My daughter and I painted our nails last night and watched a Cinderella story. It was a special moment, and I began to feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift that she is to me. She's growing up so fast, and I wish I could catch every moment and bottle it up. But, the days continue to march by, she's excited about the prospects of all that is in front of her, and I find myself feeling somewhat apprehensive at times at what is in front of me.
Age is such a curious thing. We can't wait to grow up, then when one finally feels grown up, the question of being old lurks in the distance. Maybe old is just a frame of mind, I tell myself, yet my body might disagree. Things change, even if I think young.
My mind has to focus on the life God has given me, eternal life. That is what young really is.
So, I've had some moments of looking back on my 53 years and, like many people, I wish I could change a few things. There were so many days I wasted. I was trapped in my mind and didn't believe I had a way out. I didn't know freedom was within me, that God loved me, and that I was not trapped under a law of rules. I was governed by fear.
Fear of being seen.
My experiences taught me to be afraid of visibility. When I stepped forward to be heard or seen, I felt rejected, even by God. I was labeled by others as crazy, rather than heard.
Crazy is a silly word, I think others label when they don't understand. And, when crazy doesn't work, they just use a different label, like mentally ill, or handicapped.
What if we saw each other as Jesus sees us? What if we all listened like He does, and accepted the hearts of others, rather than try to fix them?
It would've made everything different for me.
God's eyes never left me as I floundered around in fear. The lies I believed about myself were deeply ingrained, yet God never believed them. He knew who I was, and that truth would reign. He knew I was searching for love and acceptance , not shame and punishment. Yet, my surroundings and the lies I believed reeked of shame and punishment.
The only solace for me was within the walls of my own home. It was there that my family knew me and saw me as Jesus did. Outside those walls, I remained cloaked in fear. The church was a place of ravenous judgers, who drew me in then spit me out when I showed my imperfections. The office of therapists created false acceptance and practiced weak boundaries. My ability to trust was highly limited.
Even now, truth repeats in my mind. "God does not waste a single day." Though I may feel I wasted time in my life, God redeems it all. He takes the cloak of fear, and wraps it in His righteousness. The restoration of loss, the renewal of minds, the revival of my heart is daily brimming with joy. What I thought was wasted, He turns into life.
So, now as I write this, my daughter sleepily dreaming beside me, I have a simple prayer.
"God show Your truth through her fears."
If she is able to see His truth when fear creeps in, she will conquer the world. She will see Jesus instead of shame. She will see grace and not punishment. She will see life and speak life in all situations, rather than run from life and those that love her. She will look back on life and know that not a day was wasted.
Jesus, Say That Again to her, and open her ears to Your Word!