When the Heart Must Bend, Featuring Paintings by Acrylic Artist Elya Filler

My daughter’s recent paintings reflect her desire to travel the world again, and I know my heart must bend.

Not break, mind you, but bend to the will of my precious girl who lights up the room with a smile. I must bend to her passion to travel and teach English abroad, again.

Elya on Great Wall of China

Bend to her exploration of Asian countries I do not trust with her life, as I sit home wringing my hands and pleading with God for His protection.

Bend to the passion of this willowy young woman with a fire inside I cannot quench nor would I want to.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” -Saint Augustine

Yet, as difficult as this is for me, I am able to bend because of remembrance.

When I was only twenty, I left home, with the same fire burning inside of me; the desire to travel the world and live abroad, to be a missionary in the Netherlands. And my mother had to bend without any understanding of what this fire inside felt like.

Outreach in Amsterdam

So if my mother could bend to me, how can I not do the same? I well remember the photo of me and the scripture Mom placed on her shelf and prayed, over and over again, while wringing her hands: “May the Lord watch between you and me while we are apart.”

So, I must bend away from wanting it to be all about me, having her home, safe and sound. I must accept her desires and decisions.

I must bend to trusting God with her life when I am so very far away.

I must bend and resist my fears, so I can believe something beautiful will blossom in her heart if she follows her dreams.

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