had the privilege of taking both girls to Hawaiian Falls Water Park for my husband’s staff development day; and today we will spend with my mother-in-law, celebrating her birthday.

Restructuring my home-schedule with the girls the past weeks has been challenging. My youngest has entered the world of toddlerhood and my oldest is weaning off of naps. I had heard stories of three year olds being more difficult than two year olds, but I did not believe such stories until I began experiencing them myself. And even the days full of fun with my husband and children have been physically and mentally draining. As I sit still, writing these words, the room around me feels like it is spinning, much like that spinning thing as a child; long after my body stopped moving all is not quite calm. Life can become so busy, even when contently full of a balance of work and fun, we can end up vacillating between defining ourselves based on the amount of work we did or did not accomplish and the success or failure of the “fun day” we planned for our children. Whether good or bad, we must not lose site of Whose child we are and our proximity to Him solely because we are His.

A little over three months ago, I had just left an impromptu doctor’s appointment to have an incision checked, because I thought it might be infected. I had just had emergency surgery three days prior, due to a tubal pregnancy. I remember walking out of the doctor’s office feeling so brokenhearted, so tired of busying myself with social media and television to keep my mind off of the tragedy. As I walked out of the waiting room filled with large canvas prints of newborn babies and waited at the office entrance for my husband to pull the car around, I had that spinning feeling, while I sat still. The previous weeks of nursery planning and joy, turned into sudden chaos, pain, and panic, which had just turned into relief that an incision was not infected and wondering what my kids were doing at my in-law’s house that day. All of the busyness from the previous weeks bled together and spun wildly around my seated self, when I remembered the image of a painting I had seen someone post on Facebook that morning.

The canvas was filled with many shades of green and yellow, all bleeding together, with no distinction between shades or lines. In the middle of the colorful sea was the distinguishable, white silhouette of a person, whose arms extended upward, toward the heavens, and little multicolored hearts appeared to be floating down from the sky, like they would fill and overflow the emptiness of the white silhouette. The caption below the picture read, “Love came down.”

Our car pulled up in front of the doctor’s office exit. Kyle hopped out to get my door and I crawled into the car. Recalling this memory of the painting I had seen, I was overcome with an intense emotional need to go to Hobby Lobby. I realize this sounds as if I am an ordinary woman, who craves hours alone in the fabulous store of treasures, but this truly was an emotional and spiritual urge physically manifesting in this pit of my stomach–like if I did not go to Hobby Lobby and get certain items I would miss out on some incredible word from God. I asked Kyle if he would stop by Hobby Lobby on our way home, and after expressing some concern for my physical state, since I could barely stand up straight and walk, he did agree to drive me there.

I refused to sit in one of those electric scooters, because that is just how I am, and I put my whole body weight on a shopping cart and slowly hobbled around the aisles collecting my supplies. When we returned home, Kyle had some errands he needed to run and I assured him I would be fine alone for a little while. And I knew there was something deep God wanted to do in my heart, involving this memory of a painting, some crafts from Hobby Lobby, and my pain filled body, while the world spun madly around me; because no matter elation or sadness, the world does not stop turning in the midst of hardship or great joy.

Kyle left and I emptied my materials onto our table. I sat down in a chair and asked God to speak. I heard Him tell me to turn on a specific song. I found Kari Jobe’s version of, “Love Came Down to Rescue Me” on my phone and blasted the volume. I selected the song to repeat and must have listened to it over 50 times, as I made my artwork. Tears of the deepest sadness, anger, love, and inspiration splattered onto the canvas as I painted the lyrics, “I am Yours. I am forever Yours” across the space. I even rearranged my mantel a few weeks later to incorporate the piece into my décor, so I could see this deeply moving reminder that there is absolutely no thing wonderful, tragic, or in between, capable of separating me from my Savior.

As I sit here on my couch, before spending a day of celebration for my mother in law’s birthday, I glance across the room at my mantel, staring upward at the canvas I created in a moment of tragedy.  With this familiar feeling of life spinning on around me, I am reminded, no matter the busyness, whether good or bad, work or fun, I focus my eyes on the mighty hands of the One in control of my spinning about. His grasp is gentle, yet firm. He is intentional with His direction for me. And He is not letting go of me, no matter what madness or thrill spirals beyond me. His love rescues me from any moment, with any amount of crazy good or crazy bad. It transcends time and space and frees me from becoming overwhelmed. I am but a mere whisper of the name of Jesus away from the most loving and merciful Creator. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am His. I am forever His.

Wherever you sit today, preparing for the mundane, mustering courage to recover from tragedy, or anticipating a day of laughter and summer fun, remember to take a moment, close your eyes, and remind yourself there is nothing anyone can throw at you today capable of separating you from the love of your Creator. He delights in you. You are His. You are forever His.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-40 (NKJV)

by Jacqueline Fox

4 thoughts on “Forever Yours

  1. I love reading your writings because I know you are genuine. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know well how the world spins at times. Your Manuel artwork is most beautiful, indeed. Love you, Mom

  2. What amazing sweet words poured out of your newly torn heart. They can only be words touched by God’s grace. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Your mother in law shared your story with me today as I sat on her sofa. I have not seen her for over two years….But today I felt compelled to see her. What took place next could only be orchestrated by God. I was utterly taken back when she shared how a painting touched your heart in a time of sorrow. Why??? Because I AM THAT ARTIST that painted that painting God used to captured your attention!

    Sometimes I don’t know why I paint what I paint but God showed me that vision during worship one Sunday. A couple months later I painted it. He always knows exactly who and where a person needs to be touched. It doesn’t matter how or what He uses…it’s only for Him to know.

    I’m so thankful He used my painting to speak to your hurting heart. I’m so thankful He used YOUR story to speak to me.

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