YELLOW: one of the three primary colors has NOT found a home in my wardrobe. On the other hand, red and blue in many assorted shades, have.
YELLOW along with ORANGE have been among my “never!” colors to wear.
At least that is what I thought until last October (2020) when the cancer diagnosis happened. It was also a month before our 25th wedding anniversary. I was in a quandary of how to celebrate our milestone anniversary with my husband, Zack, to commemorate our 25 years of life together and deal with cancer and all that entailed.
I was not quite bed ridden, and I could not drive. I could walk and stand for short periods of time. I had spent a substantial portion of the year in our bedroom in a reclined position. Then I got the idea to redecorate our room as a gift to us.
Zack had bought us a new mattress recently; it came with new sheets. He picked sheets that were gray; he only had three colors to choose from. Gray did not fit the beachy colors of the master bedroom.
I looked around the room trying to think outside the box. The aqua green fought with those gray sheets. So, I looked more intently at the colors I could not change.
Zack had made our beautiful, curly Maple bedroom set. It had turned a yellow color over time, the exact yellow color I disliked. But I had made it work over the years pretending it was a sand color. But what did that matter when we were in a sea of yellow pine floors and the same color wood trim. Zack, being a woodworker liked it. So, I didn’t say anything about painting the trim or changing the floors. I didn’t want to make a stink over a house we were going to live in for a year then make it a rental. That was 9 years ago! I felt like I could change a few things now (smile).
When I was in our room, I always did my best to focus on the color I loved: aqua-green. It always brought a calming peace. But now there’s gray! And my peace was being challenged every time I walked into the room. I decided not to fight the yellow colors that weren’t going away. I thought, a cool yellow would complement the furniture, the gray sheets, and the white walls, and wood trim. I mulled over fabrics for weeks on-line. And decided on one for the roman blinds (I eventually made and hung) in our bedroom. It combined a creamy-white, lemon yellow, and flat silver and stormy gray in a pattern Zack and I liked. (With my infirmities this was not an easy task to accomplish so I had to wait until later. For the time being, I kept imagining our new room.)
It happened eight months later but in the meantime my love affair with yellow was in full bloom. God had yellow woo me and turn my head. It actually started last spring when the girls knew their dad had travel plans for me for a beach get away late spring. They were out shopping, and they bought a few clothing items for me to wear on our trip. One of which was a pair of very bright yellow platform sandals. I balked at them at first. I wore them on the trip Zack took me on and then put them in my closet and forgot about them. After this, yellow seduced me with his warmth and charms. When spring came around, the sandals came out from their winter slumber and enchanted me. From then on, I purposed to look for Yellow when out shopping. And yellow found me a couple of times, with surprise and delight!
I thought I knew “my” colors! I thought I had the most comfortable cool, calming choice of wardrobe colors for me for the rest of my life, then yellow happened! I believed this was a gift from God. He was trying to help me understand that I don’t have my life figured out.
Zack had always liked yellow. He even drove a yellow truck for a while. We called it the yellow submarine. Needless to say, it wasn’t my favorite truck, but I always knew it was him on the road!
My old standby principles and mind-sets needed fresh air and sun light. I needed to reconsider if what I believed was really truth for me. Should I be holding these things like my life depended upon it? Is it possible that I was wrong? Or did I need to protect my standards by which I lived up to until this point? Or could I be stifling my own life by holding things dear that needed to be let go, making room in my heart for relationships and new colors and more?!
After the cancer diagnosis last fall, I learned to hold my “Never(s)!” loosely. I was amazed that God was smiling on me as I let trivial things go that I thought I needed to hold on to. I watched Him create something new in the act of my letting go.
When Zack surprised me with a diamond ring for our anniversary; it was a big deal! He did give me an engagement ring long ago. He had bought it at a pawn shop, this tells of our financial picture back then. I somehow lost it in our travels during our missionary years.
He and our three girls kept the new ring a secret for months. They were in this together. Being that my love language is “acts of service” this was a huge deposit in my love bank! Another thing that scored high in this was Zack heard me! He got me the exact shape diamond that I would have picked out for myself! Also, all the time he spent with our daughters preparing this caper, warmed my heart too! Then He took me on a long weekend to the beach to present it to me. He was trying to replicate when he asked me to marry him twenty-five years ago. All of this spoke volumes of love to my heart.
It was perfect! I mean perfect!!! And he is my legendary man!!!
I had it on my finger with my plain, wide wedding band when one of my daughters saw it, she said, “Mom, you should wear the diamond alone on this finger. Wear the band on your right hand.”
At first, I thought “No! I have worn this band here for twenty-five years!!!” I felt justified. Yet deep inside there was a nudge to listen. God was saying, “What does it matter if you believe this ring should reside here on this finger? You are not always right, are you? Maybe try it on another finger for a time.”
God was challenging me to get out of my comfort zone, to stop being a control freak and try something new for a change. God was assessing me in my “I am right” areas. It was a test. I relinquished and set my diamond alone on the wedding ring finger and put the band on the other ring finger. And do you know what happened?
It worked! It was such a small adjustment. But I would have been willing to die on that hill in my stubbornness before. Without going through this arduous year, I would have stood my ground.
Relinquishing in areas I felt I had a right to own my will was new to me. I found throughout the next year several more challenges to “my way of thinking” came and I passed more tests by “handing it over” to God or to others, allowing them to “be right” too.
Then came a big test. In every area of my life, I was to be evaluated. I felt the Lord say to me, are you willing to let go of everything? I knew that this "everything" I held onto in my life up to this point had led me to cancer. Letting go and being willing to learn new lifestyle changes was big, but God had started this process already. He was interested in going deeper.
Going to Hope4Cancer Clinic, in Tijuana, Mexico, meant I would not be home for three weeks. With this new thinking I endeavored to give everything to God. I told Him, that He could go into any place in me, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically to clean house. This was scary but I was determined to learn new things. During that three-week stay, my highly creative gang, decided to redecorate our living room as a surprise for us. I knew they were going to do this, it was mentioned, but I didn’t know how or what that meant. When the people we met at the clinic heard that my gang at home was redecorating our living room they seemed skeptical. I smiled because I knew my kids and I knew what God was doing in me. When my time at the clinic was extended by 6 more weeks for radiation therapy, I had less fear of what to expect when I got home. I had more trust that God had this. And that my kids needed this project not only to do something, but to prove they could, and to provide a way for them to "own the house" too. (By the way their ages were: 17, 19, 21 years old. Old enough to tackle this job.)
No, they did not decorate with the color yellow. In fact, at this time, they did not know this personal challenge that God gave me. But I was open to whatever they did. And yes, they super-surprised me with their ingenuity and creativity. It was a major change. Plants everywhere! (I kill plants on a regular basis!) The mood, tone and colors were perfect for all of us. They updated our style and made a very suitable living space. I was beside myself with all they did, took away, and rebuilt. Yes, they rebuilt our couches! They did all of this and paid for it themselves! Now it worked better in the cozy living room. I’m pleased with all they did!
I wear yellow at least once a week now. And I get compliments on my yellow sandals every time I don them. My life has changed, and I have a mellow-yellow, smoother outlook on life now. Other people’s perspectives are just as important as mine. And I listen to their words; as long as they are not trying to hurt me, or attack me, there is plenty of room in my world for their opinions and beliefs. And there is harmony in my life now.
I did not remove all the Caribbean blues, reds and aqua colors from my life or my closet. Blue is still a favorite go-to color for me, AND there’s room in there for YELLOW!
In the bible, yellow is associated with fire (1 Peter 1:7) and the purification process, as in refining of gold, where the dross, or impurities, are scraped off, leaving pure gold.
Sounds like the refining process I have been through and am still embracing.
I love our bedroom, and our living room too! Redecorating, rebuilding is part of my story along with the diamond ring and being healed in many ways!
Yellow speaks to me as a warm, cheery, sunny day. I am energized by it. When I googled "yellow" This is what came up:
In the TikTok world #myyellow means “someone you can’t live without”.
Urban Dictionary says YELLOW: is the person who you are living for; the person who saved your life and the reason for your happiness.
God, You are MY YELLOW!!!
by Monica DuBois copyright June 7, 2022