can you see me? i’m so small i almost disappeared three times today. can you save me i almost let myself go – in the most tragic way, today.

but i want to be beautiful to you. i want to be your most favorite thing in the world. is that too much to ask?

these words were my heart’s cry a little less than 9 years ago. I sat on my mother in law’s couch at 3am, utterly alone and afraid of everything, including disappearing into the black hole of my new marriage. Our house had burned, most of our things ruined, and we lived with my new husband’s mother and little brother in a small house 10 minutes down the road from our burned out house.

music was the only way i knew to express myself at the time. so i wrote. i sat alone in a dark, quiet house while everyone else lay sleeping, desperately trying to soothe the hole in my chest.

i was molested when i was 5, and that begs to question, who wasn’t? However common an occurrence it may be, it still effected me, body, soul and spirit. It changed my outlook on life and the people i would encounter in it. according to me, everything about me was unlovely. but i desperately wanted it to be different. i believed God could change me, but he hadn’t – and i was stuck, and afraid i had made a terrible mistake. my family told me not to marry him. they had all said he was not who God had for me. my sister and her husband believed it so fully that they didn’t come to my wedding. such strong opinion sent me into a tailspin more than once, and i had no one to talk to about being newly married because any problem i had i was sure they would just tell me, well, that’s what you get for marrying him. but i finally found a counselor and started addressing those dark places and it was the beginning of a new name for me – a new hope.

for more years than i care to think about, i was hopeless. ha. i was in a pageant my freshman year of college – i competed for “Miss Mount Olive College” and i won. i still remember my “inspirational statement” – it was supposed to be my life’s motto of sorts, but it ended up being more of a chance for almost all the other contestants to do a little mini commercial for the school. suck ups. anyway i remember standing in the shower when it came to me, and i ran, dripping down the hallway of my dorm a towel thrown around me, to write it down before i forgot it. i guess i needent have rushed, b/c it has stayed with me all these years. ALmost word for word.

“i believe, as children of God, it is our responsibility to let the world know that the hungry can be fed, the lost can be found, the sick can be healed and for the hopeless – there is a hope.”

Then i sang a song for my talent – ‘there is a hope’ – about feeding the homeless and about there being hope in Jesus. and i believed it. with my whole heart and mind. i guess that’s why i won. i was so completely convinced that with Jesus all ills could be healed in life – it boggled my mind that anyone would believe otherwise. and still… i carried around a scar on my heart from abuse at age 5. i carried around fear that no one would really love me if they knew, if they could really see me. and still with such a strong faith in my heart that there was Hope – i found myself utterly lost in hopelessness. I lost my way and just stumbled around in the dark year after year.

a line in the song says – hope does not depend on only what is seen – hope is found believing in His name. –

i stood up there in my rented sequined gown and plastic shoes, my hair permed and teased into snarls around my painted face, and i sang of a hope that overcomes everything – every circumstance – anything that opposes the promises of God. I am such a different person now. I am a woman. I’m no longer afraid. I think i’ve come full circle with Hope. I thought for a few years there that I was lost forever, but now I know I am not unlovely, I know that I have something in me to impart to the world – and though the way was dark and I lost sight of the truth for a while, i still believe that there is a hope. and his name is Jesus. and he loves me. and he loves my sister.

i determine again today that i won’t look at circumstances. i won’t just accept what is told to me by doctors as the prognosis of what they see. i will continue to say, yes – i understand that’s what you see – but this is what God has to say about it. this is what the Man named Hope says… I will keep holding on and proclaiming and we will see the Glory of God in This day. we will see Him take the unlovely, marred things of this world and wrap them in his glorious liquid love until we begin to shine like Him and become – Lovely.

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