But I quickly realized that such a title was much too long to be useful. Not to mention the fact that Part 1 of this post has been waiting a year and a half for its conclusion. It just seemed highly unfair to title it anything other than "Part 2" under the circumstances.
You may recall (or you may not!) that when I started my blog in the Spring of 2009, I chose the name "Growing Is Beautiful" based on the art project I was working on at the time. It was a collage that I hoped would help me process my grief and my struggles as I worked to form new views about God, about myself, and about life in general.
Of course, I had no idea that my journey of loss had only begun, that my heart had much more breaking left to do, that my process of moving forward and rebuilding would extend far beyond the road I could see in front of me.
And let me just say here how grateful I am. Grateful that I didn't know what awaited me. Grateful that I don't have to go back and do it all again. Oh, I know. I know there will be many more stretches of grief in this life. But I don't know the when, the why, or the how. And this not knowing--it's what gives me the freedom to live, here in this moment, without fear of what lies ahead. Because I know the One Who Knows.
As loss after loss unfolded last year, the beginnings of my collage project went into a box along with most of my possessions, and I turned my attention to the matters at hand. I packed, I uprooted, I grieved. And I moved forward into a life I hadn't planned. A life I wasn't sure I wanted. A life I didn't quite know what to do with.
And my unfinished collage remained hidden and untouched.
But somewhere along the way, I discovered what God had known all along. It wasn't this collage that was going to help me find hope again. Rather, it was the telling of my story that would open the path for me to heal. And that telling happened here, on this blog entitled Growing Is Beautiful. A blog I started only to share my "art projects."
Instead, it's become a place where the Author of Life shares His art projects. And let me tell you, He's a far better Artist than I could ever hope to be.
Now, without further delay, let me present to you the collage that inspired this blog and, thus, started me on a journey I never expected but deeply needed:
|(Click photo to enlarge)|
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this post to learn more about the process of making this collage and the significance of the phrases I chose.
And let's hope 18 months won't pass before I get that post written.
(Click here to continue the story in Part 3)