Yesterday, I created a double page in my art journal. The idea for the page came from the Book of Days art journaling program, offered by artist, Effy Wild. The prompt earlier in the week was “My Story.” I knew it was a prompt that I wanted to work on, but had no idea what to do with it, so I spent most of the week just mulling it over in my head. I am not the same person I was 13 years ago, or even last year.

I have spent most of my life trying to win approval. Starved for affection. Afraid. Wearing my mother’s grief over her abandonment as my own. And yes, my parents did abandon me, not physically, but emotionally when I didn’t turn out to be the daughter that they approved of. I have carried the grief and guilt of my “failure” to be that daughter for a very long time.

No more.

God created me to be ME, and all of those experiences that left me hurting and scarred are gifts from the creator that have made me the person that I am today. For that, I am truly thankful.

So, as I pondered about what my story is NOW, I looked back at the art I have created in the past year and saw that My Story was staring me in the face :

My Story is ancient.
Begun in a garden
at the dawn of creation.
I have toiled to cultivate
my existence…
I have struggled to give birth
in pain and hardship…
Yet, I have come to recognize that
toil, pain and hardship are “soul” gifts
that birth strength, peace and joy.
This is the story of women
Since the beginning of time…
and I am not alone.–jd 02/12/12