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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Girl in the Mirror

  I look in the mirror, and I see her. She is so full of life, so happy. There is a glow to her face that speaks of joy. Everything about her says, " I know who I am; I know to Whom I belong." She seems to radiate Grace. But one would never know...
  It was not always so. Not that long ago, a different girl stared back from the glass. She wanted so desperately to feel alive, but she didn't. She lived her life in fear: fear of others' rejection, fear of her own failure, fear of what might be discovered were she to tell the whole truth about herself. Constantly, she sought to be validated for the choices she had made in her life - choices she knew were unconventional yet always seemed to bring doubt from those around her. She felt as though her life had no purpose. While she continued to try to reach out to others, she withdrew inside because she thought that they wouldn't understand her. She tucked away her pain. She tried to hide her heart from them. She hoped they wouldn't notice...
   This is the working of Love: that one so afraid, so unhappy inside, could one day become a conduit of hope to a hurting world. Hope once seemed like a dream to her. She thought she would never find it. In reality, it found her. Those days of wondering if she belonged - those times of thinking that others might judge - those long nights of lying in the dark feeling lost and alone - she reflects on them often. She knows the pain of feeling as though God had let her down. She knows what it is like to wonder if the hurt could be redeemed. She knows it all well...
    And she knows what it is like to become open to Grace. She once asked for the life she now enjoys. Inspired by the example of another, she prayed the most daring prayer of her young life: "Whatever it is that I am seeing, I want that for myself. I am willing to do whatever it takes to obtain that. I just want to change. I want to help change others' lives like that. I want that joy. I want my life to look like that." In time, she would realize what it was that she saw: it was a life that was open to God. It was a life open to Grace. And the desire to have that same openness would lead her on a journey she would never regret.
    She has been given what she asked for and so much more! Everyday, she wakes up and thanks her Creator that He has allowed her another day to live. Another day to give hope, to continue to become what she knows she wants to be. What she knows she can be. Her life has transformed into this never-ending cycle of Grace, of receiving and giving back to the Giver what is His. And this has made her whole. This has removed the fear that once stood in her way. She has come to know that she is dearly loved. She now believes that her purpose is to embrace this life-giving Grace - to embrace the One from Whom it comes. And, in doing so, she will then touch the lives of those around her...even the ones who have never understood her journey. She is no longer afraid of what they might see because she knows that her Savior isn't afraid of it. His love has made the difference. 
   I look in the mirror, and I see her now. She is fully living. She is fully embracing. She is open to Grace.