INTRODUCING BARBARA COLEMAN
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 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 to 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, about ten years ago she sensed God’s call to pick up her brushes again, discovering comfort and great joy in her art (helping her cope with her chronic pain). Some of Barbara’s beautiful paintings have been turned into 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 giving a glimpse into the challenges of life with daily pain and limitations 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.
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. 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.
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)