When we hear the words, “unconditional love,” what is it that we think of first? Is it our parents, children, spouse, friend, pet or someone else special in your life? Do we really understand unconditional love? Last night my husband and I actually watched a movie! We rarely have time to do this. The movie was “I Can Only Imagine.” What a powerful movie! It brought back memories of my dad on his deathbed on July 4th, 2004. Growing up I experienced divorce with my parents and an absent father. My dad, although he was kind, was an alcoholic. I have memories of being a little girl and my mother carrying me to the car to go pick my dad up from the bar. We had many phone calls from bartenders during the wee hours of the morning. I heard lots of fighting and sometimes he didn’t come home for days at a time.
This continued to happen throughout my childhood until one day I came home from school and everything was gone. My mother moved out and my dad moved in with a woman that he had met in a bar. As a young girl I was devastated and after living with friends and family for years at the age of 16 I became an emancipated minor. I learned quickly that through hard work and education a girl could survive. Through all of my hardships in life, I never gave up on my father or stopped loving him. As a matter of fact, on his deathbed, I told him that I forgave him and that God loved him and that he could be forgiven just as I was. My dad was a tall and very handsome man but when he went home to the One that created him he weighed only 60 pounds. You see, even when we are weak and sick God is there for us. He took his last breath that day and I was very sad and extremely mad at him for not being there for me. I had to forgive him with all of my heart. Even though I said it to him I had to believe what I said or it was worth nothing. Unconditional love comes with a price. My husband says that unforgiveness is like you drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! Once you have forgiven someone or have been forgiven by someone that you have wronged it is a beautiful feeling and there is so much freedom in it. I believe with all of my heart that every single hurt, obstacle or experience, both good and bad, shape us into the person that we are today. It’s so important to have a creative outlet while going through life. As long as I have been on my own I have always found beauty in something that someone threw out to the trash. It’s called redemption! There will always be bad things that happen to us in life, some we bring on ourselves and others we don’t deserve, but it’s our choice if we become bitter or better through it, We can look for the bad or we can find the good. It’s our choice to make. I’ve chosen to find the good, to enjoy life, make friends and love as much as I have in me. My art is my self-expression of what is inside of me. When I pick up a paintbrush or a chef’s knife and can create something, I am a happy woman. There is always an outlet. Please don’t let anger burn inside you, get it out in a healthy way and you will always be a blessing to someone else. You see, it’s not all about teaching a method of painting, creating, or cooking; what it’s really about is expressing yourself without fear of rejection because once you experience the love of the Father, that’s really all that you need. It’s then that we can find fulfilling relationships here on earth. So go and show compassion and forgiveness and just watch how love grows in your heart and extends to your hands to your art.
Always be yourself,