I am a closet artist. I love to paint, draw, create… I’m actually pretty talented. But I’ve never used my gift for anything other than distractions. I’ll explain that in a minute. Recently, my close friends asked me to paint their children’s playroom in their new house. An outdoor scene. Trees, grass, flowers, bugs, frogs, birds, etc. As I was painting over-sized dragonflies on the wall, my mind was taken back to a time when painting was all I could do to avoid my pain. It was my distraction. I explained to my friend that seven years ago, while my husband was in the thick of his sexual sin, I was completely alone. I had no one to talk to, no one to comfort me. I didn’t know why my husband was rejecting me, I just felt the pain. I had nothing. Just art. We had no children at the time, and my husband certainly didn’t want any at the time. But I was determined to have a baby. I thought a child might bring us closer together, might create a bond between us that would make us stronger. I thought a baby would give me someone to love and hold and sing to and who would love me back unconditionally. So I began painting our spare room to be a nursery… under the sea. That’s a simple theme that could go well for a boy or a girl. I started small, just painting a few fish on the closet door. As I did, I noticed that the pain of my relationship with my husband seemed to fade for that moment. I could focus all my energy on my art so that I didn’t have to feel or even think about my husband and our smokescreen marriage. And it felt good. Painting made me feel happy and like I was special because not a lot of people could do what I do. I let painting begin to fill that void in my life that only Christ could ultimately fill. So I painted some more. I moved on to a sea turtle, a whale, jelly fish, an octopus, sea horses, and more. By the time I was done painting my sea of distraction, the entire room was filled with under water creatures. It was beautiful, it took hours upon hours, and it was a room full of pain. While I spent all my evenings painting, my husband stayed in his sin. Those paintings didn’t bring him closer to repentance. Those paintings didn’t bring me closer to healing. And they certainly didn’t bring us closer together. In fact, I sometimes wonder what my husband did all that time I was painting. In the end, we didn’t have a baby for several more years and we moved, never having used the room as a nursery.
I used my art as a distraction to avoid dealing with the pain of my husband’s sin. I didn’t know what his sin was at the time, but I knew something was wrong. And for years, instead of pursuing healing and trying to help him find his way out of that deep dark despair, I just distracted myself from the pain I was feeling as a byproduct of his sin. Sometimes I wonder if things would have turned out differently if I had been more proactive. But that’s neither here nor there. Now that my husband has come clean and is repentant, now that we are on this road to complete restoration, I find myself at times looking for distractions. I want to be careful to not allow myself to avoid dealing with the pain of our past and instead take my pain to Jesus. He came to heal the broken hearted, to set the captive free. And that is exactly what He’s done in my life. But there are still bumps along the way that take me back to that place, that place where I feel completely alone and devastated by my husband’s choices. And it’s those times that I don’t need to turn to art, or food, or exercise, or shopping, or cleaning, or my children, or television, or whatever else I could use as a distraction; but instead turn to the Lord. I can cast my burdens upon Him because He cares for me. I want to paint because I enjoy it. Not because I need a distraction.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: healing distractions art painting ""sexual sin""
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