One of my favorites scenes from the movie, Bridget Jones’ Diary, is when Bridget is alone with Mark Darcy at a friend’s dinner party. She’s putting on her coat to leave what has been an awkward and embarrassing night as the only single person in a room full of Smug Married Couples, who all want to know why she’s not sprugged-up yet (that's British for married.)

As she’s leaving, her not-quite-enemy/lover Mark approaches her to tell her he likes her just as she is, flaws and all.

I just love this scene, because it’s about something we are all looking for, and that’s an unconditional love that will make us feel whole, worthy, and complete.

We want the final verdict that says we’re somebody.

I write about the topic of self-worth on my blog a lot, because defining my self-worth has been one of the most difficult things in my life. I’ve tried to find it in how well I’m doing at life, or by managing how others see me. I’ve felt at times like I can’t let the façade down and just be me.

It’s through these difficult times that I found the purpose of my art – to honor and express the inherent beauty and value of every person, regardless of what they do or how others see them.

I believe that we are made in the image of God and that, like Mark Darcy, He accepts us just as we are.

Despite our mistakes, hang-ups, and baggage, He loves us.

It’s through a greater understanding of God’s love and the healthy relationships in my life that I’ve found a deeper and more lasting sense of worth that far exceeds my successes and the praise of others.

Now it’s my desire to communicate that love through my art. I want everyone, especially young people, to know that their lives have meaning and value, and they don’t have to prove themselves or try and make others like them. They are accepted by God, and no one else’s opinion matters. With each portrait I paint, I bring out what is beautiful and unique about that person.

I celebrate them, just as they are.