Thirteen.

  If you asked me about the year I was thirteen, I’d tell you it was a year I despise. Thirteen was the age I became a teenager and was supposed to begin learning who I was. The age when I was supposed to start growing up. At least, that is what I thought. I thought I knew who I was. However, when I looked at myself I saw abstract shards of contorted images scattered across the floor.

I saw through the pieces of the fractured mirror that I was an emotional, pathetic creature. In the shards, I observed a person whom people didn’t want to be with or talk to. When I asked the mirror on the wall if I was joyous and loving, it laughed in my face. However, I would keep coming back to it. I would keep trying to rearrange its pieces to show me what I wanted to see. It never did.

I had forgotten about the ten-year-old Ashleigh who sang praises to God for hours in her room. I had forgotten the joy of God’s strength leading me on. I thought I was following Him right, but it was merely a facade. An emptiness haunted me. I asked the mirror again and again, why?

I had this feeling that nothing would ever change. A feeling that something was plaguing me that I could never name. So for a long time, I struggled through the mud as I focused on the mirror. The foundation of who I was, was built on a bouncy castle full of air which deflated every time a glass piece came flying out of nowhere.

  Until I learnt about the mirror and its false ways. Who I was wasn’t my body, my emotions or others perceptions. Who I am is in God. God used my difficulties to show me where my identity lay and what my mirror truly portrayed.
 I am not a reflection of others perceptions. I am not dependant on my face’s complexion. I am not dictated my emotional pain. I am not any better if I’m thinner and fitter. I cannot find freedom in the air of the outdoors. I cannot find rest in the confines of a book. I cannot find love in the words of others. I cannot be ruled by the telling of a mirror.
  My identity is found in the holes of Christ’s hands. My reflection is in the waters of salvation God gives. My beauty is instilled in the condition of my heart and the condition of my heart is washed clean by Jesus. My pain is soothed by the comfort of the Father. The strength to resist it given by Him also. My freedom is in the light of His magnificent glory. My rest is restored just by the Lord.

 The love I seek most of all casts out fear and heals my soul. Is God himself. So, I do not need a mirror upon which to gaze but a Father whose love is clearer than it’s glassy haze. It is not the cuts and reflections of a broken mirror that must be fixed. But where the gaze of my identity lay. God will show me who I am, and who I am is in His grace.

  See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.     1 John 3:1-2

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.      Colossians 3:1-3


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