One woman’s quest to help women see God’s beautiful handyworkBy Trillia Newbell | November 4th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments Off on One woman’s quest to help women see God’s beautiful handywork
by Trillia Newbell
“Graffiti- unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface,” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Graffiti is often thought of as a nuisance and an eyesore, and then there’s that little fact that it’s generally illegal. But, if you stop and look at it, graffiti is creative, colorful, and at times even beautiful. It’s art. Erin Davis of Springfield, Missouri saw the same dichotomy between what the world sees as beauty for women and what is truly beautiful, which inspired her name of her ministry: Graffiti Ministries.
“Now, I’m not advocating vandalism, but when people think of art, they don’t necessarily think of graffiti. They miss the art of it. Instead, when people think of art they think of traditional paintings, hung in a gallery that fit into a neat little frame. Our beauty is like that. We are all striving for this version of beauty that is predictable, that looks like the world tells us beauty should look like, that fits into the culture’s neat little frame. But God has made each one of us uniquely beautiful. I wish we could all stop trying to fit into a gallery and embrace the way our unique beauty tells a story about God,” said Davis.
Davis was awarded the opportunity to help teen girls relate and identify with true, biblically defined beauty in 2002, when she was asked to teach a Bible study.
What started as a simple six-week Bible study made up of six teenage girls, grew into a ministry, and eventually led to a book, “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves.” The material in her small group and her book were a reflection of her own personal struggles with beauty.
“(My small group) asked me to help them feel better about their beauty and their bodies. I was in the middle of a hard core struggle with my own beauty at the time. I didn’t care enough about myself to try to find answers in God’s Word, but I did care enough about those girls. I asked God to show me in His Word His truth about beauty, identity and body image,” she said.
God answered her prayer, and since the beginning of Graffiti Ministries, Davis (31) has had the opportunity to teach women what she has learned over the years studying His Word about the topic of beauty.
Davis is not teaching girls to focus on a confidence and satisfaction in oneself, that is often encouraged, rather a confidence and satisfaction in God.
“(Women) need to go to the Word. Period. I am not teaching a message of self-esteem. I am not saying you have value because you are so great. I am saying that each of us have value because we are created by the loving hands of the Creator. And, that He has so much to say about how we should view ourselves in His Word. My book walks through how to view yourself through the lens of what God has written about you,” she shared.
Beauty isn’t the only topic Davis is tackling. This past July Moody Publishers released her latest book, “The Bare Facts: 49 questions your parents hope you never ask about sex.” Davis had an interest to work with Josh McDowell. Her publisher contacted her to collaborate on the project with McDowell; one phone call she was most excited to take.
“I couldn’t wait to tackle it. Purity is a subject that is near and dear to my heart because I have seen the devastation that an impure life causes as I counsel young women. Plus, I was thrilled to have the chance to work with Josh McDowell. He is such an amazing ambassador for the Gospel of Jesus. It was a total blessing to get to partner with him on this project,” she said.
“The Bare Facts” is geared toward teens and to be a resource for parents and youth workers. The topic of sex is not solely a male issue and having a female perspective was an important aspect to her contributing.
“I wanted to make sure that the female perspective on purity was represented. The issues of sex and purity and intimacy are different for guys and girls and I was glad that this book would have a male and female perspective. I also think that this is something that we need to keep finding new ways to talk about,” she shared.
The book aims to discuss most things related to sex including sexual transmitted diseases. The goal is to help teens understand the proper context for sexual activity.
“Sex isn’t bad, in fact it is a good and perfect gift that God created for our good. But too many teens are jumping the gun and experimenting with sex or sexual activity outside of God’s will. The stakes are too high for us not to be sounding the alarm about the dangers of sexual activity that is not part of God’s plan,” she said.
Davis also co-authored the “Lies Young Women Believe Companion Guide” with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh.
Davis lives with her husband, Jason, and their two children Eli (3)and Noble (1). Jason Davis is a youth pastor at National Heights Baptist Church where they attend.
“Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves” and “Bare Facts” are available in Christian bookstores and online or by visiting her publisher’s site Moody Publishers.
“God has been so gracious to allow me to see the fruit of teaching His Truth on beauty to women of all ages. My favorite stories are the ones of young women who were totally in bondage in the area of beauty and found true, lasting freedom in realizing that they matter to God whether they feel beautiful or not,” she said.
For more information about Erin Davis and Graffiti Ministries, visit their website at http://www.graffitiministries.com/