The anger wells up and spills out of her as wet and slick as her freshly washed hair dripping down her back.
She does not see her beauty. She only sees mistakes.
Why am I this way? Why did God make me this way? Why won't you let me fix it?????
I want to paint my nails, use make-up, straighten and gel my hair. Her mouth makes the words
But I hear her heart whisper:
I want to be someone different. I do not like who I see in the mirror. I am not comfortable in my skin.
I want to be like them.
But, My Love, you are this way. God made you this way and He makes no errors. You are one of His beautiful creations made in His image.
I hear your cries, and I feel your hurt and the fight to fit in...the fight to not be the different one anymore.
But, My Love, you are the Different One.
Do not conform...
God has chosen you for a higher purpose. You have been hand picked. You show the signs already.
You set your sights high and you follow through. You have a heart for other people.
Be ye transformed...
God is laying the poor, the weak, the young and the old one by one gently on your heart. You feel it and strain against the bonds of your teen aged body and the peer pressure that screams at you and tells you that you are no good and that you must look-act-feel-be-talk like them to be ok.
Renew your mind...
And we sit - her mother, her father, - at a loss for words. How do you tell someone who stole your heart from the first cry, the first smile, that she is enough just the way she is when her eyes flash the hurt of the misunderstood.
I spread my fingers wide looking for an answer there, palms up in supplication and I want to say your face is my face, your body is my body your heart once beat in rhythm with my own. You have been my labor of love. I brushed and braided that hair. I clipped those nails and gently washed that body as we spoke of things and missions and God's plan in our lives...the important stuff. When did it stop being enough for you? When did the outside become more important than the inside?
And I reach back into my mind and remember what it was like to stand in her shoes and to face the others every day. The memories burn and hurt and I know that it is only through God's grace, love and forgiveness that I am who I am today.
So all I can say to the oldest of the arrows in my quiver are the words of God Himself:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers (my daughter), in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. 2. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.