Double Scoops of Hope

With each of the ice cream images, I am using them as a way to express gratitude to God for the truths He taught me during Lyme treatment. I am hoping these little writings and confessions will equip my children to love those who are suffering and to move through their own difficult seasons with a posture of gratitude. I often lost sight of the good that God was doing in the midst of the trial. I am grateful now though to be able to look back and see how gracious God was to me in that season. He stored up truths in my heart that could only be learned in the valley, and for that, I am grateful.

It took a long time for my heart to thaw in the aftermath of Lyme. It was as if I was frozen in time, lost in a foreign land of grief, stuck and unable to find my way back to the me I used to be. I felt deep shame for lingering so long in the valley, and for the ways it affected those around me. To be honest, I couldn’t even understand what exactly I was grieving, but every time I asked God what was wrong with me, He led me to the word “grief.” I asked him how to find my way back to the me I used to know, and He simply said go play in paint and write your memories of summer.

I began filling notebooks full of summer memories, taking summer photos, and painting anything and everything that spoke of summer. Somewhere along the way, the frozen places began to melt and the winter thoughts began to be expelled by the gathering of summer gratitude. God had to re-teach me to see my story half-full, not half empty. It was a slow and arduous climb, but gradually, I began to move out of the valley and up toward the mountain of praise. I am still in the process of making my way home, but I hear Him saying, go share the art of summer and remind the body that sometimes the grieving ends in the places where gratitude begins.

The painting below is called Double Scoops of Hope. The poem is about a childhood memory of my mother waiting for ice cream to thaw before serving us. The painting is paired with a couple of verses that are speaking truth to me in my own “thawing process”.

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