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healing comes in layers…

March 2, 2012

it’s a snow covered morning here in beautiful colorado. the peak has been dusted with a another winter coat. did i tell you that this is my view every single morning, minus the spring blossoms?

pikes peak

pikes peak

yes, i am that blessed. colorado springs is truly one of the most beauty filled places to live. and i get to breathe it in every day. we are getting ready for spring here. which basically means more snow mixed with a few glorious days of weather… just enough to tease you. and as we face another spring, my heart is truly full of possibility and new life.

i am feeling rather contemplative today as i think about all that has transpired since the beginning of the year. there has definitely been a shift in my life as i focus on taking my business to a completely different level and doing it from a deeper place in my soul. but on a much more personal level, i have truly been experiencing an amazing miracle of healing. well, i shouldn’t say healing because it’s more a completion of healing.

healing comes in layers for me. and just when i feel that my heart has been healed from the broken places, everything cracks wide open and the healing goes to a completely different layer. a layer in my heart that i didn’t even know was there before.

my healing began several years ago when i first picked up a paintbrush and started painting. at the time, i was just doing it for me. to make my heart a little bit lighter. and the more i painted, the more light my heart became. finally here was something my brain could do… after being so frustrated with all of the things that it couldn’t do.

living with a brain injury is really one of the most frustrating things!!! you look normal on the outside, but inside your brain is just broken. imagine not being able to make a simple phone call because the connections in your brain make it impossible. imagine everyone else in your life having the same expectations on you because they can’t see your injury. no one really understands, not even your spouse. it’s not surprising that most marriages don’t make it through a brain injury. and although they can’t understand the magnitude of everything you are experiencing, spouses still experience all of the devastation first hand.

now imagine living years in this place. years of heart ache, depression and stuckness. years of financial ruin. losing our so beloved house. the house where we had written scriptures on every single wall before they put the drywall up. that was our first home together and held so many precious memories for us. oh and try living through postpartum twice with a brain injury. i felt like such a mess at times. like all i could do was survive and make it through those long days.

so when i finally took that paintbrush in my hand and found something my brain was good at, i was floored. and when i started to put my art out there for the world to see, and people actually liked it, i was thrilled.

beauty from the broken places

beauty from the broken places

and i began to tell my story here on the blog. i told it over and over and over again. and each time i told it in a new way, the healing went deeper into my heart. and each time one of you were blessed by my story, i found the grace to keep going. in fact, for each person who was encouraged by my story i found a new strength. and a new purpose. you see it lightened all of the years that were clothed in darkness. what if there was a purpose in my pain? what if it wasn’t all for nothing? what if god could turn something beautiful out of my ashes? what if?

and so i began to experience healing in small little ways. an email from one of you… forgiving myself… choosing hope.

i didn’t wake up one day completely healed, it happened slowly over time as my heart opened to the possibilities. it happened in gratitude. in fact, i remember the time that i was finally able to actually thank god for my car accident. wow!!! that was most definitely one of the biggest landmarks on my journey of healing. i will never forget that feeling. where my bitterness, anger and grief was simply replaced with gratitude, joy and beauty. that was truly a miracle!

and beginning this year i really truly thought that my healing was complete, like there was no deeper it could possibly go. but i was wrong. i have been blown away by a beautiful amazing surprise. something that i did not expect in a million years. the gift of a friend.

this is not just any friend. this is the kind of friendship that is going to change my heart to the core of it’s very being… and already has. remember when i said that no one truly understands what it’s like to live through a brain injury? well god brought me someone who has lived through the aftermath of a brain injury… someone whose life fell to pieces after her husband suffered a brain injury. someone who has experienced first hand the devastation of a brain injury, only from another viewpoint. in some ways, it might be more difficult to live with someone suffering through a brain injury. struggling to understand… standing by while your loved one suffers… waking up to someone that you didn’t marry. i hadn’t really thought about all that my husband had endured all of those years until i started reading her story.

mixed media painting


i have never so quickly and completely connected to someone on such a deep level. and i have the uncanny ability of being able to see people for who they truly are right away… it’s my super power. and i have felt close to people on a deep level as soon as i meet them all of the time. but this… this is completely something different. our stories are intertwined. it’s like even though we were living them out in two different states, we were always connected… we just didn’t know it yet. in fact, my accident was exactly one month before her husband’s. what are the chances? this very special friend said to me yesterday… i feel like i have known you for a million years. and that about sums up how i feel about her too.

you will be hearing more of this story in the weeks and months to come. because it’s becoming part of my healing and who i am. when the time is right, i will be sharing more about this amazing woman. but for now, i need to keep it close to my heart. it’s still sacred.

and come april, i will be boarding a plane to go meet my kindred spirit face to face for the first time. what a joyous celebration it will be!!! and truly a dream come true.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2012 11:44 am

    That is beautiful story Wendy. I can’t wait to hear how it all unfolds. xo

  2. March 2, 2012 2:47 pm

    Wendy your story is so moving. You have been through so much and it sounds like you have come out a stronger person. My friend suffered a brain injury and until that time I didn’t know much about the affect it can have on you.

    A few years ago I went through a big depression – nothing nearly so bad as yourself but for a time I couldn’t function normally. You have really inspired me to want to share my story for your new site. It was art that ‘fixed’ me in the end too. When I watched your video story on your ecourse page I could so relate to the magic that soothes you as the brush sweeps across the paper.

    Funnily enough we both have a similar tagline on our blogs – mine is ‘Girl with a pen and a paintbrush’. Great minds eh?!

    Warmest wishes to you – that photograph of your budding Spring is a stunner – makes me want to jump on a plane to Colorado!!


  3. Cynthia Wilson-Huey permalink
    March 3, 2012 8:23 am

    I did not know of your story Wendy, but I do know what it is like to live with a brain injured person. Thank you for sharing your perspective, I have been on the other end of the daily frustration so I will look forward to hearing how God made something beautiful for you!

  4. Sandi permalink
    March 5, 2012 12:03 pm

    Beautiful story Wendy! I do understand a little bit about living with someone who has suffered a brain injury. My now 24 year old son has had two brain injuries in the past 2 years, and though he is living on his own now, he was living with me during his recovery times and I keep in very close contact with him. Thank you for sharing your story!

  5. Amanda a permalink
    March 5, 2012 6:24 pm

    Melody sent me here. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

  6. March 5, 2012 6:57 pm

    Hi Wendy,
    Found you through Melody’s post. Your artwork is beautiful and I’m so glad Melody encouraged us to come here. Isn’t amazing how God brings people into our lives? I have goosebumps just thinking of what the two of you can do together to help and encourage all kinds of people dealing with some hard stuff. Though I don’t know Melody personally, I consider her one of my best friends on the internet. I don’t know how many times I’ve read You Will Fly Again, but it always seems to lift me up when I am weary. Looking forward to seeing you two Brave Girls encouraging the world with your art and your words.

    • March 5, 2012 7:10 pm

      thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know that christina!!! it means the world to me… really truly.

  7. March 5, 2012 9:32 pm

    Sent by your brave friend and I am so glad. Thank you for sharing your story. I am inspired to keep searching for my healing place.

  8. Beth permalink
    March 5, 2012 10:29 pm

    Wendy, Your art is beautiful and so is your soul. Thank you for writing…it has touched me deeply. I found your blog through Melody and I’m so thankful!

  9. March 5, 2012 11:23 pm

    Wendy this is lovely – your voice comes across as very real. I felt privileged that you would share your story with me (with us). I also create and altered art/ visual journaling is a favourite. My first Brave Girl’s Club email came through today and it was about hope and about you. I feel blessed. What a lovely thing to read during my lunch hour. May I carry what I have learnt back within me into the library where I work (and into my everyday walking around life), and may I etch out time to create some art tomorrow. I am inspired.Thank you. Bless you. Asta x

  10. Susan permalink
    March 6, 2012 12:36 am

    It’s lovely to meet you and I look forward to learning more and watching things unfold. I’ve been a Brave Girl fan for quite some time and I can see a beautiful future evolving.

  11. karen baker permalink
    March 6, 2012 1:41 am

    Hello Wendy

    I found you through Melody’s blog too. Your artwork is beautiful and your story is moving and inspiring. I can’t pretend to understand what it has been like recovering from a brain injury but I can understand what it is like to experience your world collapsing around you and the courage it takes to rebuild bit by bit.

    Thirteen years ago my son developed a malignant brain tumour at the age of eight and from the moment he was diagnosed nothing was the same again. It’s been a long and challenging road for all of us and life has not turned out the way I expected, but the miracle is that he survived against all odds. Last summer, sitting on a beautiful beach celebrating his 21st birthday, I thought back to the night I held him in the ambulance having been told he would probably only live for another two hours. Without hope and faith I don’t think any of us would have got through these years.

    So another miracle is that we now have the internet and brave, inspirational people like yourself and Melody who put so much loving time and effort into sharing your stories of hope. Ironically, the people you help and inspire the most may well never post. When I was at my lowest point I don’t think I would have felt capable of posting at all, but somewhere at this very moment someone is probably reading your blog and seeing a ray of light…..

    Karen x

    • March 7, 2012 6:53 am

      karen, thank you so much for sharing part of your story! it sounds like you have been through a lot yourself. i sincerely appreciate you stopping by and saying hello! i would love it if you would consider submitting your story to beauty from the broken places… a new site i will be launching soon.

      • karen baker permalink
        March 7, 2012 7:29 am

        I would be happy to. Just let me know when you’re launching it and I’ll write something.

        Hope the sun is shining there in beautiful Colorado today. My view couldn’t be much more different to yours – I’m peeking through my office window overlooking Buckingham Palace Gardens in cold and rainy London, mystified by what appears to be a garden party!

    • Jacquelyn Markland permalink
      April 26, 2012 8:32 pm

      Karen, you are correct. JKM

  12. March 6, 2012 5:04 am

    Got here from the Brave Girls Club. Enjoy your journey…

  13. Marilyn Parker permalink
    March 6, 2012 6:15 am

    Melody sent me. Can’t wait to explore the wonder of your stories.

    Marilyn in Missouri

  14. March 7, 2012 7:42 am

    Hi beautiful, brave girl….YOU WILL LOVE MELODY!!! She is one of my dear friends too. A brave, brave girl and SO ARE YOU!!! May God continue to bless you sweetheart!

  15. Maureen permalink
    March 7, 2012 10:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for giving us hope! I love your artwork, do you sell it? I got here via Melody at Brave Girls, but now you are a bookmarked site to visit daily. God bless you on your journey !

  16. March 8, 2012 7:15 am

    What a beautiful and amazing story! Thank you for sharing it and your art.

  17. March 9, 2012 6:26 am

    Hi there, I just found your blog via the brave girls 🙂 What an amazingly brave and beautiful soul you are! Thank you for sharing your story here as it unfolds. I’ve always found all healing to be in layers, cyclic, it has a rhythm of it’s own. Creativity is so healing and has it’s own rhythm too. I love what I’ve seen of your work so far. Truly beautiful.

  18. June 22, 2015 3:08 pm

    I realize that this was three years ago, but I am just now reading this, found through Pinterest. I haven’t looked ahead to your life today yet, for I am enjoying the wonderful feelings I am having after reading this entry. First, you are so courageous to share so deeply and honestly about yourself. I think that can be a mark of healing and growth in our lives, when we share what we’ve been through and how we have changed because of it. I can relate to so much of what you shared about art and healing. I live with chronic pain and health problems and had to stop working as a psychotherapist about 15 yrs ago. I’ve always been creative, but turned to art and jewelry making about 6 or 7 years ago. It has been such a journey! Not only does it help me to cope with my pain, my limitations, etc, but creating comes from my soul and feeds it good stuff at the same time. I also have long standing depression that is at most times at a very manageable level, but especially when it isn’t I find art such an outlet and a means for healing. I continue to grow, in part through creating. It also gives me purpose and a way to reach out to others. It certainly is different when you go from working, contributing, helping on a daily basis to simply not doing any of those things. As you found, creating and sharing art with others gives us purpose and allows us to still contribute to the world around us.
    I mostly just want to thank you for sharing all this. I’m just beginning to look at your art, but I am loving it. I had mostly been creating mixed media for only the past 8 months, though I did do some years ago (of more of a collage style). Your art is inspiring, as are your words. I hope and pray that you have found continued growth and healing and that you have happiness in your life. Peace to your heart, Sara

    • June 24, 2015 12:58 pm

      Hi Sara!!!Thank you so much for your kind words. It is such a journey isn’t it? This last year was especially challenging for me. But I have learned so much through it!!! Thanks for stopping by.



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