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How Did I Get Here and What Comes Next.

This is an extremely exciting time of life for me right now. A lot of great things are coming to a close and some big exciting moves are about to happen. I am caught up in a whirlwind of nostalgia and anticipation, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for everything I've experienced at college and where it is about to take me. Here's an update for anyone interested in my next steps and also a little tidbit about what led me to this point.


November 30th I got to have my senior art show. I was able to have this event in a venue where I got paint the mural that I am most proud of. I spent an evening with some of the people who have helped shape my life into a beautiful thread of grace and love.



I titled the event, "The Unraveling." This takes on a multitude of meanings for me, and this is the best way that I can explain it.


We all have that one family member who loves to conceal their presents with layers of duct tape, placed in multiple bags and boxes, all sealed in concrete. My 4.5 years at SBU has been just like that, unwrapping a grand gift very slowly. Every step of the way has been full of anticipation, joy, questions, and frustrations, but the longer I worked and the deeper I went, I gained clarity and understanding. The shape and the size and the nature of the gift became more evident. This is a good gift, an unanticipated gift.


I have worked at understanding and refining the gift of creativity for just over 3 years now, but I could have never given that to myself. Those few years ago, I would not have considered myself an artist at all. I would have laughed in your face. I just thought I was a detail-oriented overachiever. I spent way too much energy painting my pumpkin at Halloween, and I always decorated my Christmas cookies with tender care. I took my first art class since middle school in my sophomore year of college. I was terrified of how outrageously underqualified I felt walking into Drawing I in the Fall of 2015. After one course I dropped my International Business major and changed direction. Ever since then I have been mentored by amazing professors and have had the greatest time pursuing my passion for the arts.


That's what God has done in my life, and I know whole heartedly that He wouldn't have led me to this field if it weren't for a fantastic reason. So I chose to believe that He would do something extraordinary. Before I discovered this love for art, I had known for years that I wanted to be involved in ministry, and that was the main reason I chose the school I did. It has become my goal to combine my desires and to see them work together in a special way to advance the gospel. I'm excited to say that I will soon be able to put this to practice in a unique way.


I'm "graduating" in 1.5 weeks, on December 14th. However, I still have one thing left to do before I get my diploma, which is a 6 month-long term studying abroad. I will leave very late in the month of January and will be abroad until the end of July. Obviously I won't be in the states for spring commencement. Hence the "early" graduation for me.


I will be interning at Crossway Baptist Church in Berlin, Germany working with kids, students and young adults. There is also a large population of refugees in Germany that I hope to work alongside. My hope is that my experience as an artist will lead to special connections and friendships among the people that I meet. Art has a tendency of doing that.


I foresee doing a lot of work helping the church in the area of photo/video/graphic design, but beyond that I hope to connect with people by creative means such as drawing and painting. Pray that the Lord will lead me as I interact with the creative community of Berlin.


I will do my best to post updates along the way! I am confident that the Lord moves through prayer, and I appreciate every ounce of support! If you have any questions about my trip feel free to reach out and ask. I am beyond thankful to say I am close to halfway funded! If would like to give financially you can go to

https://www.abwe.org/work/support

and find my profile by my account number: 0865011


Thank you for every single prayer and encouraging word,

Erin

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erin ashcraft artistry. copyright 2020