Monday, April 18, 2011

Painting Faith

When our daughter married and  moved out a year ago, our son moved into her old bedroom.  I decided to use my son's old room as my office and guest bedroom.  The room needed a fresh coat of paint and I knew from previous experiences painting a room is not as easy as it seems. I had the color picked out for months and day dreamed about what it would look like.  After learning that a friend from another state wanted to visit for a few days, I knew it was time to tackle the painting project.
I gathered all my supplies and was initially very excited about the project. After I moved all of the furniture out and set everything up, I stared at the ceiling, I found myself wishing someone would come along and do it for me, and I hadn't even started painting yet! (Do you remember when you first became a Christian, you were excited and ready and then came the time when you had to make some changes or  things didn't seem to go the way you wanted or expected; maybe you found yourself wishing someone else would come along and do this faith journey for you).
I knew the thought of someone coming along to paint for me, wasn't an option, so I began to paint the ceiling. At first it wasn't bad. As I got to the half way point I noticed my neck and shoulders were starting to ache. I was also feeling frustrated as I wasn't seeing the results fast enough .(Have you ever felt frustrated that your prayers aren't getting answered fast enough or maybe you wonder if God is even hearing your prayers).  
The ceiling paint I used, painted on as pink but dried as white. It became very clear whenever  I crossed the line. (Do you find yourself more aware of when you are spiritually or morally crossing the line?)  As I continued to paint the ceiling I began to get more frustrated, as I saw more and more the mistakes I kept making.  The reality was I was trying to paint too fast and I was not able to perfect the technique needed to keep the ceiling and the wall paint separated. (Have you ever been frustrated when you are trying to do all the right things but it's still not working the way you expect, and if you are honest, you know you have been taking short cuts and and trying to rush the process).

After I finished painting the ceiling I called it a night and decided I would start the walls in the morning.  The next morning a friend stopped by to check on my progress (who is in my opinion, a master wall painter and has the ability to paint a room in a blink of an eye (well, almost) and it will be perfect when she is done).  I was expecting her to critique all of my mistakes and quite honestly, I was hoping she would say, "oh, what a mess you have made, I will finish this for you." She did not critique nor did she offer to paint in place of me.  Instead she was encouraging and offered advice.  She motivated me to finish the job and finish it well. (How often do you allow yourself to see only your mistakes and not your progress.  Do you ever find yourself wishing someone else better-more equipped would simply come along and do the hard work for you).
After my friend left, I was encouraged and inspired to finish the project and I was determined to finish it well. I began to roll the paint on the wall.  With each roll I was encouraged.  I was seeing results. As I painted the wall I left the very top and bottom alone, so that I could carefully paint the "crease" between the ceiling and the wall, because truth be told, whenever I paint a room, I paint the ceiling the same color as the wall.  The only reason I have done this is because I am intimidated by the possibility of messing up.  I am not a crafty artsy kind of girl, and sometimes I have trouble cutting a straight line.  Just thinking of trying to paint evenly and between two colors stresses me.  (Do you ever allow yourself to be intimidated or stressed by things that you feel unequipped to do.  How many opportunities or blessing have you missed out on because of this?).
I was determined not to give the paint "the power" and I was intentional about my pace, recalling the wisdom and advice my friend gave me on holding the brush, the amount of paint to put on the brush, and the technique she showed me. As I applied what I had learned and took my time, before I knew it, I had painted almost perfectly. The few lines that were still obvious, would be easy to touch up.  (We must remember if we keep our armor on, become intentional about our faith, and are willing to surrender to Christ, we will see results and we must remember its about a personal relationship-you and Jesus).
I finished the last touch up and was thrilled with the results of all my hard work and effort. I waited until the next day to put the furniture back in the room and once I had everything in place I was more than happy with the outcome and proud of myself for sticking it out and following through.  I was also proud that I had accomplished something I didn't think I could do.  (Never give day at a time, one moment at a time, there is always hope!)


  1. Hi Sheryl. I came across your blog after doing a Google search on "a scarlet rope of hope", which is the name of a new blog site I'm managing for women who suffer from depression ( I'm so glad I found your blog! It's so encouraging and even though I'm all the way over here in Australia, I'm going to order your book. I suffer from depression and anxiety and am on the road to overcoming it. I believe also that PTSD and anxiety/panic go hand in hand. I also believe that it's not just war veterans, abuse sufferers, etc that suffer from PTSD - it can be anyone who has experienced anything painful. I look forward to following you. I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to add your blog address to the Scarlet Rope of Hope web-site. Blessings & love, Paula :)

  2. Thanks for this post! I love to paint but I always get to this halfway hump when I just wish all the edges were done already lol. You should post the pics on here of your final product. I'm sure you're so glad that it is FINISHED! I love that feeling. :)


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