WARNING: This video is a bit different than my usual. It includes a story in the voiceover that might not be good for your little ones; if it makes you uncomfortable, just turn off the sound and watch with Christmas music for a more cheerful version.
The word “cardinal” is from the Latin cardo, meaning hinge. Something that has cardinal qualities is so important that it functions as a keystone or axle; other things hinge around it. Our difficult life experiences, as well as the positive ones, can be the anchors around which God develops our character. They don’t define us, but can instill deep compassion in us for the hardships of others.
An experience from decades ago contributed to shape who I am; it’s not one I’ve shared with anyone until very recently. In today’s video, I share that story as a way to encourage others who have been through traumatic experiences, that you might know you are not alone.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”-2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Help for survivors
If you need assistance coping, please reach out to someone. Especially during the holidays – these can be a rough few weeks ahead. There are many who care…..I’ve listed just a few hotlines:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline , Call 1-800-656-4673 – Available 24 hours everyday, they also have online chat
- Suicide Prevention Hotline Call 1-800-273-8255 – Available 24 hours everyday
- Lifeline Crisis Chat
- Stop Soldier Suicide
- Crisis Text Line for veterans Get free help now: Text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States.
- If you don’t have anyone to talk to and none of these suggestions look good to you, you can email your story to the email address I set up. You’ll receive an automated reply from me.
The bloghop and prizes
Now hop along and go see what everyone else is making today:
- Sandy Allnock (you’re here)
- Josefine Fouarge
- Rubeena Ianigro
- Leigh Houston
- Mamie Carson Wadsworth
- Tania Ahmed
- Ana Reese
- Tracy Freeman
- Amy Tsuruta
- Tracie Pond
- Sharna Waksmulski
- Alix Davis
- Janette Kausen
- Mayra Duran-Hernandez
- Kimberly Wiener
- Joanne Maree Soukup
- Crissy Salima Smith
My painting is now at Society 6, and any proceeds are being donated to RAINN. I’m hoping to add some more of my recent work to the site over the weekend- let me know if there’s something in particular you’ve wanted prints of and if I still have it here I’ll photograph and add it. Because Christmas is coming! The original is framed and will be hanging at my church in the next few weeks.
YOU are beautiful inside and out!! Thanks for sharing everything *!
Thank you for sharing your story, for the courage and strength you share with the telling. You have touch many lives and hearts with your sharing. I send you prayers and blessings for your continued strength, courage and peace.
Sandy, you’re beautiful inside and out, and you bring even more beauty into our lives every day with paintings like this stunning cardinal. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe!
Sweet Sandy- you are so brave to share your story. My heart breaks for you and what you went through but what a beautiful testimony you’ve shared of forgiveness that can only come from knowing Jesus. Thank you for sharing and know that you are loved and are a beautiful daughter of the King. Sending hugs
You are a STRONG woman, beautiful and kind. Continue with how you are for you’ve been blessed with compassion. Your art expresses all the beauty that is you. Wishing you all the best in 2019. Be blessed.
Thank you, your courage is so helpful – my trauma comes from a different place – living for 44 years with a wonderful man who is beset by severe chronic PTSD as a result of his service to the country in Vietnam. It is hard to explain how deeply this has affected the lives of me and my children. People may not understand that we have also been diagnosed with PTSD, but it is true. Invisible wounds are hard to comprehend. Your message of kindness resonates.
Thanks you for sharing your story.I AM do sorry you went trough do much pain .I went trough simelar experience.You are a hero.You did not only survive from this situationeel.It made you,the beautiful personen you are now.I hoe for you.For your courageto tell us.Be good to uourself and Stay strong
Sandy, you are NOT ugly, your smile is contagious and your spirit, so gorgeous. Thank you for sharing, it does take strength in the age of internet trolls and shaming. Your cardinal is OMG- stunning! I can only dream of being half as talented as you. Thank you, and I hope you have a merry Christmas and may God bless you and your loved ones
THANK YOU. You are beautiful.
jwoolbright at gmail dot com
Sandy, thank you for bravely sharing your experiences and for your encouragement to be there for others, as well as using art to heal hurting hearts!
Sandy, you are a child of God, made perfect in His image, you are inspiring, brave, kind. Thank you for your story and for reminding us to be consciously kind; that even “constructive “ comments could hurt a person. I shared your video with my husband, he was so appalled by that boy. I could see his heart hurt for you in that moment. I have such respect for you as a person, your authenticity is admirable. May God richly bless your life and give you every good thing.
I believe you. Your story is powerful. Wishing you strength & peace.
it is sad how much we have to carry alone in this world, but God is with us. I wish these things didn’t happen, and I wish it was enough to say you are not alone. Different things help different people. I wish I could have a cup of tea or coffee with you and just hug you! I admire you, Sandy.
What a gift you have given to so many others by sharing your story. It always helps for people to know they are not alone in their pain. I don’t understand why people are so cruel to one another. I also don’t know what can be done about it. It makes one feel helpless and hopeless. I do feel sharing the pain of your experience with others in some small way helps to educate people to what is happening in this world and as you suggest to be more kind to each other. A lesson for myself to remember. I hope others will think about how to apply this to their everyday life as well.
I can not begin to imagine how hard this was for you but, I do remember the first time I talked about my abuse and it was terrifying. So when I tell you that what you did was amazingly brave you can know that I know a little bit of what I speak. I would also like to send you a warm hug and say that I am so glad you took a chance to share your story. I was diagnosed with PTSD in 1992. The struggle is ongoing and now made harder due to chronic illness. But I fight on try to evolve as we all do. This hop is a beautiful labor of love from you(all the artists involved). And I feel the kinship of like people and the love that this is sending out. Thank you so very much for sharing your time, yourself and your amazing art. You are a huge blessing in a time of stress.
It took me three times to get through it. I’m so sorry this happened to you but I am so very proud that you use your voice daily to reach out to others. I’m honored to know you. I’m sorry you didn’t have a community to support you then Sandy. I am so sorry.
Thank you for sharing your story. I know it’s not easy to do so. In my own life I’ve experienced a lot of trauma and especially suffer from PTSD around the Christmas season. I’m thankful to know that there is a loving God who knows me and what I’ve been through.
Your painting is beautiful.
Sandy you are incredibly brave, sensitive and compassionate. Thank you for the courage it must have taken to share your story. I”m so sorry this happened to you. You are an amazing and beautiful person both inside and out. The art you create and the community you have created is a testament to your strength.
My goodness Sandy, I’m so sad to hear your story. You have such a beautiful soul, such a way with art and words and I treasure you and the interactions we have online.
You are beautiful. You are God’s precious child. I love you! I was moved to tears when i listened to your youtube. “Me too” similar. Ive been on disability for 5 months. Depression, anxiety, ptsd. The trial on tv made me more ill. Its a mans world. We will persevere. We will get better. God Bless you! Sending hugs & prayers!
You are brave and beautiful, Sandy. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I also have a story … many years of abuse. I am grateful that I can go to my Heavenly Father and He always gives me comfort. God bless you. Have a peaceful Christmas.
Wow. When I started watching your video I expected the norm – your fabulous beautiful art with tips and techniques narration. When you gave the “warning” I wondered but couldn’t imagine what was to come. As I listened to what you said and watched what you were creating it became hard to separate them because as you described what happened to you that night and then your friend’sresponse I saw you as a beautiful lonely bird abstracted by the cold and wind and water and PAIN. With tears in my eyes I imagined your assault and recalled my own, the details of which I will always keep to myself.
God bless all survivors-those who tell and those who don’t.
Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you have endured so much pain and suffering. You are a beautiful person, inside and out. I pray you will continue to heal from this traumatic event. Thank you also for the reminder that words can hurt, and should be chosen wisely. I need that reminder on a regular basis. Take care of yourself and have a restful December.
Your painting is beautiful, just like you are. Beautiful inside and out. I’m sorry that you had to go through what you did, and still are. My heart gets out to you.
I wasn’t prepared for your video…. usuallyI just watch them, without reading the description below…so you completely got me off guard… but I guess, this is, what happened to you…. and so many others… one will never be prepared for abuse…
I’m not a good ‘commenter’ and so often I wanted to tell you what a huge blessing you are to me, but never did… You are such a beautiful, lovely woman after Gods heart! I’m in Germany, I don’t know what’s going on right now in your area or country, but I do cry and grieve with you and so many others for what you went through! Be blessed in abundance!
You are a remarkable lady! Stay strong.
I just love all your work! Thank you for sharing your story. I will have to sit down one night and share my story. It’s rough one, but I have an awesome support team. It took awhile to find that support and help, slowly I am healing.
Thank you Sandy, you have a beautiful soul, and a strong women.
Thank you for everything!
Love this, love the image, and the coloring.
This is a beautiful painting. I wish I was half so talented as you. I,too, am a survivor. One is dead. I don’t tell my story to his offspring as I would not want to hurt them. The other is still alive and I try to stay far away from him. I pray that you can find peace in your situation.
Your story breaks my heart. Know this: you are a beautiful woman inside and out. I pray for you to feel the peace of Christ and the love of God as you continue to heal.
I’m sorry. Thank you for sharing.
The cardinal is gorgeous.
I love to see them every summer.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Best wishes for continued happiness.
Sandy, thanks for the story that has turned into one of beauty, a reminder to encourage one another. I appreciate you more than you know, & am grateful for the way you share with the world your wonderful talents. May God bless you, & Merry Christmas to you!
Sandy, thank you for sharing your story. I do not have the words to express my gratitude to you for doing so and for the way you live your life and show your love for others. But know that you are heard, respected and appreciated for doing so.
Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I am sure that it will be of great help to many survivors as well as to others learning how to help their friend or family member who is going through a trauma. We all need to learn to be more compassionate and kind.
This is beautiful! Thanks for the initiative, and hope you can get the strength you need!
Your transparency in sharing this assault & the comments you made throughout your video touched me deeply. Physical trauma can heal, but verbal or mental abuse, even just one, like yours, in that situation, can scar us for life, making us feel inferior or not worthy. You are a beautiful person Sandy in the way that really counts. Exterior beauty, while it is nice, does not make a person more worthy, but our society has tried to make us buy into thinking that’s what is important. What a sad commentary. We know though where our true inner beauty & strength comes from don’t we? In Him we live & breathe & have our being.
Love this! Hugs to you….you are brave!
Sandy if I could give your video 10 thumbs up I would. I know words are easily spoken but I think you deserve a medail for the courage to share your story to us all. I hope that everyone who hears/see it would listen good to what you say and act to it.
For me there is only a gorgeous Sandy, you don’t know it but with your art and your down-to-earth talking in your video’s you have helped me the past one and a half year through so much difficult moments after I have been very sick and almost died. Although I have people around me to support me and they do because they too have experienced it from close by, but it is not always the listening ear you need, sometimes it’s just enough to see your beautiful art that inspires me to pick up my craft supplies and make something.
Thank you so much for being Sandy!
Sandy, thanks for sharing your story. I know it will help all of us to understand even small criticisms can be so hurtful. You are so kind and compassionate. I am so sorry for what happened to you. These predators, control their victims by making the victims feel inferior, so the victims will not come forward. Unfortunately our judicial system does this too, making victims guilty before proven innocent. You are beautiful inside and out. You share that beauty with us thru your art. Even though we have never met you are truly my dear friend. Your faith I know has brought you through this darkness. Jesus heals us. Take care my friend.
It takes a lot of courage to share your personal story! Keep going, you are strong!!