Allow the Light of My healing Presence to shine in the deepest recesses of your being—
cleansing, healing, refreshing, and renewing you. Jesus Calling, March 17
Throughout my life, my prayers have looked different depending on where I am in my spiritual walk. Today, as a grandmother of six, my prayers are quiet, ongoing conversations with God. But in my thirties, they were loud and desperate, the only lifeline I had when memories of childhood abuse began to resurface.
As the memories flooded back during this dark period, I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. Yet throughout my tumultuous journey, God was a constant presence in my life. His still, small voice continued to guide me.
Then, to my surprise, I discovered a gift that allowed me to channel the strong emotions I was feeling and helped me heal: music.
Healing through art
Songs started to flow through me, and a piece called “Can You Hear Me?” was the first. I remember one Valentine’s Day I wrestled with anger as I picked up food for my family when, all of a sudden, these gentle words came to me:
Can you hear Me?
Can you see Me now?
I’m beside you.
Just tear down your wall.
I hurried to my car and scribbled the words on the only thing I could find—bank deposit slips. Nine songs would follow in the next few years.
I slowly learned to go “inside” of myself to talk to God and find peace. Sometimes my prayers were answered immediately, and sometimes they took a long, long time. And as I’ve waited for answers and healing, I’ve come to realize I had a lot to learn so that I could understand what others are going through.
Art has continued to fuel my healing. Years later, as I was listening to the song mixes for my album I Am Free, I heard Him whisper, “Go buy plates and paint on them.” So I did.
I began painting my emotions using vibrant colors that reflected my feelings and energy. His voice guided me as to how much paint I should use, the colors and technique. I was amazed at the work coming out of me, because it was totally transforming the heaviness from my memories. Painting these vibrant colors literally catapulted me from darkness to light.
Spending time with God
Sometime later, a dear friend sent me the book Jesus Calling. In the introduction, author Sarah Young writes about the power of her own prayers, and how she had prayed for protection every morning for her family. She goes on to talk about her ministry for counseling women, some of whom were coming out of terrible abuse and spiritual bondage, even satanic ritual abuse. I couldn’t believe it. She was describing my past, for I too am a survivor of this kind of abuse.
I began reading the daily messages from Jesus Calling, but it was very difficult for me. For those of us healing from this abuse, it can take years to unscramble the mental programming and fear we were subjected to. It took years of therapy for me to feel comfortable being in God’s presence, and now the words of Jesus Calling bring me such peace.
Recently, past emotional pain surfaced once again. I prayed before bedtime asking the Lord for help. That night, I had a dream I was walking with the Savior. I could see us from behind, my right hand in His left. I remember feeling so much peace, like none I’d ever experienced. He turned to me and said, “Everything is okay.” This dream was so profound to me, I went into my studio and painted it. I think about this dream every single day.
I have always felt my art has come from His light showering inspiration into my paintstrokes. And as I spend time with him, whether in music, at the canvas, in the words of Jesus Calling or in prayer, I feel His peace and healing.
Pamela Nielsen is a contemporary artist, singer/songwriter, and actress. Her large-scale colorscape originals and prints grace the walls of residential, commercial and hospitality spaces. Pam and her husband Scott recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and have six grandchildren.
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