I began creating artwork with hand lettering about a year and a half ago. Prior to that I didn’t know such an art form existed. It has been an adventure to watch how God has used this gift to impact others. Hand lettering holds personal significance to me because of how God brought it to life. In the summer of 2012, my dad was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer. For the next eight months, he fought a difficult battle for his health on many levels. I watched my dad lose weight, lose hair, and lose strength. It was a challenging time for my family. Having faith to believe God is who He says He is and can do what His Word says He can do is easy when life is good. But when challenges, hardships, disappointments, and bad reports come your way, your faith is truly tested. As 1 Peter 1:7 describes, we go through trials in life so that “the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). And isn’t that what we ultimately want? We want to be able to say we have come through the fire and our faith has proven genuine. We want to declare, no matter what we have come through, we give praise, honor, and glory to Jesus Christ. But the testing of faith is not an easy process. During my season of testing, I watched my dad’s health grow progressively worse. There were small victories along the way, and my family praised God for the miracles we experienced, but this period of my life was difficult. I found myself searching the Bible for Scripture that would fuel my faith and remind me of the promises of God. Although natural reason for hope was fading, the Word of God became a lifeline of hope for me. As I read Scriptures that spoke of hope, healing, promise, trust, courage, faith, and joy, I wrote them down as a reminder to hold fast to the confession of my hope. In early 2013, a few weeks before my dad passed away, I received a book written by Lisa Bevere, entitled Girls With Swords. The message of the book is the power available to us through the Word of God, which is our sword and weapon against the enemy. Lisa shares how important it is for believers to know the Word and to know how to wield it effectively in battle against an enemy intent on wearing us down and taking us out. As I read the book, it challenged me in a profound way. The message resonated with me because of what my family was walking through, and I began to write out statements that had an impact on me. As I began copying them, God began to draw something out of me in a way that was more than just handwriting. It took on a new form, something different than the simple doodling I had previously done. I didn’t know what to call it at first – I had to Google the phrase “pretty handwriting” to discover there was actually a name for it: hand lettering! As I wrote a quote or Scripture, the Holy Spirit showed me how to place emphasis on various words or phrases by using different lettering styles or arrangements. I watched as God began to refine and craft it into something of beauty during what was one of the hardest seasons of my life. I was not searching for a new hobby or attempting to learn a trendy art form. In fact, during the last few weeks of my dad’s life, I felt anything but inspired and excited by this new thing coming to life in me. But even so, I knew the Holy Spirit was drawing it out, and I sensed there was something very special about what God was uncovering. I began to get a deeper revelation about the power of God’s Word, and I began to understand the depth of His goodness and faithfulness in a greater way. After my dad passed away, I began sharing my Scripture hand lettering artwork on my social media sites. Because of what I had personally experienced, my faith, hope, strength, trust, and courage grew during a difficult season of my life. I also began to see how God was using my story to encourage and bring hope to others. The Word of God displayed in this way resonated with people. I began to hear tender testimonies of how God was using my craft. I heard stories of hope where there had been despair, joy where there had been discouragement, and truth where there had been confusion. From that time on, God has continued refining and developing this gift in my life. He has opened the doors to amazing opportunities to use my hand lettering artwork in partnership with others for the purpose of sharing the gospel, bringing hope to the hurting, encouraging those fighting the good fight of faith, championing justice and freedom, declaring God's faithfulness, and bringing God's word to life. Our lives are telling a story to the world around us. We can choose to indulge feelings of bitterness, hurt, anger, or grief when life turns upside down, but God wants to take that pain and exchange it for something beautiful in and through our lives. He wants to demonstrate His grace, goodness, healing, restoration, peace, and hope to us and through us as we walk out our faith and press in to Him during hard times. He encourages us to live in such a way that we are a lovely, inviting display of His love so when people watch us (and they are watching!), they will see the Spirit of God alive in us. 2 Corinthians 3:3 describes it in this way: “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit...” (The Message). I’m not saying it will be easy, and it may not happen overnight, but God is faithful. And His faithfulness is greater than our circumstances. I am passionate about telling God’s Story through the gift He has given me. I want people to desire and engage in a personal relationship with Jesus. I want them to be encouraged, built up in hope, and experience the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit. I pray they would pursue the beauty and power of the Word of God in every circumstance and discover the great love of the Father. I invite you to view my original artwork below.