Tell us about a time in your life that required a lot of courage:
Before our second wedding anniversary, my husband Heydon was diagnosed with a giant brain aneurysm. We were shocked and scared. I had an uncle pass away from a brain aneurysm when I was young so I was terrified. Our lives changed that very moment forever. We had to let go of our dreams and our plans, at least the ones we thought we had for ourselves…
How did you handle that news?
My husband and I had moved to Hawaii right after our wedding, because he was stationed there in the Army. With our family thousands of miles away, we leaned on one another and trusted in God to get us through this. There were months and months of testing and planning and waiting and more tests. We prayed like we have never prayed before, we prayed day and night.
Me and My House Handcrafted Block by Jennifer: As for my and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.
What had your life been like before that time?
I grew up on a farm in Nebraska, with my sister and 2 brothers, and a baby sister watching over us from heaven. We were blessed to have a close and loving family. I was a quiet child, listened to my parents, enjoyed going to school.
I’ve loved being creative and making art for as long as I can remember. My mom would help me set up paints and paper right in front of the TV so I could paint along with the painters on public television. After high school I went to The Colorado Institute of Art in Denver.
Even being creative, I was a pretty serious little girl, a bit of a perfectionist I guess you could say. I even took coloring seriously, I had to stay in the lines and make it neat!
Then all of a sudden God colored WAY outside the lines in your life. How did that impact your faith?
We learned to trust in God’s plan. That’s much easier said than done for people who have always been in control of things. I mean, my husband was a Military Police Officer so he was trained to always be in control. And as I mentioned, I was the girl who even took coloring seriously as a child! Control was something we were used to, we were comfortable with it, and it took time to let go and trust.
That kind of adjustment takes a lot of courage!
Yes, we needed all kinds of courage. The courage to let go of our control. The courage to trust. The courage to have complete faith that this was God’s plan. God blessed me with courage to handle seeing things and doing things I never thought I would do or even could do.
So what happened with your husband’s health?
We had so many family members and loved ones praying for us as Heydon began his 12 ½ hour brain surgery. My husband’s life was saved. His recovery was long and is still ongoing, it probably will be his entire life. He handles it all with such strength and courage. I can’t help but admire him. I thank God everyday that He put me on this earth with this man as my husband.
How does this experience impact your art?
Faith is a big part of my life and my art. God has given me with this talent, blessed me with art in my life, so I want to use it in the best way I possibly can. I can’t even imagine doing anything else.
I want each piece of art that I make to be meaningful. I think God’s Word is so beautiful and inspiring. I often use Bible verses in my work because I want to share it with others.
People may compliment my art but really it is God working through me…I merely hold the paint brush as He miraculously holds me through whatever may come in this life.
God’s Great Love Handcrafted Cross by Jennifer: As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him: As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12 NIV