Trust me, I get it….I’m the annoying girl on social media always talking about Jesus. Can’t say I’m sorry about it. When my heart is overflowing with joy, I just have to give praise where praise is due…can’t help myself!
This week 27 years ago, I was born. But this week 13 years ago I was finally brought to life. Reflecting on how much change and growth has taken place within those years has me completely overwhelmed at the goodness and grace God has brought into my life.
You all know the friendly, goofball I am today. The positive, upbeat, hardworking girl, who trips over air, wears her pants inside-out, says cheesy things, and is not afraid to laugh at herself. I’m a mess, but a completely different kind of mess from the disaster I used to be.
Sad as it is, my life was once ruled by negativity and insecurity. All I wanted was to fit in. I longed for some kind of talent or skill to define me. Good at nothing and fearful of everything. I was made fun of for being nothing more than a chubby, freckle-faced kid. I began to believe it. At times, I thought my life was a useless waste of space. The mirror was an enemy Satan used to feed me his lies. Not an ounce of self-worth. At my lowest, I begged God to take me off this earth; trying to convince Him that no one would even notice I was gone. Only now do I realize how much His heart must have broken to hear my thoughts.
My life began to take a turn for what I thought was worse:
We were supposed to be watching my sister graduate that night. The auditorium filled with chaos as we ended up watching my grandmother die instead.
Never had I felt such a thick layer of darkness come over my world as I did the night I found out my aunt killed herself.
There was the morning I watched the devastation cross my dad’s face as he got news of his brothers sudden and unexpected death.
I also remember the rainy New Year’s Eve I spent in a cold hospital waiting room. With watery eyes, I stared at the single drop of blood on the pillow next to my best friend’s lifeless body.
Death became so real to me. I think that’s the same time life started to become real also.
How thankful I am for the very last opportunity we had to visit my uncle battling Alzheimer’s. He smiled at me though he had no idea who I was. Since conversation was difficult to come by, my sister opened up to the book of Psalms and began to read. I watched my uncle close the eyes on his frail body, tilt his head toward heaven and quote every single verse word for word. Goosebumps rushed over my body at one of the most beautiful moments I had ever witnessed. God’s word was powerful. This kind of beauty had nothing to do with appearance or talent, but rather a condition of the heart.
That was the day I took a sharpie to a mirror. Instead of focusing on my skewed view, I scribbled verses all over that mirror of the things I hoped to reflect…in every aspect of life…because that was an unfading beauty. The only thing I could possibly control in life was my own attitude, actions, and willingness in allowing God to do His work in transforming me from the inside out.
He’s had His work cut out for Him.
It was in the midst of death, I finally realized the value of life; including my own. Not only was it a precious gift, but was overwhelming to think someone else found so much beauty, value, and worth in me, that He was willing to die for it.
My life will never be free from pain, hurt, or trials. God loves me far too much to make it easy for me. However, I’m absolutely blown away by the life I get to live free from worthlessness, comparison, jealousy, pride, anger, envy, anxiety, worry, etc. He’s made my faith far greater than any fear. I’ve got plenty moments of weakness, especially with the enemy knowing to hit me right where it hurts the most. But never is there a chain my Savior cannot break. Though I don’t always know what He is working on, He has somehow managed to bring so much purpose and potential to an ordinary girl like me.
How scary that I almost let myself get in the way of His wonderful work. My soul has slowly been set on fire over the course of 13 years; I can hardly wait to see how He uses the rest of it!
That’s a birthday worth celebrating
❤ Hayley Elise ❤