This year’s Holiday Pop Up Shop includes designs by young, local artists including custom jewelry by 13-year old Caitlyn Grace of 3DGrace.com and hand drawn illustrations by Anna Kaiser, younger sister to two of our team members. Anna has attended both of our Across My Heart retreats as a middle school and high school student! She hand drew these limited edition designs with our mission in mind!
Meet the Artist: Anna Kaiser
My name is Anna Kaiser and I am a Junior in high school. I have always had a love and passion for art and calligraphy. It has been such a fun experience to design some t-shirts and be creative in incorporating creativity, my walk with God, and the tough year that we all have had. Here is some of my story of how 2020 has changed my life…
A diagnosis that changed everything
My life has changed so much in the past three months. On Wednesday, August 12, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
d i a b e t e s : an autoimmune disease that attacks the pancreas and causes it to stop working. Without a pancreas the body is not able to produce insulin, which means man-made insulin needs to be given by injection many times each day.
There was so much information to take in from that first 5 hour appointment at the children’s hospital. And there have been more doctor appointments and phone calls and overwhelming information since then. I used to just eat whatever I wanted, not worrying about anything..but now, before every meal I have to count carbs, prick my finger, give myself shots…and wonder how my body is going to respond. I am having to change my lifestyle.
My emotions have been everywhere..from getting excited because I can have a cookie because my blood sugar is low and I need to bring it up…to crying at night realizing that is the new normal, having to give myself insulin every time I eat. At times I’ve been angry, too. When I exercise, my blood sugar goes low and I have to stop and eat or drink something so I don’t pass out.
Choosing faith over fear
I need to keep remembering that I’m not in this alone. God is there for me even in our biggest trials in life. He has already shown his faithfulness in giving me patient and loving parents… concerned friends and giving me peace when I most need it. I know that in this hard stage in life when I’m trying to get the hang of things, He’s got me. God’s got me in his hands.
I can have peace in whatever happens…there’s a purpose in all of this and it is all a part of his perfect plan for my life. Not gonna lie…it scares me to think about the future and how this will change how I thought my coming years would look, but I have so much support from GREAT people. And such a loving, caring Father.
Diabetes has definitely been a tough road walk. But there has definitely been some really cool opportunities already from my diagnosis. This past summer I felt a calling to get baptized. My whole testimony was about fear and how easily it takes a hold on me. I shared that day how I wanted to let go of the fear that was taking me captive, and I just wanted to be able to let go and have full trust in God for my life-to take one day at a time. Just a few weeks after I was baptized, I was diagnosed with T1. This was such crazy timing. I had just been letting go of the fears that I had, then there was a big change in life which caused so much more of the unknown and fearful thoughts. It was such a great reminder to me that I can’t have everything planned for myself and think that I am in control of my future and making my own plans. God gave this autoimmune disease to me for a reason. He has a plan for the tough things that I will be dealing with. It has added to my testimony and given me more opportunities to share my story. He has shown me his faithfulness and constant care even in the little details of my daily life.
The chance to design t-shirts has been a very fun opportunity. Some of the designs were inspired by my journey in the past year of putting my hope and trust in Christ. Some of the shirts are from personal experiences in life- how God called me to focus on one specific phrase. I hope these shirts can make an impact and can be a blessing to whoever wears my designs
THE STORY BEHIND THE ARTWORK
“The ‘guard your heart’ design was inspired by my personal commitment card from middle school and high school AMH retreats….on both of my cards I ended up writing the phrase ‘guard your heart.’” – Anna
“The ‘consider how the wild flowers grow’ design was inspired by my testimony of working through fear this year with my diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.” – Anna