Thursday, September 4, 2014

Portrait of Abbey, the Artist's Sister

About 5 years ago, I started volunteering with the youth group at my church after getting roped into a youth mission trip to Dallas that I really did not want to go on.  But what can I say, this was before I developed my ability to say "No" to things.  But even then, I didn't have it in me to turn the trip down.  God was certainly insistent that I go in spite of my hesitation (Isaiah 6:8).  I didn't know why at the time, but the Force was strong... and I found myself saying "Yes."
As it turned out, God did have a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) and it was so much more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.  He knew where I belonged, and put me right there.  In my 5 years of volunteering with this bunch since then, I've met a lot of teenagers.  Some of them have been just wonderful, while others have driven me to near insanity.
And then there's Abbey.  It was spring 2010, and I met this little 7th grade confirmation kid who was a combination of adorable and just a bit of attitude.  She had her days where I wasn't sure if she was going to be one of the wonderful kids, or one of the "drive me insane" kids.  It was different from week to week.  What I do remember well is that a LOT of confirmation students didn't stick around after finishing the class.  But in spite of my uncertainty about this kid, I was really hoping Abbey would stick around.  Sometimes, you can just tell when God has a lot of great work left to do in a person (Philippians 1: 3-6).
Well, thankfully she not only stuck around, but made the youth group a major part of her life.  Now she's a high school senior and is still that same combination of adorable and attitude.  But Abbey is the perfect example of how beautiful God's transformational power is (2 Corinthians 5:17).  As far as I'm concerned, the time has gone by way too fast.  But I couldn't be more proud of how far this young woman of God has come.
So I have no better way to pay tribute to this young woman of God than by joyfully using God's gift in me as an artist.  I knew a while ago that I wanted to paint Abbey's portrait, and I knew it had to be good.  I saw a recent picture of her, and it was one of those really great candid moments that captured her personality wonderfully.  I had to paint it.  After several weeks of drawings and an oil study, I got a brand new linen canvas and did the painting... which she finally saw in person last night.  So now you all get to see it as well.

Abbey, I am happy you liked it.  I did my best with the colors I had and the gift and love of painting that God gave me.  But always remember that absolutely nothing compares to the way God's hands created you (Psalm 139: 13-16, Isaiah 64:8).  Much love, little sis. 

Portrait of Abbey
oil on linen
20x16 inches


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