This beautiful pattern shielded and hidden by the geometric pattern of the gospel story is an apt metaphor for a deeply personal and (formerly) painful story.
When I was a teenager, sleeping every night under this quilt I am mending now, I took the Plan B pill.
I still remember driving to the clinic, 30 mins from my home, with my boyfriend. Not talking at all. I never really found out if we had truly gotten pregnant (taking the test seemed like a Goliath sized endeavor).
I was just scared and torn. My young faith imbued in my heart that life was sacred. But he was scared and the fear was a palpable motivator.
I still cannot say for sure whether I am glad that the clinic was available to me. They didn’t ask to many questions (not that I recall) and it seemed like a much bigger deal inside of me. Of course now, you can get this medication over the counter. But then, to my 17-18 year old self, it was as if the ground had shifted and I was broken.
It ended the relationship. It changed the way I viewed God.
I became convinced that because I did not want a baby then, that surely when I wanted to have children I would be unable. God would punish me that way.
But you see, as I found out, that is simply not how my God is.
He waited for me to draw near a year or two later. I learned the great salve of his gentle, patient love. he continued to redeem that great hurt, that great ache, through my loving husband.
Through a graced filled ( and mistake filled) marriage.
Through two beautiful (and mischievous) children.
Like this print, marital faithfulness and growth are tired up with a past full of indiscretions and hurts. They are intertwined. I simply do not think I will get rid of the sting from that decision. But Christ came and he gently covered all of that history. The final result is complex, subtle, and treasured.
For it is my story. And it is an honor to share it.
This print is currently up at the Octagon Center for this Arts, shown alongside my former printmaking professor, April Katz in Twenty Years: Print Retrospective through August 17, 2019.