As a young girl, my parents encouraged me to live with wonder. My teachers gave me the courage to explore, my friends allowed me the chance to play, and my world offered me the opportunity to learn and grow. I had hopes and dreams and a picture of what my grown-up life might look like. I imagined my future family, my future career, and all the future places I would live. Every book I read and every person I met introduced me to more of the world that I could experience.
Fast-forward several years into the future. I am driving down the tollway in Dallas, headed home from another day at work, where I had spent hours stuffed in a cubicle, checking a million boxes with a red pen. My brain is about to explode. I hate my job. The clock crawls from the moment I sit in my chair until the time it is reasonable for me to run out the door at the end of the day. It feels as if I am gasping for fresh air.
In that moment, I pray, “God, if you would just break both of my legs, that would make everything better.” In my stressed-out, overwhelmed, offtrack mode of thinking, I wish for the shelter of a hospital room to provide some time to assess where I had gotten off track and formulate a plan for making my life more like I had imagined it would be.
I hadn’t intended to end up in a job I didn’t love. I hadn’t intended to be a single parent. I hadn’t intended to have a heart still raw from the hurt imposed by others. It had never been my dream to fight my way through the academic challenges and personal struggles of my college years only to end up feeling deflated. I had filled my balloon of hope with expectations and dreams only to realize that I had not tied it tightly enough.
I would love to tell you that in those moments driving down the freeway and thinking like a crazy person, I magically gained clarity on how I had gotten off track. I’d like to say that I never got off track again. I would love to tell you that I figured all of it out right then and there and that I’ve had it all figured out since.
The truth is that I haven’t solved everything. I still don’t have all the answers. But I didn’t self-destruct that day in the car. Even while the tears streamed down my face and I cried out to God for help. I kept going for one reason and one reason alone:
I believed my girl was still there.
Even if she seemed lost, invisible, and forgotten, I believed that God could still make a masterpiece out of her. Maybe you’ve felt the same way. Maybe you’ve been a crazy woman like me and begged God to help you fix your life, get unstuck, and get it together. Maybe you’ve thought about what extreme measure you could take to stop the pain and heartache.
If so, I want to tell you that your girl is still there. Your uniquely beautiful life is an original work of art designed for your good and for the glory of the one who orchestrated your existence… even if it doesn’t look like it at this moment.
You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.
Your life matters. The girl of your dreams matters. No matter how far you think you’ve drifted away from her, she’s still there.
My prayer is that you will be motivated to get to the business of choosing to believe in the gift of “you.” My hope is that you will act as if the girl in you is still there and be willing to do whatever it takes to participate in her rescue. Most important, I pray that you will choose to give the gift of understanding, encouragement, and truth to someone else who needs to believe her life still matters.
We girls need each other.
—by Chrystal Evans Hurst, author of She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You
Chrystal is a “used-to-be,” career-minded, bean-counter, on-the-path-to-big-bucks, single gal… turned homeschooling, bread-baking, garden-attending, cloth-diapering mommyblogger… turned work-at-home mom who shamelessly uses paper plates, keeps a stock of frozen pizzas on hand, strives for small victories over #fatdemon, runner wannabe, and Starbucks junkie. She is the first-born to Tony and Lois Evans, wife to gentle giant Jessie, and she’s got college-life and kindergarten happening simultaneously amongst her five children.