" A man's gift makes room for him and brings him                  before the great."  -Proverbs 18:16

Sometimes in life, we get caught up in the things that surround us and forget what God has implanted in us. We lose sight of the gifts He has specifically trademarked us with. We push away our talents and leave them behind in the rat race of life. Being in school and studying for a biology major didn't leave me much time for anything! Not only did I lose sight of God's gift to me, I discredited it. I was never fully aware of the thumbprint God gave me. From the time I drew "Glorious Surrender" to the time I drew "High on Corona", two years had passed! I didn't pick up a piece of charcoal for two years! But, as I look back, I now recognize the preparation God was doing in me. As the two years passed, school became my second passion. All I could think and dream about was becoming an artist. It is what is in my DNA, it is the thing God has given to me. But still, I didn't think I was good enough to make it in the art world. Discrediting God's ability, I kept trekking through school, all while knowing in my heart that I was created to create. I went back and forth for so long with the thoughts of what I was made to do. What was I created by God to do? I began to feel convicted about not using the talent God had given me, I was not trusting God with it! It was all so unclear to me, until one afternoon in my church. A special speaker had come to my church and was holding a weekend conference. God had already prompted me and placed an urgency in me to be there Saturday morning for the study. As my family and I prepared to leave, we had been running behind on time. When we pulled up to the church I argued that, "I can't walk in this late!" But, thank God, my parents encouraged me to go in and sit in the back, that it would be fine! As I walked through the doors, the words out of the pastors mouth were an exact answer to all my prayers! As if he were speaking directly to me he said, "some of you have amazing gifts and talents God has given you, and you are not using them. You are being a bad steward to the talent God has given to you by not using it..." These words hit me to the core of my being. Running through my head over and over again..."I am not being a good steward to the talent God placed in me..." I can't tell you another word he said that day, but those two or three sentences changed my life forever. How could I not live to honor God with His ability He graciously gave me? From that moment on, I have wanted to become the best steward of the talent God placed in me. Upon returning home that afternoon, I began the drawing of "High on Corona." My cousin had posted the picture of her beautiful horse, "High on Corona", a few weeks prior, and it is the picture God prompted me to draw. It is such a beautiful and magnificent depiction of God's amazing creation. A strong and pure animal with such a gentle spirit. As I sat and drew it over the next two days, I knew that this piece was taking on a whole new life to it. I prayed that God would breathe His life into it. As I finished it, I looked at my clock and realized it was 6a.m.! I had no idea that I had sat for 12-13 hours straight drawing. In that moment, I knew this is what I was truly made to do as I stepped back and looked at the finished drawing. Tears filled my eyes as I saw not only my drawing come to life, but my dream of becoming an artist come to life as well. Not only has this drawing become a milestone in my life, but I pray it serves as a reminder for you in your life too. A reminder to not give up on your dreams and to not discredit the talents God has specifically placed into your DNA. Let it represent God's grandeur and ability to take you places you never dreamed of with your talents. As you look at this drawing, I hope it does for you what it does for me; reminds me to be the best steward of God's gifts to me, always glorifying Him with them. Trusting Him to take you to new heights with the ability He has placed in you!

-Chloe Bennett

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