Today we have a special guest contributor and an exciting GIVEAWAY!
Kristi Hall, an artist, wife, and mother residing in Memphis, TN, shares with us how God used art to shape her heart and bring healing to her soul. She also put together a video clip of one of the unique ways she uses art to minister to other women. For the giveaway, Kristi is offering one of our readers the beautiful 12×24″ angel painting pictured below. See giveaway details at the bottom of this post. Thank you for sharing your story, heart, and talent with us Kristi!
There they stood, lunch boxes in hand and backpacks securely fastened. I felt a lump in my throat. How could three little people have so much power over my feelings? I poured out so much of myself over those last ten years…rocking, wiping noses, singing, teaching, exhausted, overjoyed. Then I blinked, drove them to school, and walked them in. My baby never looked back. HE NEVER LOOKED BACK! I drove myself home all alone and picked up my cold, half cup of coffee.
Let’s just be real here, THIS was the day I had longed for. This was the day I would be all alone and all those things I wanted to do and couldn’t, I could now do. I often dreamed of it. But instead of joy, I was sad. Right then and there I had a party. All my friends were invited, you may know them—self pity, fear, and anxiety. They all came and we had a great time. I sat on my couch and big tears filled my eyes. For a few moments, I felt as if I had no purpose. I was finished. I had given so much to those three little boys and now they did not need me anymore. As sadness slipped over me, I felt the warmth of hope.
My heart was stirred with truth from Gods Word, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19.
A new thing? What possibly could that mean? I had no idea, but I was somewhat intrigued.
Little did I know God was about to teach me a very valuable truth with a little pruning—or was it purging?
Art had always played a part in my life. I had always loved color and enjoyed experimenting, whether it be through decor or my own fashion sense. A lot of, “Oh no, she didn’t” moments, I am sure. I didn’t have THE day when I went and bought a canvas and knew immediately I had found my calling. There were many days full of learning, failing, and trying again. It was more like God was leading me, and I was just taking the first step to follow. This is when God began to do a special work in my heart.
I had been studying in my own quiet time about reacting in the flesh vs. responding in the spirit. I was in the midst of a season in my life where I was dealing with a lot of emotion. Why would God allow things to happen that hurt me? How could something good come from something ugly? What was all this swirling around in my heart that was not pleasing to my Father? I looked at the blank canvas, and God began to use it to represent my heart. I heard that soft, gentle whisper, “Create in me a clean heart.” My heart did not look clean or white like the canvas, in fact it was very dirty. I began to write on the canvas UGLY things, everything that was in my heart that I was begging God to help me with. Unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, self-pity, self-righteousness, doubt, fear, and the list went on. I began to weep because I understood it was too hard for me to let go. My flesh wanted to hold on to these things. Why? Again, the whisper, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and RENEW a RIGHT SPIRIT within me.”
After I had written down all these things, I reached for a big bucket of spackling, which is my first step in creating. Yes, the kind used to fill cracks or holes. As I began to scrape spackling over the canvas covering all the things I had written down, I was reminded that the Holy Spirit works exactly like this. He covers the ugly through the blood of Jesus. When these things are present in my heart, I am hindering the very presence of God. God cannot use me when they are present. One by one I covered each sin in my heart until it was all white, all clean. I prayed and asked God to help me. I knew it was a daily battle, and I knew I had to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5). It is only through HIM that I am able to respond in the Spirit.
I then reached for paint, my next step. With all these beautiful colors before me, I began to mix and blend creating the perfect color. Color. Isn’t that a little like the BEAUTY of the Fruits of the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. I was reminded that through Christ, I have been given these fruits. God used the beauty of paint and color to remind me of who I am in Christ. One by one I replaced the ugliness of my heart and flesh with the beauty of these fruits. Daily, I must completely surrender to Christ.
I cannot tell you what I painted that day, but it was the beginning of my journey in being an artist. God used the elements of my artwork to do His work in my own heart. To this day, I cannot begin a painting without these reminders. I am still learning and gaining wisdom from each mistake. Each piece of art teaches and molds me. Often, God gives me a specific scripture, and I use it within the artwork. Every piece of art that leaves these hands has been prayed over. I pray that wherever it lands it will reach a soul, touch a life, and maybe even heal a heart.
God used it to heal mine! He is forever faithful, even when we don’t feel it or understand. HE IS FAITHFUL!
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” Philipians 1:6
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
And my life verse…
“Now unto Him, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
I am an artist only through the grace of my Lord and Savior. I pray I use it to bring HIM glory!
God has also allowed me to use this painting technique to minister to other women through paint parties. Each time they leave with a special piece of art. Only God knows what has been dealt with underneath the paint.
You know what else? Those three little boys of mine, turns out they still need their Mom!
“Growing up in a small town near Asheville, NC, I was surrounded by the beauty that so captured my heart. My southern roots have been the inspiration behind much of my work. I love the rustic edge and casual elegance found by using a palette knife. I work with textures and layers of color that tell a story through the imagination of the viewer. I am a self taught artist and I know God has given me a gift I can share that reflects my heart. Much of my art contains scripture from God’s word. My hope is that He will speak through my art to touch each life as we bring glory to Him! Welcome to my journey!” – Kristi
Giveaway Winner — Becky Joiner
The winner was chosen by a random number generator based on the comments below. Thank you all for entering the giveaway, and for your sweet comments. Below is a message from Kristi!
I wanted to thank each of you for your kindness and sweet words of encouragement! I am the one who received the greatest blessing! May God bless each of you as we, together, strive to bring HIM glory in all we do!
Shine on Ladies!