My Friend, I See You. (#5)

My friend, I see you.
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It’s Father’s day. So many people are posting happy things on Facebook… photos of them and their fathers, laughing, smiling, making beautiful memories. You know you ought to be happy for them, but all you can feel is the ache inside…. for you never had that with your father.

My sister, I see you.
You feel like your whole life is ruined because you never had a godly example of manhood from your father growing up. You have a twisted view of men that frustrates you. You worry that you’ll never be able to get married because you’re so damaged.

My friend, I see you.
Father’s day hurts now, because it reminds you of your loss. Others will see and celebrate their fathers today. You won’t see yours again…. perhaps ever. It is a day of mourning for you.
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My brother, I see you.
You’re afraid to get married for fear that you’ll act like him. Your father. The man who hurt you and your mother. The man you saw abusing those he was supposed to cherish and love. The fear paralyzes you and makes you cry yourself to sleep some nights. You want a real family, but you can’t imagine ever doing something like that to anyone…. maybe it’s safer to live isolated.

My friend, I see you.
Your father wasn’t around. He wasn’t a “bad father”. He didn’t hurt you. He just…. forgot. He was just busy. He’d tell you that he’d take you out for your birthday, and you eagerly anticipated it, but the day came and went and he didn’t remember.
You feel like you don’t really have a right to be hurt, because he provided for you and loved you in his own way, but the neglect hurts and you can’t get rid of it.

My sister, I see you.
You’re scared of men now; sure that, deep down, they’re all like your dad. He seemed so nice to outsiders. He knew all the right words to say. He was even nice to you sometimes… but the nice times were the most horrifying, because you knew that they were leading up to something terrible…..

My friend, I see you.
The Lord sees your pain and does not condemn you.
The Lord knows your brokenhearted grief.
The Lord can restore a balanced view of manhood and leadership, even though your experiences have been so evil.
You are not doomed to repeat the sins of your father. Actively identify and replace the thought patterns that would render you like Him, and seek counsel. There is victory and hope in Christ.
Our heavenly Father does not forget nor neglect His children. Being hurt is okay. Run to Him.
Take your fears and insecurities and broken trust to Christ, and believe in His effective work in those around you. You can trust again, based on His promises.

” Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” -Psalm 68:5

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My Friend, I see you. #1

My sister, I see you.
You’re the girl who was abused as a child, and now feels as if all of her worth has been robbed of her, and that no man can bear the amount of brokenness you carry inside.

My brother, I see you. Continue reading “My Friend, I see you. #1”

The process of a portrait

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So, some of you know that I draw illustrated portraits.

This particular one was made for a couple who have been married over twenty years. It’s so beautiful to see his tender, protective love for his wife, and her faithful care for him and their children.

I’m going to give you a peek into my process of creating this portrait.IMG_9512.JPG

The first thing I did was to gather a number of photos of Mr. C. and Mrs. J. from different angles and lighting. I wanted to see their physical characteristics as well as their mannerisms (I already knew them in person, so I didn’t have to interview the client about their personalities– otherwise I would have spent some time getting a feel for that aspect of this couple as well).

I then took some time to sketch out a basic idea of how I wanted the couple posed, and what colors I wanted to use in their clothing/hair color/accessories.

I chose bright, happy colors for Mrs. J. because she’s an animated lady who doesn’t let much stop her. The colors I sorted through for Mr. C. were more quiet and subdue, to reflect his strong but quiet character. As you can see in the image, I played around with different color combinations before I finally settled on the theme of primary colors.

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I then started drawing the portrait on my watercolor paper. I tried to make sure my lines were dark enough to see, but not so dark that I couldn’t erase them entirely– because in this stage of the portrait, there is a lot of erasing and fixing and re-drawing until it’s just right.

This is the hardest (and longest) stage.

Once I’d gotten the sketch to a point where I was satisfied, I started adding color.

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(often working by the light of a desk lamp. Good for seeing details: bad for taking pictures. Oh well.)

More color was added: then shading. I used watercolor paints, which I’m still learning to use. They’re fun, though. I’m going to have a hard time returning to watercolor pencils.

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Finally, I worked out the border. I did several test-borders before settling on this one. I chose colors that harmonized with the portrait, as well as ones that held significance (the strongest being red to symbolize their love in marriage, and yellow to symbolize their friendship).

And that’s that. I actually forgot to sign the piece before I shipped it off. But oh well. I was happy with it.

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