Updated: Jan 6, 2021
Regularly on social media, I see posts of the “arrival moments” in life, like the happy anniversary, the destination vacation, and the winning champions. However, real life isn’t always Facebook or Instagram pretty and complete! For every great relationship, there is also a dying to self of the individuals as they seek to be united with each other. Behind destination vacations can be months of planning and saving to make it a reality, and any champion athlete can tell you that before the trophy or ring, there are years of 5 a.m. and afternoon practices six or seven days a week, not to mention all the workouts, cross-training, nutrition, etc. That’s the middle part of the journey that so often we don’t see, and I’m learning it may be the most important part. Simply put—the middle matters*!
I’ve particularly seen this to be true as I painted, The Testament, a 150-200 year-old twisted juniper tree. While I was painting this tree and posting my progress, I shared how the beauty of this remarkable tree is actually achieved through the hardships of hurricane force sheer winds, extreme drought, severe cold, and blizzards that the tree endures annually. These environmental challenges force the tree to bend and twist as it grows, rather than break and die. Ultimately, the beautiful twisted growth patterns and unusual shape of the tree are a direct result of endured hardships.
As I shared the struggles of my journey and painting, many of you reached out to me with your own “twisted juniper” stories of heartache, healing, inspiration, and encouragement. Over and over again I see how much the middle matters, for it is there in life’s refining fire that God forges the beauty of character, wisdom and strength within each of us through the individual challenges we face.
I don’t know where this newsletter will find you today. Maybe today is a social media “arrival moment” for you, in which case, I celebrate your joy and look forward to hearing all about it! However, if today is yet another of many days in a season where, like the twisted juniper, you are facing the blizzards and crippling winds of life, I want to take a moment to encourage you. Right now, where you are matters. The middle matters because God wastes nothing—not a single tear, loss, trauma, nor heartache. Just as God uses environmental hardships to shape the twisted juniper into an awe-inspiring creation, God will use every part of your story to accomplish His purposes in you and through you to make you His masterpiece.
On another note, I am thrilled to share my acrylic paintings, The Testament and Moonlight Whisper, have been accepted into Fusion Art’s 4th Annual International Online Juried Color Competition at https://fusionartps.com/4th-colors-art-exhibition-march-2020/, and are featured through the end of March. Artists from North America, Europe, Africa, South America and the South Pacific competed to be featured. While I did not place, I feel honored to be juried/accepted into such a diverse art show. Additionally, a limited giclée series of The Testament is available for purchase in sizes 11 x 14”, 16 x 20”, and 22 x 28”. For more information and to see additional work for sale, go to https://www.lisahewettfineart.com.
If you know of another person who may be struggling with “the middle” right now, and could use some encouragement, please feel free to share this with them. As always, I love hearing back from you. I appreciate your support, your inspiration, and I appreciate you!
Art for Everyone!
*Thank you to my friend, Hannah Morrell, for introducing me to this phrase.