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This morning I looked in the mirrorAnd I saw looking back at me: A white blouse, sleeves rolled. A black pencil skirt. Black tights, Black, strappy heels. I straightened my shoulders a little. I glanced at my waist. I felt my chin lift in pride. Untouchable. Confident. On top of the whole wide world. I looked like a businesswoman; I looked like I could take on the world -- And I knew it.

This morning in the practice room I looked in the mirror, And I saw looking back at me: A little girl all dressed up in a woman's clothes. Two blue eyes craving I-don't-know-what. A heart full of need, A soul full of longing. Shoulders a little slumped.

I realized that I am not the person I pretended to be this morning in the mirror.

It occurs to me how much time I spend getting dressed in the morning. I went to private school for thirteen years (kindergarten through senior year of high school), so I think I have this thing about looking nice when I go to class. And that's just fine. I like the way I look, and I like dressing to make myself feel good.

But this morning I realized I tend to use my clothes as armor.

I tend to dress to make myself feel like someone I'm not.

Earlier, I was practicing, and I felt my shoulders fall. I felt like a little girl again, Wandering in the backyard, Dirt on her heels, Knots in her hair, Wondering, Hoping For the adventure that I feared deep down Would never come.

That's really the fear.

I'm afraid it will never happen for me.

I fear that I'll be alone my entire life.

I fear that I'll get stuck here.

I fear that I'll never be able to do the things I've always wanted to do: Never live in Europe, Never sing opera, Never travel. Never adventure.

Some days I rejoice because it seems like the world is my oyster.

Other days I live in fear.

Most of the time I think It is for them. Never for me.

It cannot be for me.

So I hide a little bit Behind my white blouse with the rolled sleeves And my black pencil skirt And my black tights And my black heels. I dress up like a little girl in her mom's shoes To make myself feel a little more grown-up A little more approved, A little more okay.

I've started using my clothes and my skill and my singing and my planner to try to tell myself that I'm alright and it's going to be okay. I'm looking to the things I can hold in my hands to tell me that I'm not as lonely as I feel.

But I'm pretty lonely.

Writing is important because it forces me to look into myself, to look into the mirror and see what I really think. How I really feel. I'm looking back at myself and not necessarily liking what I see.

I talk about faith and trusting that we're okay because we're safe in Jesus, and for no other reason. I don't always believe it.

I write a lot about how we're all created for adventure, but most of the time, I don't believe it for myself.

I write about heart longings. What happens when mine remain unmet?

There is one answer: an answer that I keep returning to even though I'd rather have a different solution.

Jesus.

I don't want this answer because I can't touch it. I can't hold onto it and show it to people as proof that I'm okay. It's not in front of me, it isn't visible, and it isn't tangible.

But it is evident.

It is constant.

It is the one thing that brings me any kind of comfort or relief.

Really and truly, He is the only One Who fulfills any of the longings of my heart.

He sees me in all my fear and trembling and loneliness and wretchedness. He sees me when I feel so small, like a little girl who's lost her way.

I see you. I know you. I love you. Hang on.

When I am so alone, when I have longings that are unmet, when I am afraid -- I can know that He is the answer to everything I want and everything I didn't know I needed.

When I'm rejoicing, He is the reason. When my voice is stopped, He is the comfort. When I am quietly despairing, He is my hope.

May I never, ever forget it.

He is the warmth on a cold day. He is the sunrise at midnight. He is the stars in the heavens. He is the gold in the gray.

He is really something else.

He's comfort and joy and hope and gladness. He's a reminder that even though I'm not okay, He is.

He's better than okay, in fact.

He is the answer. He is the comfort. He is what keeps me safe when I am so exposed and I want to shrink back into the shadows and hide myself away.

He is what makes me take my courage in my hands, take a deep breath, and step out into the fear.

He is courage and adventure and hope.

May I never, ever forget it.

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