“God Is My Ultimate Hope” – The Story behind The Picture

| April 18, 2019

Jamie Woods

This pencil sketch of Jesus at Calvary is a fixture of the TC Christian library.  It was drawn by Jamie Woods whose daughter, Jenelle, attended TC Christian in the early 2000s.  Sadly, Jamie passed away in 2003.  We recently connected with Jenelle (Woods) Thomas (Class of 2004), and learned the back story of her Mom, the artist responsible for this beautiful piece:

“I honestly don’t know what the year was when Mom drew her portrait of Christ at Calvary. I do know it was before I came to school at TCCS in 2001 because it hung in our “schoolroom” when I was homeschooled. She would design and craft bulletin boards for churches so I’m not sure for which one it was done, but I do know it was for Easter week.

Mom’s accident happened homecoming weekend – Friday, October 10th, 2003. Long story short, after a fall her brain was so severely damaged that she was declared brain dead after 12 days in ICU. She had lived and learned through a lot of “junk” as she called it, aka physical abuse as a child. I always wondered why God made her go through so much collateral. 10 years of counseling were done and she was living her best life for about a year up until she was taken home. It’s like God said, “You’ve had enough, you’ve done enough. Come home.” Mom had such a servant’s heart and always said she couldn’t wait to meet Jesus! She reminded us a week before her accident that she wanted ‘Welcome Home, Children’ played at her funeral. (As Mom did often as it was one of her favorites to play and sing at the piano.) Dad and I eye-rolled and promised her we would. Little did we all know, less than a month later, she would be gone.

Jenelle with her husband, Andrew, and their sons, Clyde and Archie. (Inset: Jenelle the Graduate)

I think back on everything I went through and my Dad went through losing his spouse.  At the time, it felt so dark, so hard, so cruel. But there was hope. I could see how Mom’s life had been terribly difficult but it was also full and beautiful. She was tender and compassionate, strong and free; all because of the troubles life had thrown at her. I finally realized a couple years ago that one of the reasons God allowed her to go through all of that – and allowed me to go through losing my mother when I was 17 – was to grow me, to instill a sense of softheartedness; to hurt for others who are hurting, to encourage others who are in the depths. I’m still learning, and most days are better than others. But that’s perhaps the point. I learned bad things happen to good people at a young age but that doesn’t mean we have to lie down and take it. I’ve learned God is my ultimate hope, that He raises me up every day. He gave me family and friends for support when I reach out for help. I have absolute faith that no matter what life hands me, God’s got big enough hands to hold me through it and that he will never abandon me.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:-55-57 | NIV”

All this week, we’re remembering the Resurrection.  From our 4th Graders sharing their reflections, to the chapels and daily prayer focus of our school community, to Jenelle’s story about her Mom, we’re reminded that, as Christians, the sorrow of death is temporary when compared to the hope of resurrection and reunion in Heaven.  Have a blessed Easter.

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