Her eyes reflect a deep sadness as one word seems to echo through her head:
The feeling is a heaviness weighing in her heart. 
She is feeling so steeped in this alone state that everything she sees seems to add more heaviness to her heart.
The harmless but smashingly clever Facebook status seems to suggest to her that she is not clever enough.  From her friend's new profile picture garnering seventy plus likes in the first three hours, she infers that she is not pretty enough.  
The group of high-schoolers working on their school projects and the "couple" laughing and chatting in the parking lot seem to tell her that she is not wanted.
From the pain in her heart, she decides the people around her appear distinguishably them:  
so pretty.  so perfect.  so glossed.  so socially flawless.  so ... 

Then, there she sits,
a high-schooler just like them,
yet, a high-schooler who is wondering if any will ever love her for ... 
just. being. her.

She feels surrounded in an atmosphere of the most beautiful, talented, witty, interesting, and unique, and feels completely lost amid the crowd.
"In order for anyone to look at me, to truly see me and to value me, I have to be somebody special" she muses.
She longs to say the funny comment at just the right time ...
to wear the cutest clothes that inspire the entire fashion world ...
to interact with the right people in just the right way ...
She feels that if she doesn't measure up to certain standards, no one will care about her because she lacks awe-striking qualities.
The thought of saying something wrong, having toothpaste on her face, having a hair sticking up awakwardly, or not getting a reference, brings fear that people won't accept her.  

Her heart is heavy, and she is cringing under her imagined restrictions in order to be included.

When I mess up, when people know my flaws and see my defects, how will they want to start a friendship with me?

Whhhyyy can't somebody look at me and truly see me for who I am and come of their own initiative to get to know me?  Will anybody value me just for who I am? 
Why don't I feel free ... free to be me?

Restricted.  Alone.  Unseen.

Yet, her heart tells her this is partly from being afraid.
Afraid to mess up.  Afraid to look stupid.  Afraid to even show her true colors in fear of being rejected.  
She hasn't let herself feel the loving arms of a non-demanding, unconditional, all consuming embrace  just for being her - imperfections, repeated failings, oddities, and more - in a long time.
Knowing her faults, she wonders if anyone would even love such a mess.

She longs for that,
an embrace to melt away into where she is free to be herself and is without fear of rejection.
"Will anyone see me how I am and yet love me for who I am?" her heart cries.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13).
"I have summoned you by name; you are mine" (Isaiah 43:1b).

There is one who loves this girl
He saw her.  
He felt her pain, saw her imperfection, and heard her cries.
This friend felt love for her so much that He sacrificed for her.  
He paid it all ... endured death.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son ..." (John 3:16a).

For His love 
is. that. real.

His arms are stretched wide, urging her to run to Him and be found in His embrace, an embrace
where there is grace for imperfections
where there is freedom from insecurities
where there is acceptance of where she is, yet also a challenge to be who she is created to be
where there is no fear because "There is no fear in love" (1 John 4:18a).

For, God does not love this girl in spite of her but because she is her (Beth Moore).

The girl breathes in and out as a tear slips down her face.
The reality presses in:

He looks.   He sees.   He cares.   He paid it all,
and He still embraces today.

All she must do is run to Him and accept His truths about

Thus, she's enabled
to embrace the fact that it was never about her in the first place anyway
and to open her arms wide to embrace others with the love she has been shown.

Being found in Christ, she realizes that it is all about Christ, 
and she finds her sulking, self-centered misery turned to prayers of praise.

Her heart loses weight from being alone and is lightened by thankfulness.

She is loved by
Jesus - the One who sets free.

"Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to your arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to your embrace
Light of the world, forever reign"
(Hillsong Forever Reign)

 © 2013 Deborah Hope Shining


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?