Breaking Into Joy... Circles

I've been a place of circles
swiftly round and round
and slower still than water
Where do I go? What binds me, holds me, looses me?
I have not a clue
except that it is Christ and the fullness of Him
The completeness of Him
The embrace of His wholeness
This is the circles
I am the circles.
He is the circles
by Pattie Ann Hale

"Breakthrough" ~ "Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death." - Rev. 2:11 - The Message
Recently, I faced something so heart-wrenching that it dared to steal everything I had gained in the area of wholeness, completeness, confidence. The journey to a place of confidence that I was a captivating witness of God's love had been a hard one, but for a few years, I had lived it and loved it.
In a few short days, people in whom I had placed a lot of trust almost ripped that from me. Now let me say that I am not one to feel victimized by others... I don't give anyone that power, but the words, lies and shocking wounding jabs that were made towards me did knock me off-kilter. It was a direct assault on me… my character, my art, my vision, my ways… shall I go on? My Holy Spirit gave me much grace in the middle of it but it was like going through a train wreck and realizing how injured you are days later when the bruises appear and the ache sets in. I've dealt with many things but it seemed this was something that could strip me of my very faith, my very hope in the goodness of people and ultimately my faith in God.
God is my Everything.
So…. to lose my faith in God.... why? How?
I'm one that goes where God leads. I've picked up and moved to new cities more than once because I was following His leading. I go where He leads... try my best to do what He calls me to do. Facing the betrayal made me doubt that I even knew His leading. Wasn’t I in this place, in this season, with these people because of His leading? I was trying to do what He had called me to do... and that was all being thrown in my face - misunderstood and rejected.
I die daily… I will be one with the sufferings of Christ… Count it all joy when persecutions come… my spirit raced to deliver me.
Had I missed God?
Did I really even know Him?
Was the vision I had even real?
It’s strange how the enemy can attack us at the very core of who we are and that immediately causes us to wander if we know who God is.
I was stabbed to the core. I lost all vision. My words were, "I will not do another thing. I will stay to myself. Leave everyone alone. Walk my own path. And I will not listen any longer to what God leads me to do. I will be normal."
I painted circles.
I had watched a youtube video about the weaving of Rachel John (below). She knitted 1000 strands of beautiful yarn into a work of art. As I watched the video I could not get over the circles of the tops of the yarn skeens. The circles of colors pricked my heart in a way I could not understand... but yet, it set me into motion.
I painted on a birch panel, which is representative of renewal and great endurance. Birch trees are planted in areas that have been burnt to the ground because they so quickly will replenish and cover a destroyed area. I had been in this desolate place for only a little while but it was hell as I prayed and cried and processed; I searched my heart, searched my thoughts and ways, and grieved. I needed a quick replenishment of covering. I needed beauty... desperately.
My experience with the circles began with tears. The simplicity of the circles was welcoming. I did not need to think... just paint. As I moved through the simple painting... I felt joy rising. I began to sing in the Spirit. I began to dance... spinning around and then engaging with the board on the easel again and again... circles, more circles. I could feel I was in that place between the natural and the supernatural. I then entered into the heavenly realm... and it was PURE joy!
In His Presence is fullness of JOY!
Several days of hell had tormented me... but now I had engaged Heaven and I was undone and complete at the same time. Art has that power... it can transport us from one place to another - with lasting effects. Art heals. Art delivers. Art pushes out the darkness and ushers in the Light. I had met with God… and He reminded me of who I was… His beloved. That was all I needed. That was simplicity and joy.
After my first circles experience, I had a new resolve to love again, to forgive, to live fully, to have faith, to move forward. Walking it out is not the easiest thing, but when I look at my painting, I hear the song of Heaven and the joy arises again and I get a new strength in my steps. The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.
Everything is about seasons… we keep passing through seasons of change. Since I surrendered through simple creative expression, I’ve seen the Lord give me such a season of joy and rest. As a battle rages, I rest. I smile. I love… anyway.
M. Cunningham, in The Hours said, "You take a risk and move forward, and if hurt or disappointment come, you know that remaining positive and faith-filled will also keep your eyes clear enough to see the light, the goodness, and the blessing in the moments as they are redeemed. I am a trailblazer heading into unmapped country daily and there are seasons that change."
I’m a pioneer in the arts… one that provokes change… one that is a catalyst for the fresh expression of God’s heart…. one that will go where He leads… one that will endure the passing seasons with joy… nothing less than joy.
When you have joy… rest is easy. Striving evaporates. Sara Paddison said, “Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time—just like it does for you and me.”
To me, the circles are a glimpse of the beauty of Jesus. Circles speak of forward movement like Christ spoke of forward movement. Jesus completed all things. Circles are complete. There are many colors in my “Breaking Into Joy,” representing the myriad of colors found in the One True Joy – My Beloved. I am my Beloved’s and He is mine and I will lean on Him as I come out of the barren wilderness. My Redeemer is a good friend.
“Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous…” ~ Ruth 4:14

So this is the beginning of my experience with circles… there is more to come. :-)