Innately An Illustrator
I'm an illustrator. I hadn't realized that until just before writing it down. I didn't realize it, but the title and copyright pages of Anelthalien state that I illustrated the book. So, I am officially an illustrator . . . that's pretty neat.
Just like I did not set out to become an author, I did not intend to become an illustrator. Unlike writing Anelthalien, though, God did not even have to ask to convince me to illustrate it. Drawing--creating pictures of all the stories and thoughts bouncing around in my head--has been a natural and compulsive function since before I can remember. When I was little, I loved to draw girls with gigantic heads in pretty dresses. Menthoshine was one I drew over and over, each time a little different. She was always in the stories in my head, and so I always felt the compulsion to illustrate her.
When God told me to start writing Anelthalien, I just had to draw it. It was the same childish fascination except with this fantasy world God was crafting in mind, which was so much more vivid and composed. When I wrote the words of Anelthalien and each time I have read them, the story is so vivid I feel as if I need to and could illustrate every detail.
God did not have to even ask me to illustrate Anelthalien, but He definitely was the one who made sure I drew the pictures. God created me with the ability to draw and the innate desire to depict my thoughts. God embeds a natural gift and every person. One person I know is a leader. He doesn't even have to try when he's with other people; his position as the one others seek for guidance just happens. Another person I know is a teacher. Regardless of the setting, if children are in her proximity, learning disguised as fun will ensue. God created him a leader, her a teacher, and me an illustrator. It is more of who I am than what I have learned to do. That's why it can be difficult for some people to pinpoint the gift God created in them: the gift is so natural it seems like just an ordinary part of life rather than something valuable. That difficulty also leads to another: using the gift for selfish purposes. Because the gift may appear as just a mundane ability we are so used to, all we may ever do with it is benefit ourselves. (Desiring to depict the conceptions in my mind has led me to draw many caricatures illustrating not so flattering qualities of my teachers and professors . . . just for my entertainment.) Using our gifts to benefit ourselves, though, is not what God intends.
God creates us with abilities so natural and so enjoyable we can't help but use them so that serving Him can be natural and enjoyable. God certainly asks us to embark on journeys with Him that we do not possess the ability to travel, but the gifts God gives are like yummy God-given snacks we eat during the journey. They don't enable to do what we can't, but they do remind us of God's desire to give us enjoyable moments with Him and do keep fueling us to stay with Him and keep using all we do have for His purposes.
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