When I can get some good light to take photos of my other pages I will share with you the first pages I made on this art journaling journey through the soul journaling workshop. But for now I have one particular page, one particular journey I want to share with you. It came at an interesting time as two situations combined to bring about this page. Firstly one of my favourite art journalers, journalartista had been talking about art journaling through her attempts at weight loss and had worked on a page where she wrote down all the negative things that had been said or she had said about her body, then she obliterated them and created something new on top of that page. THEN, yesterday morning I got to a section of homework in my bible study that talks about negative words that have been spoken over us, either by others or ourselves and asks us to pray through those. And I knew I had to combine the two.
SO I went to a fresh two page spread in my art journal.
The page had been prepped by gluing down ripped up pages from a random book I bought from the pound shop just for that purpose. Then I had put a coat of gesso over both pages.
Then I wrote down the words, the phrases that came to mind in relation to this, on the whole, ones that still had a power in my life, but one of them was there just as a reminder, as I had dealt with it before. Then I prayed through each of the things written down. I forgave the people who has said those things, I released them from anything I had tried to hold over them. I asked God to forgive me for taking up those things and allowing them to become part of my identity and I declared that the power of those lies (for that is what they are) was broken. And anything else that God brought to mind for each phrase. As I finished working through each phrase, I took my white out pen and put a single line through it. That is the picture you see above.
That morning a set of watercolour crayons had arrived in the post and so I started to play. GRIN! I got a little bit out of hand and didn't bother with any particular colour scheme, just WENT FOR IT, sticking colour after colour down on the page as I wanted to try out as many of them as possible. These are so much nicer to use than watercolour pencils, there just is no comparison and I am delighted that I bought them. I didn't buy the expensive ones, just went for the cheaper ones, but even these are a delight.
Of course, then I took a wet brush to the page and blended in those colours. Now, you can still see the writing underneath, you can probably still read most of them, and I was thinking about this as I worked and realised that actually isn't that what happens? We have these things, these words, these labels and we try to do something about them, we try to work through them, and it doesn't always work, sometimes they still have power in our lives, still have a hold on us. Sometimes that is because we have tried in our own strengths, sometimes that is because God is saying to us, something along the lines of what Donkey say to Shrek in the first movie "Shrek, you're an onion." Sometimes it's about layers, and God can't move onto the next layer until the last one is completely removed. It's important to remember that when we find ourself dealing with an issue we thought we had already dealt with. Sometimes it's just about layers.
So then another layer went onto the page.
I wanted to use green because green represents hope, as it says in Romans 15 in The Message: Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!.
So I put that layer down. I like the way you can distinguish some of the watercolour crayon colours from others but you can' necessarily see what colours they are. And again it made me think. I thought back to the previous picture and how, yes, sometimes our efforts in this area don't work because they are just that, OUR efforts, and where we have tried and tried and failed to remove these labels from our lives, and still come up needing more we can STILL turn to our loving Heavenly father and ask Him to come in and do the work, ask Him to come in and cover over those words, remove their power in our lives and he WILL if we let Him.
Then, another layer, that I don't have a photo of on its own, unfortunately. I dry brushed a layer of yellow paint over the top of the green. And then it was ready! Ready for the things that needed to replace those words and phrases I had covered over, ready for the things God had whispered earlier as I had worked through these issues.
I am Zoe and I am proud!
I don't know whether you can tell from this photo, but you can still see where some of the words are. You can still see if you look VERY carefully what one of them even says. And that's OK for me. Because nothing I or God does will ever make those words unsaid. They can't be removed from ever having been spoken. They are part of my history, they are part of what brought me to where I am today and that's OK. Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. You don't need to have forgotten in order to have successfully forgiven.
I don't think this page is finished yet, I will probably come back to it, either as God whispers other words I need to add to the page or as I find an image of other addition that I want to add.
On a practical note, where I stamped "I am Zoe" I used a pigment ink because I loved loved loved the colour. Anyone who has done art journaling will know that pigment ink will never dry over acrylics. But what I did was take my matt medium and very carefully apply a layer of that over the top of the stamped words and now they are protected and dry. The "& I am" is stamped in permanent ink (but I need a new pad or a re inker cuz this one is nearly dry) and the Proud is stamped in black acrylic paint. The stamped "Strong" on the other page is stamped and embossed in white sea foam.