Healing through art

Everyone has their own creative expression… writing, painting, dancing, designing, singing,

and the list goes on!

I have always been a creative person, and when Briela passed away my creative instincts seemed to take over.  I couldn’t put my pen down, I just wanted to journal everything that was happening in my mind and spirit.  There was so much to say and I didn’t want to miss any of it.  When I decided to write a book about my experience a couple months after her death, the writing became even more important and focused.  It really was my way to express myself in an effort not to ‘keep it all in’.  I wanted to heal and grieve in a healthy way, and for me this just seemed right.

I’ve also been involved in painting; I just love this means of expression!  Our church has been going strong in the prophetic painting department, and I have completed a number of these paintings as well.

For those who may be unfamiliar with what a prophetic painting is, it is basically a style of worship (paintings are generally done during worship services) where God is breathing through you and your brush into the canvas.  There are times when God will give you a picture – which you then would paint, and it would speak volumes to someone, even bring healing!  And there are also times when God will simply give you a colour or other impression to start with, and you as the artist have the freedom to work with that, and His glory will still be shining through the finished piece.

I remember shortly after Briela passed, I desperately wanted to paint a picture of a foot being kicked in the devil’s face.  I was so angry with him for causing the death of our daughter and I so badly wanted to portray it through art.  I ended up with this painting…

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This portrays me with a dagger and spiky boots ripping apart the darkness and the enemy’s schemes. The underlay is the gold – God’s glory, which is all I desire. This was an art piece done in sheer anger… it is not supposed to make the viewer feel peaceful or content.

Let me tell you, it felt so good ripping apart the fabric along the bottom while working on this piece!  There was a part of me that was released through this process which was so refreshing.  I am quite a calm and peaceful person, so to display anger and even have words come out of my mouth that you would rarely hear coming from me, was somewhat liberating!  It was only for a season, but I believe it needed to happen as part of my healing and grieving chapter.


Another painting I did (actually, I believe this was the very first one done after Briela passed) was a sweet, feel-good painting that was meant to bring a sense of completion to God’s plan for her life.

All through my pregnancy, I had received multiple prophetic words over her life that had just confirmed how much God had planned for her.  I was so excited to see these promises come into fulfillment for her.

When she passed away, it brought a lot of questions including, What about these prophetic words? Are they just null and void? Were they pointless?

I started to understand that when God speaks something, it never dies.  The prophetic words that she had received are still valuable, and we as her family are now able to take these promises for ourselves and apply them to our own lives.  How exciting!

This painting shows a swing coming down from heaven, and it swinging in a forward motion as if to say "It's your turn, you are now being propelled forward" We can now take those prophetic words and purpose that Briela had, and live those out, in her place.
This painting shows a swing coming down from heaven, and it’s swinging in a forward motion as if to say “It’s your turn, you are now being propelled forward” We can now take those prophetic words and the purpose that Briela had and live those out, in her place.

There were also paintings that I have completed which have stemmed from Bible verses that really spoke to me.  Here are a few…

This painting is inspired from the verse 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast your burdens on the Lord, and he will sustain you." This is me (or anyone) giving our 'thing' (that weighs a ton!) to the Lord, allowing Him to take that burden off our shoulders.
This painting is inspired from the verse          1 Peter 5:7, “Cast your burdens on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” This is me (or anyone) giving our ‘thing’ (that weighs a ton!) to the Lord, allowing Him to take that burden off our shoulders.
This painting is actually not one done based on a bible verse, but is simply a prophetic one painted while at a church service. I knew I wanted to paint that night, so I asked God for some direction. All I was given were army colours. So I started painting the background, and eventually I ended up with this painting. The army colours represent the battle or dark season we are in. The flower represents us and the light shining over it represents God. If we allow Him to shine on us, and if we keep our focus on Him, we can grow and be a light even when we're surrounded by turmoil.
This painting is actually not one done based on a bible verse, but is simply a prophetic one painted while at a church service. I knew I wanted to paint that night, so I asked God for some direction. All that was impressed to me were army colours. So I started painting the background, and eventually I ended up with this painting. The army colours represent the battle or dark season we are in. The flower represents us and the light shining over us represents God. If we allow Him to shine on us, and if we keep our focus on Him, we can grow and be a light even when we’re surrounded by turmoil.
This painting encapsulates Ephesians 6:16. I was having a hard time with 'keeping my shield up'. I was constantly hearing lies from the enemy and even believed some of them. When I read this verse, I knew I needed to portray it in a way that would make it all the more meaningful and important to me (and those around me who may need some encouragement)
This painting encapsulates Ephesians 6:16. I was having a hard time with ‘keeping my shield up’. I was constantly hearing lies from the enemy and even believed some of them. When I read this verse, I knew I needed to portray it in a way that would make it all the more meaningful and important to me (and those around me who may need some encouragement)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


These are just a few of the art pieces I have done over the months to help express my feelings and emotions and to keep my eyes focused on the truth.

If you feel the need to draw, paint or express yourself in really dark ways, I think that’s okay for a season, but don’t linger there.  Try to pull yourself into more hope-centered projects that radiate truth and life rather than death and sorrow.  It may bring you peace that we all so desperately need.

Leanne