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life is like

a box of chocolates.

Which direction will you take?  Every door you open, and every path you take will be a journey.  Choose wisely.  Dark or Semi-Sweet. The narrow or the wide.

     Run, no, he will catch me.  Hide, no, he will find me.  Could you help me?  Rescue me, please. Can’t you see I’m in agony?  I need you.

     Smiling, laughing, long sleeves, and buttoned-up shirts hide not just the bruises but the pain that comes with it.  Verbal, physical, and sexual abuse is hard to hide.  But I was good at it. It became part of my life for years, and I felt like an empty human shell with no self-worth.  I was hiding from the world, myself, and the pain. I wanted help but didn’t know how to reach out.  I was hoping someone could overlook the fake smile and laughter, notice the distress in my eyes, and discern my hurting soul.  

     For nearly a decade, I was told what to wear when I could eat or speak. Smiling at others was forbidden.  I got accustomed to looking down at my feet to avoid eye contact.  I was always watched and prohibited from expressing myself freely without permission.  Thankfully, that part of my life has come to an end.  Now, I can lift my head high and smile.  I have a voice, and I can express it through my art. Art and my Christian spiritual journey give me an escape and offer me hope. I’m a mixed media artist experimenting with a wide variety of mediums. My work shows an underlying symbolism of my deep spirituality and personal diversity. I carefully place words & quotes in my art. My art illustrates the pain and unpleasant scenes that deal with women’s issues with verbal, sexual, and physical abuse. I hope these issues will be openly addressed in the church without fear or shame.

     Out of our mouths come praise and curses.  The tongue sets fire and can lead to destruction.  On the other hand, it can edify and warm hearts; our words matter.  It can lead to life or death.  I choose to speak life.  You are strong. You are beautiful.  You are worthy.  You are loved. Believe in who you are and find the strength within. It took me years to grasp the truth; gratefully, I finally did.  I prefer to believe I am a strong woman.  I am beautiful, I am worthy, and I am loved.  

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