This adventure in faith has left me in awe so many times throughout my life. And definitely not any credit due to myself personally, but only to God and watching His love abound. Looking back, my high school years were bittersweet. My first real heart-break, my parents divorce, the stress of AP classes and dual enrollment at Southeastern University, loss and gain, and in between all of that the true coming into your own and decisions that will mold your future. If time could be reversed I would change some of my own selfish meanderings. I’m so thankful God dealt violently with me, He pursued me, and in high school He was my best friend through every thick and thin.
He’s the only reason why we really survive and exceed this life.
In all the mess and chaos, God uses ordinary people to do His extraordinary love.
I just have to share this testimony with you about a person that came into my life for a short three years during high school and how God used my life and my relationship with Him to bring redemption to a life.
Art was one of those gifts I acquired at a young age. Scribbling in notebooks and doodling on any and everything paper I could find. I later came to know that my Grandpa Mulligan was very artistic and painted beautiful landscapes of Pennsylvania, it was also known that my Dad got his artistic talent from him and his left brained view on the world. Us lefties have to stick together! Any and every medium was always readily available to me growing up. If I wanted to paint, I painted. If I wanted to sculpt and throw a pot, I did. My art became refined and cultivated over the years as I studied under some incredible talent. One teacher I remember distinctly was in my fourth grade year and she had apprenticed and worked alongside the likes of Charles M. Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. She poured her talent into our young mold-able minds in order that we would shape and created a more colorful world. After elementary school I attended an art school for my middle school years. My concentration in Visual Arts. I dabbled in Show Choir as well during those years, as music and dancing were another passion of mine. I got use to gallery showings and contest. I worked with some of the most incredible and talented artists alike. I had three teachers, one who concentrated on our drawing skills utilizing different mediums or charcoal,graphite, chalk and oil pastels, and even paint. The second teacher brought us into weaving and looms, knitting and sowing, along with how to create depth in our work. The third teacher previously worked for Universal and did incredible special effects make-up for movies and sets and his concentration was clay. The goal after being trained and prepping for three years at this school was to go on to a respected art school for the rest of education until graduation. I was accepted into Harrison School for the Arts for my Freshman year, but do to my parents divorce attended regular high school close to home. After my Freshman year I re-applied and realized my heart and passion was for art and Harrison was really where I needed to be. So with a leap of faith I stepped over and was accepted.
I remember the day I got the letter.
So much of my normal life had been turned upside down, I didn’t know where to go and who to turn to in my life. I was in a lot of pain. My security and my Dad was out of the picture. It was definitely one of those tv shows reactions to awkwardness when stepping into my new school for the first time. These students already had a year together to form and to bond and to become kindred spirits. My teachers were superb and shortly after the art department became home. Even know I went to an art school the atmosphere was relatively the same as any high school, complete with the party scene and vulgarity of our society pumping in the veins of young minds. God used me countless times to speak in my classrooms about him. I was called upon to talk about what I believe and what I thought about the only true Hope I knew. Topics of abortion and living clean were among the many. God used me to be a confidant to girls hurting and searching for answers that they thought they could find in a guy. Towards my Junior year I attended a funeral of one of my art classmates mother who has passed away from cancer. I remember sitting in that pew and hurting for him. For his family and how I couldn’t imagine going through life without having the comfort from God. I remember hugging him and telling him I would always be there.
With tear-stained cheeks he could only nod and say thank you.
After his mom passed away his struggle was evident. The turmoil and pain that he felt spilled into his work. He wouldn’t show up for school, or he wouldn’t turn in his work. When he was there he was bitter and sarcastic…only hurting from what he couldn’t fix. He partied harder, and harder as the last year rolled in.
Towards the end of my high school career, I ended up getting a lot of backlash for not following the predestined future all my teachers and fellow art classmates thought I would venture in. I was the girl who was referred to as: “The girl who wants to go to Africa and save aids babies.”
It boggled their minds.
And for a long time my goal and hearts desire was to attend Cooper Union in New York. I even had the application ready and had my portfolio reviewed by one of their staff. But in the end God was calling me to Rhema Bible Training Center. I’m so thankful I chose that path, to be willing and obedient even know it was such a leap of faith.
It’s been four years now since I graduated high school and I encountered that hurting friend of mine once again. He asked me if he could send me an email and I obliged. I had a giddiness talking to him cause I just knew something was different something had changed. His letter explained how he checked into rehab and part of his clean lifestyle was about making amends with those he hurt. He apologized for the way he treated me in high school. And said I reminded him of his Mom and how she walked with the Lord. Since then he has given his life to God and is still on the road to recovery.
IF he was the only reason I needed to be at Harrison School of the Arts, so that God could work through me to touch his life…then it was worth it.
But it just goes to show…that our lights can’t be popping and fizzling out. We never know just how much of an impact we can make in people’s lives by living brightly for God!