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Creating from a Blank Canvas for a Bright Future

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“It takes every layer to make the painting what I need it to be at the end. And by the end, every layer has done what it needs to do to make it the final piece.” Marcy Gregg is an accomplished abstract artist with works in galleries and private collections across the United States. It is a passion she rediscovered later - in a life that was almost cut short.

After giving birth to her third child at the age of thirty Marcy contracted a form of meningitis and fell into a coma. Her husband, Dev, says he nearly lost her, “I look in there and she’s got ten tubes hooked to her, she’s intubated and completely out, and the doctors literally came to me and said, ‘She’s probably not going to make it. We don’t see many patients that are – is this severe, you know, live.’”

She lay in a coma for an entire week with little hope for her survival. Then, miraculously after prayers from her pastor, Marcy woke up, confused, disoriented, and without any memories past the age of 17. Dev tried to comfort his wife, unaware of her mental state. Marcy says, “He sat down beside me and he talked to me as if I should know who he was, and I thought he was a doctor. But then he, he reached down to kiss me, and I thought, ‘Okay, wait. When did doctors start kissing their patients?’ And he said that he was my husband and that we had had a child together. And I didn’t remember any of this. So I was completely confused; what was going on?”

Marcy had no memories of the last 13 years of her life. Soon after, she was reunited with her children. She says, “I had no memory of having them at all. And when they came to the room and they brought them in and they jumped on the bed and they put the baby girl in my arms, I literally knew that they were mine. And I felt like that was God’s gift to me, that I knew they were mine.”

Desperate to be released from the hospital, Marcy hid her amnesia. She soon returned to a home and a life she didn’t remember. “Being inauthentic was the hardest part. I felt very inauthentic. And it was very – and it was hard. Everything I was doing was hard because I was – I was lying to everybody,” she says.

Marcy is a Christian and prayed earnestly for her memories to return. When they didn’t, she secretly began drinking alcohol to cover her frustration. “I would drink quietly, secretly, and then the next morning I would get up and I would have – I would open my Bible and I would pray and ask God to forgive me… There was this guilt, but I was so addicted to the alcohol that I drank anyway… I wanted to stop feeling what I was feeling, the pressure. I drank to forget what I couldn’t remember,” she recalls.

She struggled to keep her memory loss and addiction a secret for years. Then one night she saw her life and family with a new perspective. “I looked in there and there Dev was, and he had Cally in his arms, and the boys were all over the furniture, just everywhere. And God said to me at that moment, straight to my heart, as clear as I’ve ever heard him, ‘That is what I saved you, for the future, not the past. And as much as that father loves his children, I love you more. And just as that father’s holding his daughter, I’m holding you and I will never let you fall, but you’ve got to trust me.’”

She remembers, “And I fell to my knees and I literally, at that – point in my life surrendered my life because at that point I realized I wanted God’s will for my life more than I wanted anything else. I wanted His plan for me, without my memories, more than I wanted my plan with my memories, and I chose to trust Him with all of it.”

Marcy came clean before God and her husband. She was set free from alcohol addiction as she put her life in God’s hands. Her memories have not returned, however her passion for painting was reborn and has grown into a successful career - with the word of God at its foundation. “So I take scripture from usually a verse I’m studying that morning. I will take it to the studio and I will paint it across the blank canvas. And that becomes the foundation for the piece and it is also the inspiration for the title.”

In her book, Blank Canvas, she tells her amazing story and the process of learning to trust God with each layer of challenge and grace she faces in her life. She says, “And one day I was putting a final layer on and God literally just impressed on my heart, “God is the master artist and we are His canvas. We’re His masterpiece. Every layer in my life is important to make me who I am, and if we are His masterpiece and you’re in a bad layer, you’re in a bad place, He’s not finished. And I am convinced and I’m confident that He is going to finish the work He’s begun so there’s no accidents and there’s no mistakes.”

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