And yet, God chose to work in our lives. Why? I do not know. But He did, and about 50 years later I put aside my art career to care for a mother I hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years I was her caregiver, advocate and overseer, and it changed me. Spiritual development rarely happens when things are going well. It takes the crucible of painful circumstances to refine us and transform us into the image of Christ as Paul speaks of in Romans, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:1-2).
When my mother contacted me to ask for help, I had to ask myself some questions.
- What happens when we radically trust God enough to forgive?
- What happens when we really trust His promises?
- How do we honor parents that never cared for us?
Mom is gone now. I am trying to move back into a life of creativity. This, too, is a journey. Although for 20 years I was a studio artist with gallery representation, I am finding the transition difficult. But God has had some surprises along the way.