Today is Sunday, the beginning of a new week. I feel as if my whole life is awaiting me. It's as if my past is behind me, and now, all I can do is to look forward with hope of a better life, a better way to spend the rest of my time on this earth. My past has not been the greatest, and I can acclaim that all the challenges, hardships, and cruelties I've lived through have made me who I am today. I can also add to that acclamation and say that all the beautiful memories, moments of shared laughter, and the wonderful impact of others' joys have also made me the person I am today.
These past few months, I have been intently agonizing over my childhood. How could it have been different? What if my mother had stayed in Italy? What if she had followed her dream instead of having me? What if she had stayed with my father? How would it be to have known my father? Would I have had siblings; what if I do have siblings that I don't know about? All these questions and more, constantly nagging my mind for answers. Then I hear a whisper that I can barely hear. It says to me, "Esther, you are who you are, and I love you just the same." Automatic calm bears over me.
Ever since I could remember, I've been carrying this cross. Well, actually, they are several little crosses that, at the end of the day, seem like one very huge cross. For years, I believed the devil's lies of loneliness, of having no one to trust, fears and insecurities. When it wasn't a lie of self-image, it would be a mockery of my mother's purity, etc. Slowly, mostly thanks to my grandmother's wisdom and humble heart, I grew into a strong young woman. Over time, I stopped believing the lies and began to accept the truth. The truth of God's love and mercy and the truth of my past and the past before me all unraveled like daffodils before my eyes. There was beauty in that acceptance. There is grace in the truth.
In less than two weeks, I will be faced with a challenge. I will be visiting my family in south Florida, and I am preparing my heart. I know I will have lies of the world thrown at me, and I know it will be hard to see the truth afterward. I will be judged for the way I speak (like a white girl), the way I eat (not enough), the way I look (a bit on the heavy side), and in many other hurtful ways. Experience taught me, a long, long time ago, that I must stay quiet and let the lies come, but I must be strong and conquer with the truth. The truth is that while I may speak like "a white girl," I'm still a daughter of God; that while I might not eat as much as I used to, I am yet a daughter of God; that while I am not as thin as I once was, I am still a daughter of God. See, my family, my old friends, and others might judge, criticize, gossip, or nag, but I am loved whichever way by my heavenly Father. Therefore, I am preparing my heart for turmoil, and I am training my heart to overcome betrayal and accept truth time and time again, until the end of time.
I hope that as this season of Lent begins this Wednesday, many of you may come to find truth in the Lord, in His love for all of us, and in His sacrifice.
Love and blessings,
another one of God's princesses