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When I first met Kat, she was sitting downtown busking for change. Her big and vibrant personality radiated out of her as she sang to passers-by. Everyone who heard couldn’t help but smile at the little girl with the big voice.

Soon after our first meeting, Kat joined the art group. She was naturally very artistic and it was incredible to watch her paint. But as the weeks went by, Kat started to go through hard times. She lost her apartment and was back on the streets. This led to a downward spiral. She kept coming to art group but it looked like the life had been sucked right out of her. She was depressed, desperate and angry. It seemed like the light that had once radiated out of her was disappearing. We encouraged her to paint what she was feeling. She started painting a bed with a little girl in it. But in the shadows all around the bed were monsters reaching their limbs towards the little girl. It was heartbreaking to see a glimpse of what Kat was feeling.

We spent a lot of time at art group supporting Kat through this dark time. We were scared for her and wanted to see her come out the other side of this dark tunnel. Over time, things began to improve. She was able to get back into housing, sought support for her mental health and she even got a job. We were relieved to see the light back in her eyes. She never finished the monster painting. She tucked it away in her art cupboard and said that she could not finish it since she was no longer feeling depressed.

We all have our monsters. Maybe it’s guilt, anger, or a traumatic memory. Sometimes these monsters are tucked away and other times they seem to take over and make life a mess. But no matter how dark things get, the light will always win.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

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