Many of my painting are inspired by experiences in my life and express my feelings and emotions during those experiences. In 2011, the abstract Where Love Begins was an intuitive painting expressing my inner feelings.
Recently someone asked me to share my thoughts on where I perceive that love begins. Here are my thoughts and the experience that inspired the painting . . . .
My story . . .
To me, where love begins is at the cross. In 1973, I came face to face with the reality of the price Jesus Christ paid for my sins, my shortcomings, my failures. It became very real to me. I began to realize the significance of surrender and sacrifice. Jesus gave it all. He gave up up every desire or plan for His life and surrendered it to the Father's will.
It took a few years before I was ready to let go of my own desires and plans. For me, love began when I finally reached the point where I was willing to surrender myself and my future -- my desires, hopes and dreams -- and open my heart to accept whatever plans God had for me and my life.
I had always dreamed of getting married but after several proposals that just weren't right and went awry, I surrendered that dream to God. In 1975, I reached a point where I was willing to accept it if His plan for me was to be single my whole life. I chose to let Jesus be my husband and I was content with my decision. The interesting thing is that only three months after making that decision, God brought John Harris into my life. I knew after the first date he was the man God had saved for me. I actually fell truly in love for the first time. Five months later we were married. We just celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary in 2016. I look back now and realize what a mistake I would have made if I had married one of the guys I previously thought would be for me. God truly did know best. He knew the man He had groomed to be my husband, to be the spiritual, godly man I needed, to love me unconditionally, to help me grow and blossom. All I can do now, is give thanks! God knew so much more than I did. Imagine that!
It took me totally surrendering all my desires for God to bring John into my life. Nine years later, I totally surrendered once again concerning having children. I was told by several doctors that I would never be able to conceive unless I had surgery and then I would only have a 10% chance of getting pregnant. With only a 10% chance to conceive, I felt surgery was not an option, so once again I surrendered my desires. If it wasn't God's plan for us to have children, then I would accept it and be content. Within a few months of that surrender, I received a miracle (as the doctor attested to) and I conceived our first child. John and I had two miracle children, Jamie and Mark -- Children that medically speaking were never supposed to be. God's ways are so much higher than our ways and as we surrender our plans to Him, He brings His plans to pass. That, for me, is where love begins.
The painting . . .
During my quiet time in the pre-dawn hours of early February 2011, I envisioned the painting and its title. As I meditated on it, a poem began to emerge and Where Love Begins was conceived. Later that day I began applying the first layers of texture onto a blank canvas.
The poem . . .
WHERE LOVE BEGINS
Out of darkness
Light begins to emerge
Love is born
A new beginning
A second chance
Love takes root
Where love begins, light spreads
Love absorbs all surroundings
Leaving only shadows of the past