“What a reminder that we, in all imperfections, in all our inabilities– our disabilities– we are still HIS MASTERPIECES!” – Katherine and Jay of Hope Heals
I was nine years old and had been in the hospital long enough to make TV boring to a nine year old (that is a long time). I began sketching the characters on the cereal boxes that came on my hospital tray each morning…sugary cereals…I never got those at home. Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, Lucky the Leprechaun…I drew them all in watercolor pencils and the nurses hung them up on my hospital room bulletin board.
I was recovering from a series of four spine surgeries to untether my spinal cord and seal CSF leaks. I had contracted staff infection and lost nerve function to my bladder and bowels. The nerves that sent signals to my leg muscles had been irreversibly damaged, resulting in drop foot. It was going to be a long road ahead.
I began drawing more. I sketched wedding dresses out of “Bride Magazine” and copied illustrations out of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Soon I had so much artwork that the nurses began hanging them in the patient rooms all across the pediatric floor.
That was the moment that I realized art could be both therapeutic for my pain and bring joy to others.
As I continued to fight to recover from these five surgeries and endure 18 more surgeries, along with major depression, art became as necessary as breathing to me.
The following pieces were all created throughout middle school and high school and express the unending roller coaster of emotions that I wrestled with; from despair over seeing my body disfigured and cut open, grief and mourning over losing function, perseverance and determination to get back up and walk again, and periodic choruses of joy in the midst of my depression.
So when I saw that Katherine and Jay’s LA based ministry, Hope Heals, was having a “call for artists” to donate artwork that could be auctioned to raise funds to send families with disabilities to their summer camp for FREE… you can understand how I felt I didn’t have any other option but to submit my artwork. This opportunity combined my two greatest passions.
I honestly did not expect my painting to be chosen and included in the live art gallery auction held this past Saturday, April 22nd, in LA. So, when I opened the email saying it had been chosen, I literally screamed (Promise was in the kitchen at the time…so you can ask her for an imitation of my reaction).
Below is a photo of the acrylic painting that I donated
(12″x36″ acrylic on canvas)
This is a newer style of painting that I have been doing. The images are simply out of my mind. I love them because I feel like they represent the mental healing that I have experienced from the depression that I struggled with for years and years.
It is such an honor that it is being used to hopefully provide some degree of emotional, mental, or physical healing in another persons life through the ministry of Hope Heals.
You can view all the art entries that were auctioned off by clicking here. 💕
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT