I started this painting not knowing exactly what it was going to turn out to be. I started posting my progress shots on my Instagram as my painting was progressing and asked YOU what you saw. There were a lot of wonderful answers but one stood out more than the others.
My friend Judy said she saw a bride with her train flowing in the wind, she thought it was out there but I saw it and then I wanted to create 'her'...
I painted the bride and stepped back & looked--she just looked Very incomplete. I debated whether or not to add a few things but then I decided on painting her with MY TATTOOS that I have forever painted on my body. Once I started I knew that was exactly what it needed.
I have done 3 self portraits, not including this one, in my life. Those three were years ago in a different season and I had a very different view of myself. They are very dark and have a whole other feeling about them. This one however, when I look at it, reminds me of God's Redemptive character and that He is in me & He transformed me into a new being when I accepted Him. I no longer have to hold a spirit of defeat because in the midst of my sin he still loves me.
The words on the painting that I chose to add came from The book of Isaiah :
"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." (Isaiah 61:3 NIV)
When I look at this painting I am reminded that God is Faithful always, he takes our deadness and brings life, and that all things work together for His Good. I may be in a season of waiting until I am a bride, but in this season there is still opportunity to learn, and grow, and mature in my faith. At the right time I know He will provide the perfect person and on that day many praises will be given, not just from myself but from many others. But.... even today, even on this Monday, I will still praise Him as I wait because He is faithful and He is just and He does a better job of managing my life than I do. After all, he is the God who made me, redeemed me, and still loves me((even if I am covered in tattoos)) and He loves you too, no matter what.
You can now purchase a print of this piece in my online shop. I hope that everytime you see her you will remember this story and that NO MATTER WHAT, our God is Good.