Photo by Hudd Byard | Exhibit Design & Direction by Disciple Design 

“When I was younger, I was raised in church. Because of the way my parents led our household, it was really easy for me to want to be at church. If I’m going to be honest, during my middle school years, I started to resent God because of the bullying and stuff that I was going through. My mom heard that our old church had a new youth pastor and she remembered how the youth group had a good effect on me when I was growing up, so she put me back in the youth group. The youth pastor there actually is the one that that positioned to me to grow in God and actually have a have a faith that’s not so much religion as it is actually relying on God to prove himself stronger than I am. 

My youth pastor put me in a position of leadership when I shouldn’t have been in a position of leadership but he said that the sharpening process of leadership was exactly what I needed in order to understand. I had my overconfidence, so he put me in a leadership position and it showed me really fast that when it comes to God, everything is reversed. I had confidence because I felt like confidence was needed to get anything done in the world. If I wanted to be on the basketball team, I had to think I was the best; if I wanted to get the lead role in a play I had to act as if I was the character, I had to be great, I had to be awesome. But in the kingdom of God, humility is what lifts you higher. For about four years, He and I struggled with that sharpening process of, “okay, what’s humility?” because eventually, I would have low self esteem because I thought that was what humility was. Oh, I’m terrible. I’m not good enough. God, thank you for using someone as terrible as me. He was trying to show me that God thinks you are perfect through the blood of Christ, so He is using you because of what you are capable of, not because you’re lonely. 

I had a whole lot of paradigm shifts when I was growing up, so I became an artist by every meaning of the word. I dance, I sing, I draw, I do photography, I build, I paint, I act, I make jewelry, I do everything because through my studies after being taught well how to read the Bible effectively, how to understand context, how to decipher the ancient Greek and Hebrew and all that other stuff, I figured out that art is kind of the solution to all the problems we have. Also, I had to come to grips with the fact that I’m not a creator. I’m a creative. I can only mimic the greatness that God has. I cannot create it myself. That keeps me very humble. That keeps me in check.