Friday, November 19, 2010

The Unknown

I don't think he realized what it would really be like.

No hot meals for 4 days.
A disaster everywhere he turned in the tiny one room apartment.
No place to sit.
No place to eat.
No clean laundry.
Tears.... lots of tears.
Favors. Requests.
No time to study for his own exams.

We had only been married two months if that.

He said he wanted to support me in my art.
Now in the chaos is this what he really wanted?

Four months earlier, we sat in a car as friends talking. I ended up pouring out my heart's desire to create art. Not just any art. Art that pulled at your heartstrings, pulled at your memories, your fears, your desires. Art that led you to him who could wipe away all tears, bind up broken hearts and shattered dreams. Art that taught you who he was and how to let him succor you. Art that left you wanting more... of him.

I had felt those strong, incredible promptings and desires at certain points in my life. Three months prior to that quiet evening in the car, I had gotten a very distinct prompting to stop running from it and start acting in faith. I felt without any doubt in my mind I was supposed to stop teaching, and create art. It scared me to death one minute and made me breathless with excitement in the next. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't see how I could support myself while doing it if I had no job, yet I wanted to do it so very badly. I listened to fears and others. In the end I procrastinated. I told myself I would build up to it and quit next year. I gave into the fear and didn't act.

As we sat together in the car that evening. I shared with him these desires, this specific prompting and the struggle it brought with it. Then I shared what I truly felt in my heart.

"I'm afraid I made the wrong decision."

Still to this day I wonder the same.

"Did I make the wrong decision? Did I loose my chance?"

I wonder as he looked around him at the mess, at his wife who was so consumed in finishing up a piece of artwork that she had forgotten him, if this is what he really wanted. The only answer he gave me in the car that night was a listening ear, nods of understanding and a simple statement.

"You know what your answer is don't you? Get married and let your husband support you so you can do art."

What he didn't say out loud at the time was this:

"Let me be that person."

It's been over eight years. Eight years since he saw me spill rubbing alcohol all over the artwork that I had been consumed with for 4 days. Holding his breath knowing that I had just ruined 4 days of work, and that the deadline for the juried exhibit I was trying for was tomorrow. He watched for my reaction thinking how calm I was, only to realize it truly was as bad as he thought when he saw the tears start to roll down my face and the sobs start to come. All he could do was hold me and let me cry.

He had became that person.

He has watched me over and over the last eight years, try to figure out what to do with this burning desire in my heart. He's watched me be creative in other areas, as I hoped that it would satisfy this feeling in my heart, only to have it give temporary relief. He has watched me sit for days with my mind so consumed with reoccuring questions, thoughts and dreams. "Did I make the wrong decision?" "Where would I be now if I had done something differently?" "Should I be doing it now?" "Is it to late to ask the Lord forgiveness and see if I can begin again."

I just want to paint.

He has seen the Lord guiding me and teaching me a long the way. Blessing me. Providing opportunities. Sending people. Increasing my talents. And always calling after me.

A month ago... I heard that call again. Shalae have faith and do what your supposed to do.

I heard it again and again as we stood holding hands in front of 1, 2, 3 very large paintings of the Christ. I felt my heart leap into my throat, and the tears starting to well in my eyes. They were beautiful. They were what I wanted... I someday want to create something like this.

Maybe it isn't too late.

It's been eight years since I spilled the rubbing alcohol. Two more of these competitions have come and gone. I have only been the viewer of them. The ninth one is coming up. I'd have a year instead of 4 days. What would he think if I told him I was going to go for it. How will he respond?

He'll smile.

Because he is that person.


RikoSuave said...

This is one of the most beautifully written things I have ever read. Thank you for sharing.
And, I can't wait to see what you create.

Kellie DeMille said...

I remember when you told me about wanting to quit your job and paint. I of course thought you were nuts :) I am SO excited to see what you create!! You have an amazing gift Shalae!!!

Mandy said...

I am applauding you on this journey. What a joy to watch it unfold. There is ever more to push into. This is just the beginning. Keep walking forward friend!