Monday, April 1, 2013

We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.

The other day my very wise and beautiful little sister said, “You know that you're amazing, right?”

I looked down in uncertainty, very much unconvinced.

Amazing people climb mountains and cure cancer and turn their homework in on time. Amazing people don't disappoint others or sleep in late. Amazing people aren't disorganized or distracted.
I felt like everything I did was tinged with disappointment, weakness, and failure. Like, yes, I did do something great...but it could have been better and I managed my time poorly and somehow those small things became equal to my accomplishments. The good things I had done, the good decisions I had made outshone by my mistakes and immaturity and humannness.

But today, I believe her a little.
I feel like I have something bright and solid and strong inside of me.

And that i'm not working towards some unattainable goal of having worth--that I'm already there.

There is something inherently worthwhile inside of me, no matter what I do or what happens.

I've been wallowing in this sensation of weakness, loneliness, helplessness.
I've been letting the worst parts of myself dictate who I am.

But today for the first time I realized how beautiful it is that I have been able to accomplish things that were hard and good and hurt. That in spite of all of my weaknessess, there is something divine inside of me. That even though I procrastinate and disappoint people, that amazing things still come out of all of my human traits. That even though it took me way to long to write that essay, or prepare that presentation, or make that painting, that I still did it.

Despite everything I've ever done wrong, the people I have hurt, the stupid things I have said or done, I still can do great things. I panic when I think of all the doors that are about to close, all the people and places that I am about to leave. But everything feels so resolved and purposeful. People have shaped me and sharpened my focus and self-worth. My failures have propelled me into better places.

My sister also reminded me of a simple, luminous truth:

“God created beautiful things for us to enjoy. He didn't have to do that. They are reminders that he loves us.”

He didn't have to do that.

I think so often about the trials and difficulties of mortal life and I also think a lot about how God probably thinks I could do a lot better. I think a lot about how these difficult things in my life have made me a better person, and that life is hard and through this, we are refined.

But he didn't have to create the sparkling ocean, or tall grass you can disappear in, or intricate patterns on tiny bugs. He didn't have to give me the ability to create, or let so many quandaries and juxtapositions and viewpoints exist for an analytical and ruminating mind to process. He didn't have to create a space for loving, honest friends who speak their mind and make my cheeks and stomach ache.

This was always my favorite song when I was a child, and I return to it now as an adult with the same wonder I had when I was innocent:

  Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by our lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heav'nly Father created for me.
  He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
I thank him rev'rently
For all his creations, of which I'm a part.
Yes, I know Heav'nly Father loves me.


Krisanne said...

Beautifully written, Ashley! You have a wise sister, and you are right in saying that our missteps don't define us. Our divinity is unmovable.

Anna said...

This is really special, Ashley.

I'm stuck in one of those ruts myself and it's really helpful for me to remember the small things that I so often forget. Thanks for reminding me again.

Kristie said...

I love you. Also I love this post. Also in my last blog post when I talked about the boys that sang in church, that was the primary song they were singing. I almost posted the lyrics myself. Also I love you.

Cat said...

I love you. Thanks for this lovely reminder.