Tuesday, August 29, 2017

To The Girls Like Me

We will carry pieces of all those who have built and broken us.

On Monday, I will celebrate 5 years since I celebrated the birthday in this picture.

I remember that girl very well. 

I always try to keep her at the forefront of my mind.

I wear her like armour. 

I have told her story over and over and over again to the point that most people are tired of hearing it and they wish I would move on.

But, the truth is, I'm not going too. 

I will never-as long as I live-get over her.

The girl who sacrificed everything for a lie.

The girl who paid heavily for her sins.

The girl who once was lost, but was finally found. 

That girl.


You know, sometimes I wish my testimony was pretty. 

That is was all clean lines and perfectly poignant prose of a life lived totally in service to my Savior.

You know, the testimony I was "supposed" to have.

If you would have known me during my youth, you probably would have said that my life was set firmly on a Godly path. 

My mother absolutely filled the lives of my sisters and I with Christ. She blessed us with the opportunity to attend a Christian school, and encouraged us to be active in our church and youth group. She allowed us to attend Acquire the Fire retreats and summer youth camps. She prayed fearlessly and continually over us. She did EVERYTHING within her power to ensure my "spiritual success".

For a while, I chased after the life my mother had prayed that I would have. I married very young, and I still managed to obtain my Associates degree. I volunteered at the same Christian school I had been blessed to attend growing up, and I went to the church that supported the ministry of that school. I sang "specials" during Sunday service. I tried to fit their mold, and I volunteered in children's church and with their youth. I tried my best to be everything I was supposed to be. 

But, life has a funny way of never going according to plan.

And over the last five years, I have learned just how messy, but beautiful a unplanned life can be.

I have talked often on this blog about my story. The one I wrote shortly after the picture above was taken.

My story is pretty messy.

Some would even consider it ugly and they still do.

It broke me.

It destroyed me.

It left me with some pretty deep scars, and all of the wisdom I wish I could of crammed into my 21 year old mind all those years ago if she would have listened.

But, in life there are no take backs.

You don't get to redo the moments you've already lived.

So, the girl in the picture, she had no choice but to rally.

To pick herself up, dust herself off, and try again.

And you know what?

She made a come back.

My life is now more beautiful than I ever could of imagined when I was the girl in that picture.

I have a wonderful husband who I do not deserve. A man who encourages me, supports me, and leads me in the most amazingly, self-less way.

I have a beautiful little girl who thinks I hung the moon. A steady job. A cute, snug little house on a hill. And a future that looks bright, even on the days when it seems like it doesn't.

I am blessed beyond measure.

And while I always try to keep the girl in the picture at the forefront of my mind, I know that I am not her anymore.

I have come a long way.

But, despite all of that, there are still days when I find myself looking back-second guessing every single step that brought me here.

Just a few weeks ago, I read a Facebook post that basically said that women "like me" don't deserve Jesus.

That we are disgusting, and we should live our lives ashamed of who we are and the message we are sending.

I'm not gonna lie.

It hurt me.

It penatrated my armour and for a moment I felt like that girl.

The one in the picture. 

The one who would have traded every single moment of the previous two years before that picture just to take it all back.

The one who would have crawled into a hole just to take all eyes off of her if even for a second.

The one with the bloody knife in her hand that had killed all of the hopes and dreams of more people than she cared to count.

I cried for her that night.

In fact, I've been crying for her off and on for the last 20 something days, and for all the girls just like her. 

Because I don't know much, but I know this: Jesus loves that girl in that picture.

He loves her so much that He didn't allow her to have something that she so desperately wanted, because what He had planned for her was so much better.

He loves her so much that He died for her, and He extended grace to her that day and all the days before and after.

He loves her so much that He made a way where there was no way, and He brought her out of that desert and set her apart for something so much bigger than anything she could ever ask for or imagine.

He loves her so incredibly much that when He sees that girl in that picture, He doesn't see disgusting.

You know what He sees?

He sees a woman who is beautiful, blessed, and redeemed.

A woman with a story.

A story He has asked her to tell.

And I plan to keep telling that version of the story over and over and over again.

Because that's the version that so many women just like me need to hear.

The version that says that there is hope and there is grace.

The version that says that there is life after loss.

The version that says our mistakes do not define us, but what we do with the lessons we have learned from those mistakes do.

So, this is for all the girls just like me.

The ones celebrating milestones of a life built on top of what was once ash and rubble.

The ones choosing everyday to own who they've been and who they are becoming.

The ones who don't shy away from their story, because if they did, then the person who needs to hear it most may never get the chance.

The ones with fire in their eyes and love in their scarred up hearts.

The ones whose stories are different than mine, but whose are also the same.

I'm so proud of you and everything you've become.

Just like I'm proud of her.

That girl in the picture. 

Thank you for choosing every single day to stand up and fight-even when the world wants nothing more than to keep you down.

And for the ones who are just starting the rebuilding process, I'm proud of you too.

It takes so much courage to start again.

There is hope for you, and so much more to your story.

So, hang in there.

God's got this and He wants nothing more than for you to allow Him to drown out all the noise.

Because that's all it is...noise.

And I'm here to tell you that I'm living, breathing proof that all the noise doesn't matter.

Not one little bit.

And if I ever got the chance, I'd say that to the girl in the picture. 

1 comment:

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