It sounds pretty dramatic to say that painting saved my life, but honestly, it did.
I shared about how I went through stress and then extreme anxiety which ultimately made it to where I couldn’t even leave the house.
What I didn’t share about, was that looking back, I now believe I was severely depressed. I had brief moments during that time where I thought about just ending my life. Those thoughts obviously made my anxiety worse because I didn’t understand where they were coming from.
I was consumed with fear, depression, anxiety.. I was a real mess.
Once we moved to our current house, my husband urged me to start painting again. I think he knew that I was happiest when I was blogging and painting years ago, and I’m sure he thought that if he could just get me on that path again, I’d be back to myself.
I’ll be honest. I did NOT want to paint. I didn’t want to do anything but lay on the couch or sleep.
Then one day, while looking through Craigslist, I found a picture of a farmhouse console table. I sent the picture to my husband and asked him if it was something he thought he might be able to make. He said yes, and that weekend, we built our farmhouse table. (You can read that post here. I have since repainted it as you can see in the picture below.)
Although I didn’t love painting this table, I loved seeing the finished product in my house.
At that point, I decided I would slowly go back to my blog, even though I didn’t want to.
I would start painting again, even though I didn’t want to.
And I would start an Instagram feed for my blog, even though I thought it would take YEARS to get anyone to follow me. (What many people don’t know about blogging is that social media is super important in our little world. I already had a following on Facebook and Pinterest, but when I was blogging years ago, Instagram was just getting off the ground so I didn’t have an Instagram account.) It felt like I was almost starting all over again.
While I tried to get my head into painting and blogging again, my husband was busy finding me pieces of furniture to paint.
He would excitedly send me a picture, and say, “What do you think?”
I’d say, “Looks great!”
And he’d buy it.
And then it just sat in the garage. Taking up space.
For some reason, painting furniture didn’t sound appealing to me. At all.
I decided that I wanted to start by painting something small, and that’s when I started painting my signs, and later opened my Etsy store last week. You can read about that here.
I was shocked when I opened my store last week and sold 9 signs! This blew me away!! It also kept me busy this week and forced me to leave the house in order to go to the post office to mail them.
Then, I decided to start tackling the pieces of furniture in the garage.
I started with this piece…
Hideous, I know.
I started off by sanding the top down to the raw wood.
I loved the color of it after it was sanded down, so I decided to leave it as is.
Next, I painted the rest of the table using Rust-oleum’s Chalked Paint in Country Gray.
I also spray painted the drawer pulls white.
When I was done, I distressed it in a few places and went over it with Rust-oleum’s Matte Clear finish.
This was my first time to use Rust-oleum’s Chalked paint line, and I really like it. (It is also WAY cheaper than Annie Sloan’s chalk paint! A HUGE plus in my book!)
I was so happy when I finished this table today!
Friends, I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve watched God grow my Instagram account to over 4400 followers in one month, allow me to sell 9 signs in one week, and He has brought me joy again. Something I thought I would never find again.
He allowed me to turn my mind away from the anxiety and onto something I love, and slowly, he has healed me.
I know, ultimately, that it was God that saved my life, but I truly believe He used painting as a way to give me joy again, which in the end, has saved me.
I love Psalm 40 because it is the perfect picture of what I went through…
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
I am thankful that God used painting to pull me out of the “slimy pit, out of the mud and mire.”
I am also thankful to my husband, who was patient with me while I struggled. Who loved me in spite of the mess that I was. Who listened to my fears and held me when I cried.
I am thankful that God used my husband to model His love for me.
Even though I felt like God was far away from me during that time, like He wasn’t listening, or didn’t care, I can now look back and see that God really wasn’t far away at all.
Love you all!