Twenty Nine years ago today my parents brought a little baby girl into this world. The joy and the happiness that comes with the birth of a child is one unparalleled by any other in this life. I know the wonderment that they felt when they looked at me and thought “she ours.”
That daughter of theirs grew and grew and so captured by her beauty and innocence they didn’t even notice when the world snuck in to take hold. At such a young age those sneaky lies and manipulations that the world throws out hit me like a ton of bricks “you are not good enough.” I remember questioning these feelings at first and wondering if I should believe them. But they continued to come too hard and too fast for a young girl to battle on her own. I gave in and started down the path of trying to be good enough. Something we all know is impossible. So I stopped eating in seventh grade…took diet pills in high school…thought boys were the answer…all the while emptying my worth drop by drop.
But today is a joyful day because the story does not end there! This battle did not end in defeat even though it might have seemed it would too many times. Nine years ago on this very day by brother gave me a gift of his love and his courage. He wrote me a letter and left it on my nightstand. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I read my thirteen year old brother’s words “Do you know God Maria? You see I love you too much not to let you know about his awesome love for you.” That very night, with my future husband right beside me, we got down on our knees and prayed that Christ would become the very center of our lives. Nine years ago today we celebrated our first New Birthday.
I can imagine the wonderment and joy that God felt that day as He held me in His arms and said “She’s mine!” I was His! This life of mine was no longer my own and for the very first time in my life I took my eyes off of myself long enough to see true worth in the ONE who created me. I had spent too many years focusing on the creation and boldly questioning its worth, its beauty, its mere existence. Too many times I looked into that mirror and wondered “why on earth did God create me this way? Couldn’t He have made this a little easier for me?” But on that night, with one heavy deep breathe of a relief sigh I heard Him say “Daughter I love you and I created you perfectly.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29