I drew this set while the pain and numbness I was experiencing in my hand a few months ago was at its worst. If you read my blog, you know it really threatened what I would be able to do in the future crafting wise, and was really a trial and test of my faith. (I have to credit attending my Bible study every week that I wasn't totally overwhelmed with fear about the pain or worry like I sometimes tend to be without God's help. I really wasn't sure if the injury was something that I was supposed to press through or a sign that I should put designing and illustrating aside to focus on my family. Even though I loved what I did so much, I was able to align my will with His and tell Him honestly I would give it up and be happy with or without it and grateful for whatever was in store for me.)
I was actually trying to finish up another set that I'd sketched over a year ago but never finalized, but was finding that I didn't have the strength or steadiness to make the drawings the way I wanted. (I'll admit, that was a little worrisome) I prayed and stepped away from it for awhile, before coming back to draw something entirely new, and using a different process: this time taking away color like an etching (much like I also had to carve away at my heart and remove some layers of myself!) The result is the set we are about to release, with an image and sentiments and scripture (which you see above) that are very personal, because something new and beautiful grew out of that hardship. The result of that time and this new set is so precious to me, because it really forced me to press into the Lord. As you know, he restored my health, but also made me dig deeper and become a different and better person and artist. He answered me, that I would not be the same afterwards, but that it would ALL be for my good.
One more verse on my heart today:
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."
Romans 5: 3-5
See you tonight! :)