"Your mission field is the ground between your own two feet." Jill Briscoe

“Your mission field is the ground between your own two feet.” Jill Briscoe


We’re delighted to introduce you to Chronic Joy Creative Contributor and fine artist, Barbara Coleman!


Barbara has been married and in ministry with her pastor husband for almost 50 years, and has lived with chronic illness for more than 30 years, specifically with chronic pain from Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, spinal degeneration, and cancer.


“My World Has Gotten Very Small”


Barbara says, “As a chronically ill person, my world has gotten very small. I usually only travel about 20 minutes from home. I do the same things almost every day.”


Barbara ColemanBut Barbara is also Type A, enthusiastic, full of life and laughter, and an expert teaser! Her faith walk is an extraordinary gift. The Lord has become her closest friend and His joy in her spills over into everyone she meets.


Where Do Butterflies Go At Night?


In her article, Where Do Butterflies Go At Night? Barbara wrote this about those who live with chronic illness: “They have become so lonely that they reach out to God and He has indeed become their closest friend. Often their faith can encourage your faith as you see how they trust the Lord in the midst of severe pain and loss.” 


Painting Helps Her Cope with Chronic Pain


Barbara is an artist, and though she set down her brushes when she entered ministry with her husband and raised their family, she sensed God’s call about ten years ago to pick up her brushes again, discovering comfort and great joy in her art, helping her cope with her chronic pain. Four of Barbara’s beautiful paintings are now available as Chronic Joy notecards, which is fitting, because Barbara also enjoys writing old school #PenToPaper notes. Both her words and brush strokes are treasured gifts!


The Wonderful Land of Affliction


In addition to Where Do Butterflies Go At Night?, Barbara wrote an excellent allegory entitled: The Wonderful Land of Affliction, a story illustrating the transition from a healthy life with little thought about daily activities to a life lived with chronic illness, a glimpse into the challenges of life with daily pain and limitations.


Serving One Another In Love


Though Barbara spends most of her time at home, she has found a variety of unique and interesting ways to serve with Chronic Joy. She Writes For Us and is a Creative Contributor. She also regularly contributes to our #PassItOn program.

Barbara is amazed that God uses her painting as an act of service for God’s Kingdom, yet isn’t that just like God to use our pain for His purpose?

Jill Briscoe wrote, “Your mission field is the ground beneath your own two feet.” Barbara lives that out – from writing to painting to texting encouragement to opening her home to sharing Jesus.

We are all wired to serve, and while culture and tradition might narrow the framework of our options, the Spirit splits that wide open, inspiring accessible opportunities for each of us to serve, for without even one, the Body of Christ is incomplete.

If you’ve been inspired by Barbara’s story, if you feel the tugging of the Holy Spirit, we’d love to hear from you! We’d love to learn how you feel led to serve!

Lead photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash


This set of 4 notecards includes stunning copies of full-sized paintings from Artist Barbara Coleman, who finds great comfort and joy from the Lord while painting. She paints to cope with years of chronic pain from Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, spinal degeneration, and cancer.

  • Sea Shell Peony
  • Sunflower Renewal
  • Happy Poppy
  • It”s Apple Blossom Time

Find these in our STORE.

STORY MATTERS – Introducing Barbara Coleman

Story matters. Barbara’s story. My story. Your story. Story is essential to who we are. It’s how Jesus taught and it fills the pages of Scripture. Why? Because story has the capacity to change our lives. (Approx. 11 minutes)

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