Travels as Esther
I like to make things. I’ve been making things for quite a while. It started when I was little—I was always drawing or writing little stories and poems. I graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1997 with a degree in English and Creative Writing. I still write a little bit but mostly I make art. It started just before I got married when I discovered Scrapbooking. After a while, I discovered that I could do much more than decorate picture albums with paper and stickers. I began with collage. And that is my favorite medium. I love to collect images and pictures from magazines and other media. I especially like vintage pictures and images from fashion magazines. And I love pin-ups and like to draw my own. I also enjoy art journaling, making books and paper dolls. I’ve tried many things and I’ve had a good time with all of them. I found sewing and needle arts to be a challenge, but I enjoy a challenge. I’m traveling on this journey with the hope that God will renew my desire to follow him and reveal direction for my life; and also to grow as an artist, writer and woman.
“He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”
He drew me out of a desert, rough with bleak sand and rocky soil. I heard his call in the midst of a barren prayer. “Are you there? Really there?” I asked through parched lips and leaden tongue.
“Yes,” he said, “you are the one I love. It is time to go.”
“Where have you been?”
“I have always been.”
I lifted my head. “But I’ve been here so long. How do I know its time to leave? How can I believe?”
“My child,” he said, “you have always believed.”
The sky was darkening above me—another gray twilight beginning another long night. My desert is a barren wasteland of black sand and grimy dirt as far as the eye can see. It is hot and dry. For a land with no sun, the heat was supernatural. I’ve been here so long that I call it home. I used to hear his call from faraway. Sounding as if it was echoing in a deep canyon. Once, I longed to hear his voice and I would run—no matter how far—just to be with him. Now his presence is forgotten and all that is left is black sand and black rocks in a land without water.
“Lord,” I asked, “are you still there?”
I tried to stand but I had been on my knees for so long that my legs were no longer useful. My entire body was numb and I could not even lift my head. I was thirsty and my mouth was dry. Beads of sweat dotted my skin. And with every breath I felt tiny needle-like grains of sand lodge deeper into my throat and deeper into my heart.
“Father,” I said. “I can’t stand.”
“Is it really You this time?
I’m not sure how long I’ve been in my desert. It was a gradual slipping into this place. Once I was on solid rock, sure of myself. Then everything changed, I changed, and this place seemed necessary—a comfortable hiding place to keep myself hidden from my fears. Once I lived in an ultra bright world. One full of dazzling colors, loud voices, and overwhelming sensations. I swirled and crashed like ocean waves. I couldn’t hear him through all of the noise—the mania. I searched for him, but he wasn’t there. I couldn’t feel his presence. I was lost among the waves, bobbing up and down, thrown down and under, without any warning or reason. I tried to lift my arms, reaching for him, but he was not there to lift me.
“I don’t think I can leave this place.” I said, tears beginning to well up in my eyes. I was comfortable in my desert. I lived there for so long that it seemed like home.
“It is time to leave. You must come with me.”
I felt something soft touching my hair and a cool breeze on my shoulders. I looked up and saw a bright light dancing in the sky almost as if the sun was trying to emerge from the gray twilight.
“Is that you?” I asked, fascinated by the light.
“Yes,” he said, “Are you ready?”
“I still can’t move.” I said looking down. Tears fell into the black sand and disappeared. “I can’t do this,” I whispered.
Then I felt strong hands underneath my shoulders. They lifted me up slowly and gently until I was standing. My knees buckled but the hands still held me up. “Now you are ready to fly.” I heard him say.
I closed my eyes and was swept into powerful arms. I was being saved and lifted up and out of my desert. I felt the cool wind in my hair and my skin was refreshed. Slowly, I was placed onto solid ground and I could feel the warmth of the sun and a soft breeze on my skin. I could hear birds singing and could smell the sweetness of wild roses and honeysuckle. I was no longer thirsty. I opened my eyes and I was standing in a meadow, surrounded by wildflowers and sweetly scented grass. This place was beautiful.
“This is a better place for you,” he said.
I could feel his presence by my side. “Can I stay here?” I asked.
“For as long as you like.”
The meadow was surrounded by thick woods. The trees were green with their summertime leaves and the flowers bloomed with the power of summer. I wanted to stay there forever. I looked down and saw that I was standing on a path that lead into the woods. “Is this for me?” I asked.
“Yes. When you are ready.”
I felt a strong hand in mine. “You won’t leave again, will you?”
“I never left you,” he said, “I have always been with you.”
I decided to take a step. And then another. I felt ready to begin.
“Let’s go,” I said, “I’m ready.”