Amanda Hancock


Amanda (Mandy) Hancock is an artist and educator in East Texas. Her passion is nurturing the sustainability of sisterhood and the creative process. She fosters fellowship and friendship through her art and her life. Amanda holds an Associate of Arts from Panola College, a Bachelor of Arts from Stephen F. Austin State University, a Master of Art Education from Texas Tech, and a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She is a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach but mainly practices in the classroom setting. She creates in her kitchen, garden, and at her home studio. Amanda teaches art at Tatum High School in Tatum, TX and lives with her Schnau-huahua, Bella, in Henderson, where she is surrounded by a community and family of love, loyalty, and friendship.

2020 Haus of Ollom (Artist)

The Power of Powerlessness

I have seen the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” Anyone with depression has. For two solid years of my adult life, I wandered in darkness, fearing what may lurk in the crags of my life and behind the boulders of my brain. But in my aloneness, I have not been lonely. I have felt the gentle nudge of Christ’s staff as a reminder that He is with me, comforting me from the dangers of my own mind. 

For 22 years, I took medication for depression. But suddenly, at age 40, the effects of this one medication were no longer effectual. The gears that were calmed, rusted in place, once again began turning, churning my mind, sucking me into the center of myself.

My diagnoses: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, specifically, Scrupulosity. They… are… real. This mental illness is real, as real as diabetes, congestive heart failure, or high blood pressure. My brain is broken… but my God is not.

The control with which I struggle causes me to hoard moments of life, gobbling up time without tasting it, swallowing without chewing, and then choking in anxiety and panic, unable to breathe. And this entire need for control is rooted in past pains, regrets, and even genetics; for this, and so much more, I am walking through recovery,  seeing that I am powerless to an unmanageable life. I have begun a new series as a response to this season and process in my life.

But Christ offers grace for my faults, flaws, and fears and in the midst of this journey, I have experienced his growing sanctification of me as I have been stripped of everything but gravity, pulling me to His arms, where I experience a moment of sacred space where only He and I dwell, and all that is there is all that I need: His grace, His love, and this one breath.

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