I was newly married and just starting to dabble in painting again when I found out that I was pregnant. She was only a surprise because we didn’t think we’d have a kid right away! Despite having virtually zero experience painting people, I took a leap of faith and painted this image to make the announcement to my husband.

I titled it “Unexpected”—because our daughter was kind of a surprise for me but Jesus was definitely a surprise for the virgin Mary. Looking back, it also means so much more than that now, for this painting was the literal conception of a new ministry, the image that inspired me to make many more holy images.

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