Updated: Nov 2
"Even when I didn't feel close to God, He was always there. Even though I didn't feel Him how I wanted in those moments,He was there."
My mother-in-law told me this a few weeks back. At the time, I didn't really understand what she meant.
I started working on this collection of paintings around this time. I knew that I wanted this series of paintings to be about finding peace in this chaos we're living in.
As I started working on these paintings, I realized that I wasn't feeling peace in my life. How was I suppose to create these 'peaceful' paintings when I wasn't feeling that peace in my own life or seeing peace in the world around me?
A few Sunday's later, I heard a song that I know I've heard a million times before, but this time something clicked with the lyrics.
"Doesn't matter what I feel
Doesn't matter what I see
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me
Now I'm casting out all fear
For Your love has set me free
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me"
The lyrics 'doesn't matter what I feel' and 'doesn't matter what I see' suddenly had a meaning to me, and I understood what my mother-in-law meant by her statement a few weeks back.
It can feel like we are in this never ending chaos. It can feel like things will never get better.
I don't always see peace in our community, country and world.
But that's just it. It's not always about seeing or feeling with God.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"
Hebrews 11: 1
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:7
"Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered."
It's not always about feeling or seeing peace. Sometimes it has to be about knowing peace.
Not just any peace, a peace that only comes from having faith in God's promises.
I pray that we begin to see peace and feel peace in our lives again, but until then I pray that we know the peace that Jesus left us through the Holy Spirit.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
I pray we have faith in God's promises and find the peace that can only be found in Him.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Unlike my previous series, it was very important to me that these paintings physically represent that battle between peace and chaos.
The physical elements of these paintings each have a different role.
The black charcoal scribbles represent chaos.
The black charcoal scribbles eventually turn into a botanical drawing. This is a representation of how God can use this chaos and make something good come out of it.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
All the white space represents peace.
The gold sprinkled throughout represents divine intervention. God is always with us. Through the peace and the chaos.
The scriptures written on the back of each of these paintings serve as reminders to have faith in God's promises and to find peace in Him.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
The overall impression of these paintings is peaceful. Peace wins. Jesus wins.The light outshines the darkness ALWAYS.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
My emotions, my feelings, and what I see in this world will always leave me broken and confused. My peace has to come from KNOWING. Knowing God's promises. Having faith that they will be fulfilled. Believing that He is righteous and good and wants the best for me, for you, for everyone.
"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
'Peace in Chaos' will be available for pre-sale this Thursday, October 1st at 8 A.M. CST through Sunday, October 4th at 8 P.M. CST exclusively to my email subscribers.
MOST paintings will not be to shipped or delivered until after November 6th when this exhibition closes. This pre-sale will allow you to have first dibs on these paintings before they are seen by the public. These paintings are available to purchase on interest-free monthly payment plans.
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'Peace in Chaos' opens Tuesday, October 6th from 4:30 to 6 P.M. at The Sarah Ellen Gillespie Musuem of Art on William Carey University's campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Face masks are required, and we will be social distancing, but everyone is invited to attend! :) This body of work will be hung alongside permanent works from the museum's collection, which includes work by Andrew Bucci and Walter Anderson.
I'm so so excited to share this body of work with yall!
These paintings will be available to purchase Thursday, November 5th at 8 A.M. CST on shelbyleighdesigns.com! :)