"Let Your Journey of Brokenness, become your anthem of Hope"
Today after intense introspection with my therapists guidance, our session ended and sat here in silence, which is rare in this house...I just sat here...staring at my zoom session box as it closed out.
I then looked up.
Facing me is this "old" 6'6" Self Portrait Painting. It has sat here in this same spot since we moved into our home. I don't take much thought of it, and if I was honest, I shun the words that I wrote in sharpie marker through out the painting...but, today, I forced myself to look.
I took this photo - and refused to edit the back ground because what I seen today was not the clutter of mess surrounding me, as usual-but rather the foundation of my life again from 2005. My eyes scanned the words...
It was Easter, March 27th, 2005. A couple days prior, I had ripped the canvas, stretched and stapled it to the frame that I had sized-cut-nailed together. Gessoed her and let her bake in the sun. I would wait for the calling of what the Lord would gift me to paint. The Lord had just RADICALLY set me free, and truly birthed a groaning of His spirit in me that I had never known and all I wanted to do was proclaim His liberty . I was going to Grace Church of Avondale at the time and their continuous prayers of intercession in the spirit broke me free. Years of horrific torment-ceased.
I chose to be alone that Easter morning and I set this canvas in the doorway of my parents garage- and I began to paint. I grabbed a sharpie marker in the midst of the piece and started to write everything Jesus spirit was pressing on my heart.
I was so assured and I ••K N E W••without a doubt I was His and He was mine and I was ready to stand still and meet Jesus face to face.
Today I did not see the clutter. I seen the words, " Let your journey of brokenness become your anthem of Hope."
I read that, and I thought to myself..."journey of brokenness?"
"LesLea. Really??" I told myself, "You had no idea what broken was when you wrote that...plus you were single and alone."
Yet in that time, it was...I was broken to the ground-literally unable to lift my head off the floor at one point, I wasn't able to move due to a biblical dispute with false teaching that about took me out, it manifested physically. I remember sobbing to a dear friend on the phone that ended up running to my aid, but it was the darkest place I knew at the age of 24. The caliber by which I measured brokenness then was appropriated to what I had known up until that point. No less validated. No less important or substantial-but the experience of those words then- did not measure the brevity of what those words read today.
I was angry to read it. I thought, "LesLea, You had no idea what was coming. you. had. no. idea."
My mind then went back, and I remembered when I presented this painting to my dear friend, who I highly respected, the one who told me to start painting with him... so I followed. I showed him this piece, and his words have rung in my ears. I would hear him every time I would look at this painting...
"It's good, but it doesn't look like it is finished."
Now, at the time, I felt a slight offense rise up. He was- I should say is-an incredible artist and his words held great weight.
Today, in the stillness- I heard my friends words again. But this time, they were not an offense, but rather a calling to come back. A calling to reassess this piece that is now just over 16 years old. To walk back into this place that I have left, yet fought so hard to lay hold of again. To enter in. This painting was my Ebenezer...my "Stone of help" per say. The place where I laid down my life and surrendered to even martyrdom. At that time, I was so zealous that I even wrote a letter to my parents, stating who I wanted to perform my service-what to be played and who was to speak- "if" I was pass and be with the Lord.
I was so wild. In the the dash of my convertible red mustang I had a 3"x5" card, wedged in front of my odometer. Written in bold black and red letters was, "The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." Naïve.
I thought I was ready to take on the world, as we all do at that age. Little did I know, I was about to step into this place of sobering that now- at this point-has almost taken out my faith completely. But I am reminded today again as I write,
"This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
I thought today. Jesus was not asking me to be a martyr burning on a pole in a foreign country, now if it calls for it, Lord give me the grace. But, he was calling me to a LIFE of spiritual martyrdom to my flesh. A city on this hill. A candle of LIGHT within the boundaries He has set for me. To become a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto Him, which is my reasonable service-H E R E, in Jacksonville, Florida, on the Westside of Town...
My Obedience is what he desires, rather than my sacrifice.
This is the Kingdom of God, in power and demonstration. Christ LIVING through this precious-yet broken fallen flesh. He alone has made us incorruptible-even now in this moment as we have received Him.
Think about this, as surrendered believers we are present and currently seated WITH Him, IN Him in heavenly places, amidst the elders and angels...to behold Him in the beauty of His temple.
Do I believe this?? God Do I??
Lord...help me Jesus, help my unbelief.
I pray in some facet that I may bring His beauty to this earth. but it is going to take, hearing His calling. The gentle wooing of His spirit. To take Him by the hand, and enter in.
My friends words were prophetic...whether he knew it or not, they were Jesus' spirit.
Remember, whose you are.
Now, go...and finish it.
Fix your gaze on the one that now has brought you through 16 more years.
"LesLea, make your garage a studio-My studio, step into the grief-channel the pain."
"Let your journey of brokenness, become your anthem of hope."