The Pictures on the Wall That Hurt So Much :: By Candy Austin

Micah 7:6 “For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”

Taking professional and even casual pictures has always been an important thing in our family. When our girls were little and back when Walmart still had Portrait Studios in their store was when we would have yearly photos taken of them and of our family.

Whenever the portraits would come in, I remember how I could not wait to see them and decide which ones would hang on our main wall in the living room, for all to see. There was a time when our walls were covered with frames and even photo collages as well. That was when I loved looking at the photos of our children’s faces. I could have looked and fawned over them for hours… and most days I did!

Over time, and after going through not one, but two ‘prodigal episodes,’ as if that was not bad enough, the ‘experience’ of having one’s name ‘repeatedly dragged through the mud’ tends to ‘change the narrative,’ so to speak. Through the lies, libel, and slander from the lips of those you love most, not only does it cut into the ‘deepest recesses’ of one’s heart, it also changes the thought patterns and the ‘nostalgic mindset’ that was once had.

As things became progressively worse and worse, the picture frames on the walls simultaneously became less and less. Where once I could have ‘fawned’ over their photos for long periods of time… truth be told… I have not been able to ‘stomach’ mainly their adolescent and adult photos for quite some years now. (Side Note: These portraits have all been neatly stored away one by one over the years, only to be reminisced over when feelings are stable.)

When something like this has become such a painful subject in one’s life, it is hard to ‘pretend’ or feign like it does not bother or hurt. It is even more difficult to continue to display daily reminders of such tragedy that has happened in one’s family.

Proverbs 10:1 “The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.”

Right now there are two 8×10 baby portraits on the wall, one of each of our girls in the back guest room with a cross and a sign over them that says, “Christ, the Center of Our Home.” Whenever I go into this room and see their baby faces, it reminds me of what once was.

I remember holding our oldest as a newborn as a young 20-year-old mother, staring into her marble-like, beady, deep blue eyes in the early morning feeding hours. During one of the first feedings, I remember feeling compelled to sing the Elvis song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” ~Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can’t help falling in love with you. ~ Her nickname to me at the time was ‘Baby Pea Eyes.’

When I became a mother again at age 25, the arrival of my ‘Booga Boogas’ had completed our newly formed family! The day she was born, I could not stop kissing the bridge of her flat little nose, for she was so beautiful to me! It now all seems so surreal, like another lifetime ago, so far away now….

Those two baby pictures in the back room are all we can ‘handle’ of them in our home for now… the pain of it all is just still ‘too raw’ to deal with otherwise. I share this ‘shamelessly’ because I know that I am not the only one who has gone through this type of gut and heart-wrenching pain.

It is important to be honest about our feelings and to get them out, because health studies show that by concealing and suppressing them, it will only make one physically ill. Ever since I have started writing for Rapture Ready, my ‘crying spells’ have become less and less, fewer and farther in between… and for that, I am truly grateful. Thankful for the prayers too.

Psalm 31:9 “O’ Lord have mercy on me in my anguish. My eyes are red from weeping; my health is broken from sorrow.”

Here is a song titled ‘Prodigal’ by Casting Crowns that I would like to share that ’embodies’ my thoughts and feelings about our situation.

This video is one with the lyrics. I hope that by sharing this, it can help to bless someone going through the same.

Casting Crowns – “Prodigal” with Lyrics

By the way, as I write this, it is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the Best Father in All of the Universe and of All Time… my True Father, Abba! Also, to my Husband who is the Best Dad I have ever known Earth-Side! And a Blessed Father’s Day to all the Godly Dads reading this too!

Until next time… Maranatha!