Anxiety crusts her skin like scales she must rake off with a toothpick. An impossible task…for her.
Her daughters’ giggles combined with the deep tenor of her husband’s voice echo from beyond the bathroom door. Blessings without number. Mercies new whenever dawn sucks away the night. So, why is she aware of His love but she cannot feel it? Why is she aware of His love only when she looks outside of herself and not inside?
Urging her knees to her chest, she peeks into her childhood memories. A cross at every corner. A cross steeped in whispered reminders of her sin and less of His love. Sin sandwiches. Remember your sin. Remember His mercy. But always…remember your sin. The The millstone weight of her sin coupled with the quagmire of her emotions threaten to sink her. Counting blessings will not drag her out tonight. Her shame is too great.
And then, a familiar song begins to play on the radio, words nudging into anxious scales and a millstone named sin. “You’re My Little Girl” by Go Fish.
She closes her eyes…
And He appears in the darkness, extending a hand as tender as his heart, bowing his head as a prince would. She looks down, sees his wrists – the love of an age before time reflected in the scars there.
“Come with me,” he utters, voice settling on her head as soft as a dove.
She accepts and leads her to a chair in the middle of the empty room. While the melody continues to trickle into the air, she stands up on the chair. He steadies it. Urges her to look into the gilded mirror hovering in the air before her, speaking the hinting lyrics. What is she supposed to see? In the span of a moment, he waves a hand, transforming her lackluster waves into curves and braids at the top of her head. Another sweep of his hand for a tiara of gold and silver to adorn her hair. Awestruck, she blushes, breath escaping white as December, her birth month. His reflection beams at her. One moment more…
Chair and mirror disappeared, now she stands before him in the middle of the dark void. Everything about Him is luminous. He wears the sun and the moon on his skin, stars in his eyes, galaxies in his hair and beard, and the entire universe in his hands. And yet, He waves them once again…for her. Sparkles erupt all around her, coaxing her to twirl with them. Gone are her pajamas, replaced with a gown alive in white cake ruffles and lace clouds.
It’s the second time He extends His hand to her. The warmth of heaven’s Son contained in the fingertips. One hand in hers, one hand on her waist. “Follow me.” Somehow, the request is irresistible. For the first time in her life, she has no trouble following because He is the perfect leader. He dances with her to the ending of the song, radiating life, love, and light into her all within the span of moments. Her skirts sweep the floor, bridal-like, the train a white river flowing behind her.
He opens his mouth to speak, but she feels the words more than she hears them. They take a journey deep into her heart, nesting inside the cold flesh, warming it, melting it until it becomes alive with the light of a thousand sparklers.
“You are beautiful.”
“You are priceless.”
“You are beloved.”
“You are radiant.”
“You are my little girl.”
“You are my daughter.”
“You are my princess.”
One last second and she returns to the bathroom. Back in her pajamas and sloppy, damp waves from her recent bath. The tiara is gone, but she can still feel it. The bride gown is gone, but she still wears it. The light around her is only artificial bulbs, but she can remember the radiance whenever she wishes. Anxiety will come again. Sin is guaranteed. But she doesn’t need to look outward for His radiance. Unshakable and unmistakable, it is now shining inside of her. A light that crowns her with golden love.
Her princess light.
And whenever she needs it, she can open up her heart and find it!
Oftentimes in this fallen world, trust can feel impossible to muster up - even when it's God who we're trying to trust. How can we work toward giving our trust to Christ more in every aspect of our lives?