• Danica Thurber

Before & After Brokenness

Updated: May 14

The drawing on the right was made just as my hard heart was starting to crack. The breaking was necessary; I had built protective walls around myself, like props to hold myself together. No one knew the brokenness inside of me; not even me. I was afraid what I'd find if I went there.

These drawings were made from the same reference photo, and completed within a year of each other.

The background text for this piece is made up of excerpts from the Old Testament book of Hosea. Gomer is the name of the unfaithful wife of the prophet Hosea. She also represents the nation of Isreal, who refuses to whole-heartely love and obey God. Fully knowing Gomer's background and wayward tendencies, God asked the prophet Hosea to take Gomer as his wife. This couldn't have been an easy task for Hosea. But in this real-life metaphor, Hosea represents God's unfailing, patient, and relentless love for a people who need as much grace as I do.

In the drawing, I compared myself to Gomer because I finally see how rebellious I am towards God. All he wants is my love and obedience and I have so much trouble giving those up in exchange for his love, faithfulness, communion, and blessing. As I was crying out to God one night, I caught a glimpse of my red and tear-stained face in the mirror. I thought that I had never looked so beautiful before as I sat there open before God, and I realized this was exactly the place where He wanted me. I wonder now if Gomer had realized the extent to which Hosea loved and sacrificed for her, she would have looked just like me.

...and then there's the similar-but-different picture, completed from the same reference photo only month later.

In my personal life, I had completed a summer of intense counseling. I had learned much about myself - both the good and the bad. I had let close & trusted friends "in" on my hurting heart. And a new portrait began to emerge...

The story behind "Call Me Lily"

For me, keys represent salvation, butterflies, transformation, and vibrant colors, grace. Notice the artist's grid on the left and bottom - she is still a work in progress, purposely so.

This portrait is a followup to another like it, where I pictured myself as the wayward Gomer from the book of Hosea. Here, I imagined what she'd look like if she had looked up from her sin and shame. This second piece is her look upon seeing the Eyes of Grace looking lovingly back into hers. The title, "Call Me Lily", reflects a name-identity change from the Gomer that was there before. It comes from the last verses of the book of Hosea.

Hosea 14:4-5

4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily.


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