Abi – Life Stories

Abi describes her childhood as “messy and dirty and wild”, a behaviour which did not attract much
encouragement from her family. She found that channelling her messiness into art was helpful, and
in her teenage years she used art as a way to express herself and it helped her understand what she
was going through.

Abi struggled a lot through her teenage years, and felt that nobody could ever really understand her
experience because it was so painful and so personal. But there were times when other people
would find meaning or see memories in her drawings. At that time she started drawing children, as
though trying to recreate a childhood through art, and re-capture that innocence. She was trying to
figure out how to care about the people in her life without hurting anybody.

Through her art, she started asking a lot of questions about what it meant to be a good person, and
found herself repeatedly drawing a burden. As she drew, the burden fell off the character’s back,
and then a figure emerged who then took all of the pieces and carried them on himself. Her
Christian friend explained about Jesus who understands everything you’ve been through and will
carry your burdens and take the pain away.

Although Abi didn’t feel ready to commit to anything at that time, she asked God to reveal Himself
to her, and she awoke the following morning with a child-like wonder. This was the start of a season
during which she sought God. She prayed a lot for the next six months, and God continued to reveal
the meanings behind a lot of her drawings.

Abi entered another dark phase in her life – She was back at home, and becoming stressed – even
struggling to draw, and it seemed as though God had fallen silent. She continued praying, and then
drew an image of a lamb that she was carrying on her shoulders. She realised that, as the trust builds
between shepherd and sheep, the shepherd will protect the sheep and keep it safe.

Abi feels that her season of pain had a bigger purpose, and gave way to the joy and peace of Jesus as
He filled her with His love. So, she began seeking Him again, and thinking about Him, as she
continued with her art which, she realised, served no purpose if it was not bringing glory to God.

Abi used to see her art as a burden, but now sees her creativity as a gift from God, and wants God to
allow her to show people the way that God sees them, which is beautiful. So she tries to capture the
beauty of the people she draws, although she sees us as children who need a father and protector.

This culminated in March 2022 when she was baptized by immersion at Lighthouse, claiming she was
pretty much sold on the idea of having peace forever! Abi gave her life to Jesus. And she’s been
walking that journey ever since.