As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” – Romans 10:11
Guilt… sigh… it’s just another layer, isn’t it? As if this pain, this loss, this change, this discouragement is not enough in and of itself. The guilt piles on, and the weight it adds is suffocating.
I wanted always to be the kind of wife that was attractive to my husband, who kept the home and made it a retreat for him to step into each evening. I wanted our free time to be filled with fun and laughs and adventures.
I wanted always to be the kind of mommy that dances while she cleans, who was known by name at her children’s school and was available as chauffeur and cheerleader as they grew. I wanted our time together to be something that carried them through the rough times and brings us out of the other end stronger and closer.
I wanted always to be the kind of daughter that her parents can be proud of, who is eager to come and to give and to share. I wanted to take care of my parents the way they had always taken care of me, relishing that role reversal as we both got older.
I wanted always to be the kind of sister who could stand as a rock and a shield for her baby sister, who would be there in a blink and bring more laughter than clean underwear with her. I wanted to never hurt, only heal, and to prove that sisters are the best of friends.
I wanted always to be the kind of friend who is raring to go at a moment’s notice, who answers on the first ring and never waits to be asked for help. I wanted to gain friendships and strengthen old ones as we walked into the future together, ever widening our circle of love.
I wanted always to be the kind of Christian who is there when the doors are open, who is the first to volunteer and the last to go home again. I wanted to lead and follow and submit and stand strong.
Some days the weight of all that is lost is stifling.
But do you know what’s really changed since these old photos were taken? Not a single thing. Not a single true thing.
The dross has all been burned away. The paths I thought would get me to the destination are overgrown with brambles, all but invisible now, but I’m realizing that wasn’t the right path after all. Those were just useless distraction paths.
Oh sure, my hair is shorter now and my smile is a bit crooked. I have at least one more chin, maybe more (I try not to look too closely). But that’s still me. A better me. A slower and more compassionate and less distracted and busy me. A me who is learning that relationships are not based on what I can do for people. They are based on who we are and the connections we make. They’re so much deeper than I realized.
I wanted to remind you today that you are the same, too. Don’t believe the guilt and the lies that the enemy will try to pile on you. Let the dross burn away. Don’t be afraid to stand naked without it. You are beautiful and wonderful, just as you are. And you are oh-so-loved.
Heavenly Father, touch each heart reading this today. Please show them their value and their importance right now. Please show me, too, because I forget so quickly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…
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