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Swathes of grey seem to have enveloped me over the last month, as the lightness of summer faded into autumn, leaving behind a wake of drab, dreary days and I have struggled to drag myself from the negativity that seems to bring. Normally, I love autumn and its steady heralding of blazing, fiery colours, so this has come as a surprise for me.

Admittedly, it hasn’t been an easy month, with family illness and bereavement as well as a car accident and my own reluctance to return to some work that I no longer feel passionate about….but still… I am struggling with my own inability to remain positive, as well as uphold others in theirs.
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On grey cloudy days, it is all too easy to lose our way. Those who enjoy hill walking will know how essential it is to keep an alert eye on the weather, lest the mist and fog descends and cuts us off. The clear, awe inspiring view can change rapidly to a fog of damp, swirling grey that clings to our skin, disorientating our journey and preventing us from seeing the way forward.
On days like these, it is difficult to remember that the beautiful landscape has not changed but is only hidden by the inclement weather. Those navigating treacherous paths in bad weather know that they cannot always rely on their own judgement. They need a compass and map to guide them back to safety. Sometimes, in extreme circumstances, this may mean hunkering down, keeping warm & concentrating on survival until the way becomes clear, or even waiting to be rescued, lest wandering around in the fog leads them over a dangerous precipice.

In difficult “foggy and grey” times, I am not good at being kind to myself, expecting as much of myself as I would in sunnier times. I make no allowances for being “lost “so I get tired and grumpy and miserable as I wander aimlessly in the fog. I rely on feelings instead of faith; attempting to travel my own paths instead of hunkering down and recalling how much I need to look to the compass of God’s Word, the Bible.
Relying on a compass to navigate doesn’t change the weather, but it does make navigating safer. I believe that if I begin again to rely on turning to God’s Word, the Bible again, then perhaps I will begin to feel more grounded, less lost.
After all, God, like the mountains, remains the same…. the darkness of night or the grey fog that can come down unexpectedly in our journey through life cannot take that away, only hide it for a while.

I recalled a sketch I had made several years ago entitled “Even in the darkest night there are stars” and felt compelled to realise the image into a small finished piece. Being creative helps to ease me out of the self pity and gives me a purpose….for me, it’s like reading a page turning, good book that you can’t put down, as I become absorbed in the process of choosing fabrics, colours, threads; involved in decisions about composition, structure, layout, layers…. stitching my way to positivity.

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It gives me great satisfaction and a feeling of wellbeing as a piece begins to come together, after so many decisions and trials; light begins to emerge from the jumble of creative thoughts… the fog lifts to reveal what has been waiting to emerge….

This too, a truth in itself…. spiritual “fog” often seems to accompany a waiting time, something I’ve never been good at… and precedes an awakening, a realisation… Perhaps I just need to be patient with God’s timing……

For me, this piece has helped me to remember again:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you, Lord God will be with me…”
(Psalm 23)
Often it is only in the dark times that we can see the brightness of the stars…the special, ordinary yet amazing things that keep us going. In the good times, we can often miss or take for granted…glimpses of rainbows, a daisy growing out of the concrete wasteland, a smile, the architecture of an incredible building, recalling a special place or moment in the past….the endless “stars” scattered by the Creator, across the vast sky of our lives.

 

 

 

SHINE LIKE STARS- MIXED MEDIA TEXTILE

In my darkness, can I still be starlight? Can I shine brightly in this place that I am, despite its apparent greyness? Maybe from another perspective, this place is daytime just as the other side of the world sees sunshine as we experience the night.

Being starlight… what a thing to aspire to!

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“Shine like stars in the universe….” (Philippians 2:15) says the Bible.

“Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever.

(Daniel 12:3, The Message)

On grey, dark days it is only God that shines through me

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