I want to tell you a story about a little girl… This little girl was created by God in her mother’s womb. When He created her, He had a plan. He knew His plan was perfect, and ultimately the gifts He had given her would be used to spread His love to all who would receive it. This little girl grew up in a loving home where she learned about God. Her family believed in the Lord, but this little girl began to doubt that He was real. Nonetheless, she continued on in life. When she was thirteen, her parents sensed they needed to find a new church. The family began to visit all the churches in the area. Finally, they found a church that taught straight from the Bible. For the first time, the young girl heard the Word of God. She began to hear God speak to her. She had never before taken the time to listen to what God was telling her. God began to reach her, and she became interested. But with high school approaching, the wants of the world began to overshadow God’s will for her. She began to follow her friends and care more about what they thought of her. Slowly, she moved further away from being who God had called her to be. She left Him behind and instead turned toward herself and the whispers of the devil. The day came when she finally entered high school. She was very excited. There would be boys, independence, and freedom. Little did she know these were just a tiny part of high school; the others she had yet to discover. As this young girl started her freshmen year, she quickly took note that high school was much more stressful and high-paced than middle school. She found herself stressed to the point of crying. The little girl had never experienced anything like this before. No longer was she a baby; she was now a young adult and was expected to act like one. From the beginning of the school year, she had noticed a trend. People hung out in clicks. Smart people hung out with smart people; drama kids hung out with drama kids; jocks hung out with jocks, and so on. She didn’t know where she fit in. As she watched the other girls around her, she began to create an image in her mind of what she should look like. She wanted to be skinny, smart, pretty, and good. In other words: PERFECT! But she wasn’t skinny enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or good enough, and as time went by she began to feel that everything about herself was not “good enough.” She was a determined one, let me tell you, and once she had a plan of action, there was no stopping her. She strived for straight A’s and the perfect image. She was an Athlete, an Artist, and an Awesome student. There was only one thing she wasn’t…beautiful. And so she made a vow to become “beautiful.” It started with a cut back here and there, a lunch that was skipped, a no dessert policy, until finally she was barely eating at all. She was empty, and her stomach was flat. In her mind, she had become “beautiful.” In reality, she had become Anorexic. She refused any talk of treatment or help to fix her problem. As time passed, she became depressed and desperate to be thin. She told herself that one day she would eat again, that once she was skinny enough she would eat. But she was never skinny enough, never satisfied with what she had become. She was scared of food, mortified in fact. It was her enemy. She became so frail that her mother was afraid she might die. The little girl that had always been beautiful was now, truly ugly, and not just on the outside, but on the inside too. When she was fifteen, this young girl believed there was no hope left. She wanted to die, but something deep within her cried out to God. Daily she began to ask, “Why God, why me?” She cried in her closest for days upon days, waiting and waiting for something to change inside her. But it never did. Although God had never given up on her, she had given up on Him. She believed that He no longer cared whether she lived or died. But He was working…He placed a seed of wisdom and love into a neighbor’s heart and soon it would grow and impact her life. One day, she found herself confessing her struggles to her neighbor while sitting at the pool. The neighbor, Miss Betty, prayed a prayer of healing upon her. At the time the little girl thought her neighbor was crazy for believing God could heal her. But through her confession, God had opened a door. The door led her to salvation and freedom. She began the journey of healing that week. She agreed to be enrolled in a treatment center and began to meet with Miss Betty for a weekly bible study. Although the treatment center dealt with her physical well-being, it did not help with the spiritual and emotional aspect. Through the weekly bible study, the healing power of Jesus was uncovered for this young girl. As her body became healthy, her mind and spirit became whole. God was her Healer, her Comforter, and her Lover. She no longer looked to the world to tell her who she was, she looked to God. Eventually, she was released from the treatment center and went back to high school. This time, she wasn’t concerned about being skinny, smart, pretty, or good. She was more concerned about being who God had created her to be. My name is Abby, and this is my story. I’m happy to tell you, I’m a healthy, happy junior in high school now. And I’m still going strong with the Lord! That is why I wanted to share my artwork with you. This piece represents my journey of healing. I am no longer the little girl who wanted to be perfect. I’m a beautiful woman. I want to honor the Lord with the gifts He has given me. It is my desire to use them to bring people to the Lord. I want them to know that He is a loving and forgiving Father. Because He is in me. My body is His temple. I am whole and complete. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 I invite you to view my original artwork below.