watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Greetings Beloved Illustrated Faith Family –

Broken.  I feel very broken in my heart.  In the past three years, I have been blessed and stretched.   Honored to walk out the passing of two people I love so much – Mom and Dad Bruce.

Some people might say, well they were old (both lived to be 91) and that’s a season of life – caring for your parents.  Some people might not understand because they were technically my in laws.  Mostly, I think people just don’t know what to say when you walk out the hard stuff of sickness or when you are grieving.  It’s a space of feeling ok one moment and ready to fall into a heap on the floor the next.   It’s a space of never having your “act together” because your brain just becomes foggy and your body aches.  Even those who walked the journey with you can’t often understand or speak into the broken places of your heart.  It’s really kind of lonely.

But Jesus.

Jesus gets it.  Jesus not only knows the broken pieces.  He was there — EVERYTHING we walk, every tear, every torn place, every sacred moment, every messy space, and every hurt — goes through His heart too.  He saw all the moments you loved when it was so hard you felt like you couldn’t breathe and all you wanted to do was to run full speed away from the pain of not being able to fix anything.  Let me say that again, Jesus was there.  He saw it ALL.

So I have been asking the Lord, how do I find “normal” again.  What is “normal” anyway?  And He whispers, “just love” and then I hear faintly and “receive love.”

When I think back to the days when I felt like I could stand, it was because I was pouring out love like my life depended on it.  Pouring it out into my yoga students and classes, into my art, into my writing, and most importantly into anyone else who might be walking something hard.  And because I was a broken mess inside, it was never perfect but I loved in anyway I could – a prayer, a simple text, a small package, a touch, a smile, a word.  If I saw or heard a faint reflection of my brokeness in someone else, it was like God’s call to be His hands and feet.  My broken places provide a precious “knowing” that God has entrusted to me.

I haven’t figured this all out but this passage in 1 Corinthians 16:14 is a beginning.

Let all that you do be done in love.

I am thinking I will start there.  I am going to choose to let the broken places continue to be used by Him.  Perhaps they will be mended by the love poured out and woven into something beautiful — healed by the very nature of love itself and painted into a rainbow of hope and faith.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have a broken heart.

Illustrated Faith Blog Image - watercolor tutorial

I started with a simple heart shape.  I used dashes to symbolize the pieces of my heart.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Our hearts beat in so many colors.  Every color and piece is precious to God.  The broken pieces I think are especially precious.  I continued to add dashes with coral.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Bright pink.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Adding violet.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Teal.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Blue and yellow.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Illustrated Faith green.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Green-teal.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Quick dry with the craft tool.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Even though my heart feels so broken, I am finding so much hope in this happy heart made of colored dashes.  One day, all the dashes sewn will bring healing joy.

I added Illustrated Faith Brushed Words by https://katygirldesigns.com/ and smoothed the clear sticker down with an Illustrated Faith Paint card.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

I underlined the key scripture.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

I wanted a simple tab so I punched out a heart from the Illustrated Faith All the People 12 x 12 Hope paper.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

I added “love is spoken here” from the Say It Colorful sticker collection.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

And “heals” from Words basic collection.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Date stamp.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

We are called to do ALL things with love.  I think when you are hurting inside, it’s easy focus on your broken pieces, to feel useless and hopeless.  But it is from the places of brokeness that we can love well.  And when we are broken, I think it’s even more important to switch focus from yourself to others.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

Love gathers all the broken pieces together and uses them for His glory.  Love doesn’t choose where its spilled.   It’s the nature of Love to spill all over everything when we choose to operate in it.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

So let’s determine where ever we are in our own hearts, to love.  To love extravagantly without discrimination.  To let love be our operating language.

watercolor Bible journaling tutorial by Amy Bruce | stepping stone heart watercolor | called to love

I challenge you to  make your own colorful pieces heart and to pray that God would help you operate fully in His love.  Please tag me on Instagram if you do @designsbyamybruce.  It would bring so much joy to me to see your hearts.

In His love,

amy bruce

Illustrated Faith Blog Image - Supplies

 



additional supplies: Fiskars Heart Punch | Angora Watercolors – various used in mixing | Kolinsky Isabby #2 watercolor Brush | Ranger Heat Tool

2 Comments
  1. Heidi Petterson 1 year ago

    Grieving is such a hard, personal thing. I’m so glad we have Jesus to walk with us and to hold us when we just don’t have the strength to walk.
    I love this artwork, too. I’m going to try something similar soon. 💙💗💜💛💚

  2. Author
    Amy Bruce 11 months ago

    Thank you Heidi!

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