You probably don’t know it. But I’ve been that girl.
The one you’ve heard about. The one you’ve prayed for. The one you’ve talked about. The one you couldn’t believe would ever do that. The one you were happy for. The one you cried for. The one you helped. The one that’s helped you.
I’ve been that girl.
I’ve smiled at you. I’ve laughed with you. I have taught about transparency and love– love yourself. Love your neighbor. Love the Lord your God. All the while I struggled with loving myself enough to even allow myself a decent meal. I’ve been on the edge of an eating disorder. I’ve been that girl.
I’ve played games with my children in the pouring rain. We’ve run the puddles in the parking lots of Publix and through the sprinklers of a stranger’s yard. We’ve been kicked out of the Dollar Store for sword fighting with brooms. I’ve ruined brand new clothes, cell phones, and perfectly good hair days for the chance at making memories with these precious little ones. I’ve been that girl. I think I still am.
I’ve held secrets so dark and frightening that fear immobilized my freedom song. Darkness has washed over me in crashing waves; infinite rhythms that sought to drown my soul. I’ve looked in the mirror to only see a shadow of what I once was or could ever be. I’ve doubted my salvation and run away. I’ve been that girl.
I’ve sat in the front row among the sea of hearts and faces. I’ve stood before you who have long been free. I’ve shared pieces of what was safe for you to see as I carried my secrets in the unseen baggage shackled to a broken heart. I’ve proclaimed freedom as I yearned to be set free. I’ve been that girl.
I’ve cried over my relationships. I’ve grieved as those with no hope. I’ve hovered over my children. I’ve been lazy. I’ve been stubborn. I’ve been ugly. I’ve been crazy. I’ve been obsessive. I’ve been disloyal. I’ve been sinful and proud. I’ve been boastful and ashamed. I’ve been impatient. I’ve been resentful. I’ve been crude and ridiculous. I’ve questioned my motives and broken my promises. I’ve been late. I’ve been showy. I’ve been manipulative. I’ve been absent. I’ve been that girl.
But guess what? I’ve also been redeemed.
I’ve lifted my eyes. Tears hang heavy, teetering on the edge of the pain filled windows into my very soul. In perfect unison, I break free from the bondage of sin as the tears topple; my dry and weary soul refreshed and renewed with each tear that falls. I’ve stopped fighting and accepted the victory. I am that girl.
I have fallen but never beyond my Savior’s reach. I lift my hands- I worship from the depths of my agony to the heights of my being. I am in love with a God who has seen the girl I’ve been and renews me to who He knows I can be. I am ragged, and torn– broken and imperfect with stories that may never fall on human ears; I am held close reminded that my scars will never compare to His. I am infinitely, unimaginably, and unconditionally loved by an untamed God equipped to scatter the stars with His right hand. I am that girl.
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted,[a]
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
I am free from the sin that has bound me.
I am free from every last ounce of condemnation.
I am no longer climbing mountains but moving them.
I am not a product of my sin. I am not defined by my past.
I am covered in grace. I am filled with compassion.
I am unashamed...I am His and He is mine.
I am Broken. I am Beautiful. I am Redeemed.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.