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You Raise Me Up

During these difficult times, I have had some time to work on a series of personal paintings for our own collection. The paintings tell a story, a story of despair, falling to the bottom of life and reaching up to the light, with the promise of God raising me up. Come along to hear the story...

I went way out of my usual comfort zone to paint this new series of 3 oil paintings. They have been on my mind for a year at least. They are much more personal. This painting is of a recurring dream I’ve had during various stages of my life. Drowning from the workload of life, stress and depression, while reaching up to the people at the shore. Sadly, in my dreams they never pull me out, though I could see them all watching me. I decided not to add the people at the surface, as it was too complicated. This is the actual view I see in my dreams and that is my own hand and arm. This painting is 14”x18” on canvas.

Here is part 2 in my series of personal oil paintings. Yes, another sad one. Bear with me, it will have a happy ending! To go along with the close up of the hand, this is a full-size picture. A lifetime ago, it seems now, I struggled with being depressed and suicidal. I never laughed or smiled and could barely get out of bed to care for my 4 babies. This is what it feels like. That overwhelming feeling of drowning when your world just feels like too much to bear, being pulled down and dragged under, with no way to break free from the burdens, all hope seems gone. You’re always hoping for that last ray of light to save you.

Thankfully, I had a couple of good friends and at times, family, who sensed that I was drowning and pulled me up, or I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Though the land above the water seems out of place, it represents the dark storm taking place up in the world. I also have a great fear of swimming in lakes and ponds with all of the unseen horrors floating around, touching me. I am not a great swimmer, despite years of lessons, so I generally avoid swimming altogether. I hope you enjoy the painting for the beauty of it being a painting, even though it represents one of the darkest times of my life. The next one will be a beautiful ending to the story. This painting is 14"x18"

"You Raise Me Up"

This is my favorite song, by Selah or Josh Groban. And also the name of this painting, the final painting in my personal struggle series. 2 years ago I was going through one of the most difficult trials of my life. It was a life changing circumstance that nearly destroyed me. (I am very sorry I can’t go into details about it on a public platform.) Weeks of anguish and tears and then the day I got a phone call with the good news, my husband asked me to paint how I felt in that moment. It took me months to put the deep well of emotions into a picture in my mind. And another year to find the time and strength to get it out of my head and heart and onto this canvas. For days and weeks on end, I listened to that song. Through tears and sorrow and hopelessness and constant praying, I felt as if I was sinking into the deep, black water and there was no hope. On that pivotal day, I felt the hands of God raise me up out of the darkest water and into the light. I could breathe and see the light again, the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. I feel like this painting represents so many of the difficult times in my life, and perhaps for many of you as well. Randy graciously posed his hands for a photo shoot for this painting not knowing what they were for. While they portray the hands of God, it is also comforting that they are his hands as well. This painting is dedicated to Randy and I am so glad he is here long enough to see it. This series of paintings is hung in our living room and anyone is welcome to come look at them, since photos just don’t do them justice. They are a constant, daily reminder of how far I have come, and how much God has been there for me and continues to be by my side. I know I will never sink that low again and it helps me to remember to trust Him. Every single day. I know I have a rough road coming and I know God will be there too.

Be sure to check out my videos for a time lapse of this painting. This painting is 24"x36".

You Raise Me Up

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary When troubles come and my heart burdened be Then, I am still and wait here in the silence Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas I am strong, when I am on your shoulders You raise me up, to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas I am strong, when I am on your shoulders You raise me up, to more than I can be.

There is no life no life without its hunger Each restless heart beats so imperfectly But when you come and I am filled with wonder Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas And I am strong, when I am on your shoulders You raise me up, to more than I can be. You raise me up, to more than I can be

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