Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 1 Corinthians 13:8 Good News Translation (GNT)
R4:17 explores the intersection of art, life, and faith through original artistic visual imagery and stories. This is my life journal.
I’m a visual artist and hope dealer. I create images about hope. I believe true healing and restoration occurs when we courageously step into our stories of pain.
Darkness comes to all of us and sometimes the future could look depressing. You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward and the temptation to quit lingers. But no matter how outrageous or impossible, we can’t let go of hope. If we do, we give up a part of us dies and giving up is not a path to a complete, satisfying, and fulfilling life. Without hope, we lose clarity, confidence, and cadence. Hope is where we find the reason to live and to make our way in the world.
After my divorce was finalized in January 2014, photography not only became a much-needed distraction but it also helped me to express my feelings and my pain in a way that I felt comfortable with. I discovered Instagram in February 2014. At first, the subjects I decided to shoot and the captions I used for my images reflected the darkness that wandered in my life, but gradually my pictures started to show some hints of light and hope, a clear sign that my recovery was in process.
I became aware that my life story became a story filled with tensions that eventually led to change, to hope because during those times I learned how to pray, get to know God, understood who I was in Him, learned who is He to me, and submit to His will.
Finally, my Instagram account became a hope-centered travelogue of my life’s hills and valleys with an active sense of God’s redemptive presence at work even in the midst of difficulties. I’ve learned that night is always darkest before the dawn, light shines the brightest in dark places. It’s from our deepest wounds that beauty finds a place to blossom.
Our stories are not complete, so don’t give up when it is only half written. God is always good. He is the best story writer and a life-giver.
It’s a lifetime of surrendering our pen to the Author in exchange to see lives exploding with redemption and restoration beyond our wildest imagination. God always writes better stories of us than we would write it for ourselves.
My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. 1 Peter 5:12 NLT