I began serving at YFC by exhibiting art inspired by things The Lord had been teaching me. Although I am very outgoing, this took risk as every artists' creation stems from a part of their soul. In his book on creativity & faith Makoto Fujimura states, "Genesis moments...often include elements of the great story told in the beginning of the Biblical book of Genesis: Creativity, growth--and failure. Two of these are common in discussions about arts and culture. God creates and calls his creatures to fruitfulness. Adam excersises his own creativity in naming what has been created. But the story also runs into failure and finitude." I often struggle with feeling like I can only really express my thoughts constructively when I close my mouth and paint...yet very slowly, through my experiences in serving as an artist, God has been reminding me that my voice is an important part of being a branch of our community...and that He can use it even when I am in the midst of being honed and refined. We have leaders who are gracious and work with me as I grow as a contributing part of YFC. The thing I am learning is to continue to move forward in Gods grace...to move forward even though I stumble along the way. How can I consider moving toward pastoral training despite being a very emotional creative & having inconsistency as I struggle with the pain & sickness that often come with chronic illness? Grace and encouragement to keep moving forward. We don't all run the race with gazelle-like swiftness...for some it is a slow walk, sitting for a bit, slowly getting up...continuing on...falling alittle, being helped back up...but always...continuing to move forward, being cheered on and gathering the wisdom of leaders and community members which constantly surround me. My husband and children are ever forgiving and constantly encouraging as I learn to serve as a wife and mother. My story has not become one of struggling then attaining perfection...I am always learning to listen more, talk less, be more compassionate, knowing when to take a break & when to break through and become stronger. I am beginning to enter a season of considering more leadership and feel like so many in the Bible who seemed ill equipped for the task at hand...but with God ALL things are possible...and my story continues as a part of the history of art and faith.