Emily - The Inspiration for a Passion

Join me in "Wednesday's walk down memory lane".
The discovery of oneself can be affected by many different factors. I have found this to be true through and through in my life. So, today I would like to share with you one of those factors. One of my greatest passions was breathed into existence through the influence of one of God’s greatest gifts—a child—a little girl by the name of Emily.

Throughout my entire life, I’ve been a doodler. Any time a piece of paper and a pencil lay nearby; I could nearly hear their prodding whispers beckoning me to cover the naked white. So, I’d scribble out a ten to twenty minute sketch to satisfy my thirst. What I lacked, was the proper motivation to do anything more. Drawing was simply a hobby—one that was often drowned out by the thrills of everyday life and activities.

Sometime after my fourteenth birthday, a family began to attend our church. I didn’t realize it at the time, but they would become the stimulus for one of the most intimate pieces of who I am.
This family grew to hold a very special place in my heart as I got to know them better. The kids and I shared some fun times together as I babysat them several times over the course of a couple of weeks while their parents were in the hospital with their youngest daughter. When sweet Emily was seven months old, she went to Heaven to spend eternity with Jesus.

My heart broke as I watched Emily’s family grieve. Each tear that they shed left another tear drop of compassion in my heart. I had been through death with Anna, but this was a new experience for me—watching somebody else go through a trial. I felt rather helpless. After all, I was just fourteen; what could I do? I didn’t know, but for the first time ever I felt a gnawing at my heart to reach out to them.

On February 13th 2007—the day before Emily’s memorial service—I sat down for the first time in a long time to swipe at the famished ache in my heart. My pencil sat limp, and yet determined in my hand. I knew I had to uncover it; the truth of a passion always rings true in a soul, even when it hasn’t been discovered yet. My pencil hit the paper, unsure of where to start; searching for an answer to the blank riddle which sat before its eyes. After two hours of work, my completed drawing sat before me. It wasn’t what I expected it to be. From the feelings I felt steadily pulsing from my soul, I was sure it would be a masterpiece. It was not that, but I still felt inclined to give it to the family in hopes that they would see the result of their daughter’s inspiration in my life.

After I finished this drawing, I constantly yearned for that same feeling of inspiration that I had been given through the beautiful life of Emily. So I searched…everywhere. In every nook and cranny of my being, I scraped for inspiration. It became such a vivid and intense search, that the hunt nearly became the inspiration. Finally, I had a purpose for my drawing. It was no longer just a hobby—it was the means by which I expressed all of the emotions of hope, love, joy, and so much more that I found in life and in my Father. February 13th marks one year since I started drawing with the motivation of my Savior's hand. Please visit my website to see more of my artwork.

Several months later, I drew a second drawing of Emily. She had such an impact on my life that I felt I had to create one more tribute to her. God’s work in my life through such a precious source is something I will always remember and hold dear to my heart.

Emily entered paradise a year ago yesterday. Her momma, Amy @ Raising Arrows put together a slideshow in honor of her life. I hope you will stop by and take a moment to share in the joy of the life that we held for a little while, but that Jesus now holds in His arms forever!
To read more memories, please visit Lynnette @ Dancing Barefoot.


Unknown said...

Oh sweet Abigail. God used Emily's death to inspire beauty in so many ways...your drawing being one of them. I marvel at the gift God has given you and I'm so glad that you want to share that gift with others.
I love you my precious daughter.

L said...

What a beautiful gift God has given you. Your pictures of Emily are so precious and I'm sure her family were blessed to receive them.

Sally-Ann said...

What beautiful drawings of Emily, and what a great talent you have.
When our little girl died, a friend wrote a poem for me and it is something that I still treasure. Your talent can bring great comfort and peace

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...


God has given you and amazing gift. And thank you for your beautiful, willing heart to share it with others. What a blessing your gift must have been to Emily's family. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

Kelly Gerken
Sufficient Grace Ministries

Linda said...

Abigail, this post is wonderful.....the sentiment and heartfelt compassion,...and of course the drawings of Emily touched my heart deeply.

You have grown so much this last year, and have discovered many talents that the Lord has gifted you with. Thank you for sharing them with others.

We are blessed by you! And I am sure that Emily's family was too.

Keep pushing those pencils, and use those gifts! (:>)

Love, Grandma Linda

Lilyofthevalley - Tanya said...

Abigail, those drawing of precious Emily are simply beautiful. Amy and family have been in my heart and in my prayers since Emily first was sick and then especially since she went to be with the Lord.

Those pictures are a treasure for sure.

You are very talented!!

Karabeth said...

Your drawings are heartwarming even if your inspiration is heartbreaking. But as someone who is older and has gone through some heartache of my own I can tell you that I listen to God more when I'm broken than when my life is normal.

Keep on serving the Lord with your talent (which includes blogging!). :)

iris7531 said...

What a beautiful drawing and story. I find it amazing that God could help you find your way in tragedy. I think it is wonderful what you did for that family. In times of grief, it is hard to know what to say or do, but to let those parents know that their child was special to you too had to be a wonderful gift.

Mindy said...

BOTH of those portraits are masterpieces. They are beautiful and I'm sure the family is truly grateful to you. You surely do have a talent and I'm so thankful that you recognize it and have the desire to work with it. Don't ever give that up!!

Thank you for sharing. You have such a beautiful way with words...

Kristin said...

Oh my goodness Abigail. Those drawings took my breath away. That is truly a God-given talent!

And I have to tell you that you said something that I believe to be so true, and have never heard it put so eloquently and so wise, and that was this:

"the truth of a passion always rings true in a soul, even when it hasn’t been discovered yet."

Wow, that is now my favorite quote of all times. I wonder if you would let me put that quote on the side of my blog?

You are such a beautiful soul, Abigail, and I can't wait to see where your talents take you!

Paula said...

Oh your talent is so very obvious. The parents of Emily must be so pleased to have those sketches. Thanks for those memories

Tracy P. said...

Breathtaking. All of it!

Bekah said...

Wow, Abby, I was looking at your blog, and your artwork is amazing!
It looks like a photograph!
Hannah (manyrandommusings.blogspot.com) showed me your site.
p.s. visit my blog at bekahsbubblyblog.blogspot.com

Oksana said...

Abigail, that is beautiful -- the drawings and the words, both. I recently took up pencil drawing, and when I draw, it's like I enter this 'zone' of peace and stillness where I feel full of God's presence. It's such an amazing experience; it requires focus and determination, but it's so worth it.

I think it's wonderful that you've used your talents to bless this sweet family -- I know that they must have felt comforted by your work. Your picture is amazing -- as somebody else noted, it looks almost like a photograph: so lifelike. There's love in every stroke of the pencil.


Nutmeg said...

Both sketches are very precious to us. You and your family have been a blessing to us in so many, many ways. Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift with us and honoring little Emily with the talent the Lord has given you.

Ace said...


What a wonderful gift you have given, a gift of yourself and a blessings from the Savior Himself.

Beautiful work.

May you keep on using this gift to serve Him.

Many Blessings :)

Kristin said...

Hi Abigail! I mentioned you blog today in my post about blogs I love, if you have time to read it!

Hannah Nicole said...


A truly inspiring post. You have so much talent, and how you were inspired. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Lovely artwork, beautiful masterpieces.


PS Thanks for the comment on my blog, sorry it took so long for me to get back to you!

Hannah Nicole said...

Oops, I meant to say "You have so much talent and it was amazing how you were inspired"


Sara x said...

Knowing the pain of losing my beautiful daughter i can imagine the joy in the heart of Emilys parents when they recieved your drawing. You truly have a talent and im glad God found a way for you to use it. xx

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