Creativity at Church

Pastels and Pencils by Jana Rawling

Prophetic Art

I like to do prophetic art during our worship time at church — sometimes dodging flags and dancers.

First I pray, asking Holy Spirit what He wants me to draw and I get into my Bible and read. I always begin to see part of an image, colors and shapes but I don’t get the whole picture until I begin to draw. The picture emerges so-to-speak and becomes something I may not even understand. Every quick drawing that I do speaks to someone, which is a blessing to me.

Forgetting Meds Podcast

Forgetting Meds, Episode 17

Do you ever forget your meds? I do, and oh, my goodness, the pain. I don’t have a caregiver to remind me, and my alarms aren’t doing it for me when I’m not feeling well or didn’t get enough sleep the night before. What about you?

There’s Always Hope

Photo by Daniel Páscoa on Unsplash

I am burdened and broken by this pain. When your miracle rescue comes to me, it will lift me to the highest place.

Psalm 69:29, The Passion Translation

If You Don’t Mind

My most recent drawing for a handmade book I want to make.

I’ll Share My Creativity

Something has been bothering me lately. How can I host and maintain four blogs with podcasts on three of them, and videocasts on one?

I’m an artist and author and have a lot happening in my life regarding my health. I have been diagnosed with five rare diseases or disorders, yep five. Not to mention what I call my lesser diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes and Fibromyalgia which are a result of some of the other illnesses. The annoying five are:

  1. CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
  2. EDS-3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3)
  3. POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  4. DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)
  5. PNES (Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures)

I have separate blogs for CRPS and DID. I also have a site I rarely post at which is janarawling.com for my art making (though I forget to post stuff). Add to that, I am a Believer in Christ Jesus and have a blog site for that at HardwiredForLife.com (I have a partner on this one), and well, you see where I’m going with this. I get very tired and can’t post to all of them consistently, and I don’t. I suffer from symptoms every day mainly including pain, seizures, overall fatigue and falling down (sometimes breaking bones). I’ve had to stop working as a commercial art professor, which I miss very much. But I can still write when I feel okay, and I can make some art, which brings me joy through the pain.

I was wondering if I should combine some of the blogs, but I’m pretty sure that someone with CRPS doesn’t care about my DID, DIDers don’t care about POTS, and so on. I’ve been asking the Lord about it and He told me that the common denominator for all of my sites is not only me, but also is my art making, my creativity.

God told me that DIDers, CRPSers, Believers, and Artists all enjoy creativity. So, if you don’t mind, I will post the same art making and writing to all of my sites. That way, I have some universal content. I will still keep everything separate, but some creativity will be the same.

Whew! I feel better now. I feel that sharing my creativity is something I can do that will bring me tons of joy. Plus, I’m working hard on my healing and joy is a precious remedy.

Thank you for participating in my journey from wherever you’ve come.

With Love,

Jana

P.S.: Can I pray for you? If so, contact me via email, or just say, “Yes” and I will be honored.

P.S.S.: I’m currently writing a book called, “Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind” that should be finished sometime this year. I’ll let you know when that happens.

It’s Not Your Fault

Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

Let Go of the Blame

I’ll come straight out and say it: You did nothing to get CRPS. I have found that people want to place blame on us, or we want to blame ourselves for getting CRPS. My CRPS started with a trip down a 3-inch stair that I didn’t see. I twisted my ankle and five-years after needed surgery to repair torn ligaments because it would roll under and I would fall. The pain never ended and only got worse over time. Bottom line, I got CRPS from a sprained ankle.

I blamed myself for getting CRPS for a long time. Why? Because I am a Christian. Now, hear what I’m saying. I will explain. I fell at a Halloween party, which I shouldn’t have gone to in the first place. I don’t celebrate Halloween. I was invited by some of my employees and as their manager I shouldn’t have gone with them. Two strikes: A Halloween party and hanging out with subordinates off hours. Add to that: I was dressed as an angel. Strike three?

We entered the party through a dark maze and at the end of the maze was that small step. We poured out of the maze laughing and I tripped. When I went down, I heard a crack and thought I broke my ankle. Before I got up, I said, “Can someone take me to the nearest ER?” Long story short, they called me a fallen angel for the next month as I hobbled around on crutches. (God has a sense of humor.)

Back to being a Christian. There can be harsh judgment along with religiousness in the mainstream Christian church. Twenty-five years ago, I was one of those judgmental, mainstream Christians. So, I judged myself after I fell. I had put myself in a position of allowing the enemy of God to attack me and he did. I made poor decisions and the consequences led ultimately to this horrific disease.

For years, I carried that blame and shame, not to mention the guilt.

You may not like this next part. Today I see the experience as one that I had to go through in order to become the person I am today. Today I know that CRPS is part of my life story. At that time in my life, I was going through a nasty divorce and I was going to make bad decisions. You may think I’m rationalizing the scenario to fit my beliefs. Maybe I am. But it doesn’t matter. Again, I would not be who I am today without getting CRPS.

So, was it my fault? Did I position myself to fall? Probably. Again, it doesn’t matter to me anymore. I’ve forgiven myself and I’ve let it go. I’ve found compassion for myself. I’ve found love for myself. And compassion and love are the most amazing pain killers.

With love & compassion,

Jana

P.S.: Let it go. Forgive yourself and others involved. Find compassion and love no matter how hard it may be. There is hope, I promise you.

You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.

Psalm 139:16, The Passion Translation

The Holidays Hurt

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Painfilled Days

I’m really suffering this year and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet. I’m having family over for Thanksgiving and Christmas and CRPS has already taken a toll on me. We are cleaning and preparing, and my feet are just about killing me. CRPS makes being thankful difficult.

I always try to stay positive. There are even times (when I’m not in horrific pain) I can say that I’m thankful for having CRPS, because it has made me a better, stronger person. I know that without the CRPS my life would have been very different. I would have sailed through my career, doing things I wanted to do, and I would not have slowed down enough to hear from God on the subject. I would have been working my own plan out for my life, rather than God’s plan for my life. That’s a fact, I have no doubt.

So, it’s been better for me to have the CRPS from that perspective. I still suffer greatly though and really have to take to heart what the Bible says about suffering and pain in order to keep going. The Bible says that if we are to suffer, we do it for Christ sake.

For God has graciously given you the privilege not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for him.

— Philippians 1:29, The Passion Translation

…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Being thankful for CRPS is hard, but it’s possible. I encourage you to see CRPS as a force that has made you a better person. Can you?

Just thinking,

Jana

P.S.: It’s taken me years to get to this point of gratitude for CRPS. Many years.

The Suicide Disease Podcast

The Suicide Disease, Episode 16

CRPS pain is no joke and we must find positive ways to cope. Using distractions is a great way to do just that. In this episode Jana discusses various ways to fight the pain and find meaning in life. Without meaning CRPS can live up to its nickname “The Suicide Disease.” Let’s work together to change that.

Chicken or Egg Podcast

Chicken or the Egg, Episode 15

Dealing with CRPS is hard enough without adding other illnesses and disorders. The complexity of CRPS becomes even more complex. It’s hard to separate the symptoms from one disease to another. And that causes anxiety and frustration.