He rolled over in bed and stroked my hair, picking flecks of dried paint from it.
“How late were you up painting?” he asks me.
“Until 1 a.m.,” I reply, “And it looks so beautiful! It looks like joy on a wall.“
He laughed. And he understood. This man who’s walked life by my side for thirteen years.
I got out of bed and walked downstairs, lightly touching the fresh-painted walls as I went. Smiling. Feeling free. Thinking to myself, “It’s funny how $30 worth of paint can erase years of struggle.”
Struggle with two little girls, brought into our family. One who’s thriving now. One who’s not. At a our most recent help-seeking appointment with a specialist, I wanted to give up. It took everything I had to even GO to the appointment after so many years, so many dead ends, so many trials leading to hope, ending in hopelessness.
When the doctor asked me what I needed from him, I wanted to yell, “A LIFE! (for her… and me)” But I knew even as I thought it, that I have one. I realized then that I needed to go find it again. (Because we all have to re-learn and re-re-learn things in this crazy life).
Turns out part of my life was in a paint can in my garage.
Two hours of rolling, painting, splattering… covering scuffed reminders of tantrums, meltdowns, and grief. It gave me hope.
Repainting my walls was repainting my life in this season of still-not-knowing with my daughter.
Why is that?
It reminded me I’m not helpless.
As I rolled fresh Swiss-Coffee-white over black-brown-brokenness, I felt a weight lift from my heart. A freshness creeping in and replacing the stale hope that I’d been nursing inside. There WAS something I could do – not just with walls, but in our situation. It was just a matter of finding the right color and tools…
It created a physical portrait of redemption.
When we’re in the longer battles in life, redemption – a getting back of what was lost or sold away – is hard to keep hoping for. Loss cuts deep, and keeps cutting. But as I painted the stains of loss on my wall, I saw how sometimes, even after a long while, repair comes quick. And that breeds some very much needed hope for the long haul!
It invested in what IS instead of focusing on what isn’t.
Yes, my girl is in a residential facility. Yes, her sisters, dad and I miss her. Yes, we’re still completely at a loss about what will unlock her mind and moods. But we’re also living here, with three other daughters – girls who are growing, learning, exploring. It’s not that I’d neglected them these past months, but somehow investing in my home let the part of me that I’d been ignoring come back to the here and now.
What needs repainting in your life today? Are you willing to invest in a fresh new coat of hope in whatever long-term challenge you find yourself?
- You’re not helpless, no matter how long you’ve been fighting the same fight or how little hope is left from the struggle.
- Redemption is real, and it’s happening in your life and the lives of those you love, even if you can’t see it.
- You can DO something today to help that process, whether it’s paint a wall, write in journal, call a friend to encourage them, or simply choose to turn and believe there’s a God who’s for you in this life.
- The solution to the problem may be elusive, but the solution to how you’re FEELING about it is very much in your control.
P.S. May I join you in your repainting journey? Help you gather your tools and make the first broad strokes on the walls in your life? I’d love to talk with you more about how coaching might help. Email today for more info!