Welcome to Mindi Oaten Art Painting is my act of worship. It allows me to collaborate with the One who gives me life and inspiration. It connects me to my purpose; to give, to inspire and to invite the viewer into a new perspective. I enjoy painting everyday objects or imagery that I am moved to portray, connecting them with a deeper message. I hope you are blessed by viewing my work.
So this is a blog about something that hasn't happened yet. But I believe in my heart that it will. And I believe God said to me that if I write the beginning, He will write the ending. Here is the beginning of the miracle I believe is yet to come, written on April 1, 2017. And I can't wait to see how God writes it all out...
One night last week I was lying in bed and couldn't sleep. While I was lying there thinking about the day, an overwhelming sense that I was supposed to pray for healing came over me. I couldn't get it out of my head. I just kept feeling like God was asking me to trust Him with healing my body from surgery - supernaturally. I've been there before...He healed me six years ago from a sickness that kept me down for a year. I've experienced what it feels like to pray for healing, actually experience the healing, and then walk away healed. So it's not a new thing for me. But this time, it felt way bigger. And I couldn't put my finger on it.
50 days later - May 21...
I knew I was supposed to write down what I did, when I did, and I believe that now is the time that God is helping write the ending to this particular story. Fifty days later. I don't know why I thought it was just a physical healing or why I felt it was only for me. Ever had that problem? When you learn a lesson at some point in life, but still are shocked when it circles back around and gets you a second time? After all, God and I had been down that road before...I had been physically healed years ago. But the lesson in that for me, was where the real healing was...and if I was totally honest with myself, the real gut wrenching healing came not only in my physical body - but in my spirit. For me, This actually started about 20 years ago when I began forming who and what I thought I'd be. But it wasn't who God had planned for me to be and so He had to start scrapping away the stuff that was keeping me from being healed on the inside.
So my prayer on the night of April 1, as it turns out, wasn't just for a physical healing. It wasn't even just for me. It was for the same deep spiritual kind of healing I had experienced six years earlier. And so here we go - my dandelion prayer...
It's funny how when you finally get to the place of understanding sacrifice and truly giving yourself up for God, you think it's done. But it doesn't just end there. Maybe funny isn't the right word...ironic? Nope. Frustrating? I'm not sure what the best word is...maybe painful. But that's the lesson God is teaching me lately - Okay, you've said you died to yourself, now what? Well, let's start cleaning some things out.
He started with the word "imitation". Then "broken reflections". Some really hard stuff. So why not write about it, right? I'd rather not, actually, but God said otherwise. So today is another day when I open up the pages to my story and turn to the chapter that's marked with a lot of tears and is torn in places from frustration. But it's one where God is victorious and the writing ends in hope...
When God asked me to write my story four years ago, I really fought it. The one thing I did manage to do, however, was figure out a title. Huge accomplishment right?! Not so much, I know, but that seemed to be the easiest, least "commitment" kind of step Incould take. So I wrote down "My Dandelion Prayer." It came from a good friend who used to say I was like a dandelion blowing in the wind...thinking I could fly, oblivious to the world around me, happy to be above the earth, happy to be floating wherever the wind blew. And I really loved that image...because to me it spoke of freedom and trust in the Lord. Rising above all the junk on the earth and living in a place where God was in charge of the direction I went - healed, whole and happy. I never did anything with it, just wrote it down and tucked it away, completely forgetting about it. Until one morning during reviveTX, when God called me to simply sit at the altar and listen. Worship and listen. Those were the instructions I got and so that's what I did.
That's when He showed me a beautiful picture that came with a profound message. As I was kneeling at the altar, eyes closed, I saw a dandelion being held delicately in the hands of the Lord. The dandelion was cupped ever so carefully in His large, gentle hands. I remember feeling so impressed that such large hands could hold something so delicate without doing any damage or causing a single seed to fall. I asked the Lord what it meant and I felt Him say that this dandelion was reviveTX - that He was holding it carefully in His hands until just the right moment. When the time was right, that He would blow - whoosh - and the seeds would scatter across the metroplex. It was one of those images that was so powerful it caused me to pause in wonder. Wow. Just one breath and everything could change. It felt big to me. Really big.
I shared the vision with my cousin Mindi and we both had the same thought...God wanted something done with this image, this word that He had given me. Out of that conversation came one of my favorite paintings that Mindi has ever created. A dandelion with the seeds beginning to blow in the wind.
I didn't realize that there had been a prophetic word spoken over Dallas at some point this year referencing Reunion Tower, the big rotating ball in the middle of Dallas, also known as the Dandelion. So now my attention was on Reunion Tower and I felt it important to go there to pray - mostly out of curiosity as to why the Lord had shown me the dandelion.
The timing never seemed to work out and weeks passed by until, finally one day, a group of us were given the opportunity to go. I was really excited. I felt like God was ready to show me something really significant, reveal something important, life-changing. So I went into it really expectant. As we walked around the ball and looked out over the city, I started talking to God. The question I had on my heart at that moment was: Lord, why is the church not coming? I asked it, in a pleading, whining kind of way. The answer came both with swift words and in a picture that was laid out in front of me.
I looked at the building across from the tower, covered in mirrored windows and heard in my heart the Lord say, They are an imitation. A reflection of the world around them and not of Me. Whoa. That caught my attention, especially when I saw what the reflection of the tower looked like. The instantly recognized Reunion Tower suddenly looked mangled and messy, nothing like the original version and that's when it hit me square between the eyes: I was no different and that was the message God wanted me there to hear.
I had an idea of what I wanted to be and how I wanted to appear. Innocent enough at the start, but eventually it was something that became a trap. I kept pushing toward an image and a goal that was my own, but it wasn't who God had planned for me to be. This image of the tower"s reflection was a perfect demonstration of what I, like the church, had become. Not intentionally, but over time, conformed to the ways of the world...putting all the mirrored pieces perfectly in place to create the best version. But what I didn't realize was that it was, in fact, not the best version of me - instead it was the version warped by the expectations that others have for me, the version that the world expects from me. It wasn't the best version because it wasn't the original - the version that, when looking in the mirror, Christ is looking back.
I really think that's where we are at - the church, individuals, me. Broken reflections and imitations. I know it's a lot of work to fix, but I really don't want to look in the mirror at that mess anymore. I want to look in the mirror and see Jesus. So I'm going to let the scrapping happen, the broken pieces be put back in place, the healing begin. It results in a lot of tears, letting go of dreams I thought were mine, and learning a different way of doing things. But in all of that, there's an incredible freedom...to be exactly who God created me to be and, so far, it's a whole lot more rewarding.
I still believe this vision is also for the church in Dallas as a whole. And I believe it's going to require healing in each of us as individuals before the seeds can be blown to the wind and a church or a city can change. I believe that's why God showed me the dandelion that day on the altar. So that I would go to the tower to get a true picture of what the city really looks like. And to be encouraged that no matter what, the Lord is holding us, ever so gently in His hands, until we are ready - whoosh - to soar into what He is calling us to.
And so, while I thought what I was writing in April was just for me, it turns out it is also for a hurting church and for the city. We're holding on so tightly - thinking the flower looks better full from the outside, no missing seeds. But what does it look like when the seed is cast? What I believe God was telling me - is that it looks like freedom, healing and life. Letting go of an image and of control. A true picture of Jesus in me. A spiritual healing. And anywhere from 50-170 new brilliant yellow flowers scattered across the earth.
What if the seeds of the dandelion in the vision God gave me represent of all of us? That we can't be released until we are free...from any pre-conceived identity we have of ourselves. When we are finally cleaned out of all the stuff that creates that broken reflection. That's when we are healed and set free.
I know the miracle ending in this story might not even seem like an ending. And maybe it isn't an ending? Maybe the miracle is that it's actually a beginning. An end to my idea of my own identity and the beginning of my identity in Christ...exactly the ending God had in mind - the revelation that God is doing something in me. He asked me to pray for healing that night and then gave me exactly what I asked for. He didn't write it out the way I thought He would, but instead wrote it out in the way I needed. A better ending than I could have ever asked for. My Dandelion Prayer.
The LORD gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” - Jeremiah 1:4-5
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27
You can follow my cousin Janae and read about her journey here