One thing I often like to do is look at old pictures. Sometimes photos are dug out of old shoe boxes at my parents house. Often, I scroll through the abundance of photographs that I have been tagged in throughout the years on Facebook. Every single photograph captures just a second of time. Often, the photographs fails to capture the complete picture. Only those in the photo could recount the tails that that photo shines a light into.
There are a few photos that captured my attention today that drew me to write about them. One picture I found was of me sitting in a lawn chair at a bbq. In one hand I held my cell phone, the other rested in my lap. I was dressed in bright yellow Sofie shorts and a tee shirt I had cut the side off of. I was smiling bright at the camera. To any other eyes I probably look fine. To my eyes, the girl in the picture is far from what her happy face portrays. Her eyes are drooping slightly and her face is slightly swollen. The shirt is covering scratches and her head was pounding. That’s because that girl in that picture, was raped the night before. Too scared to admit it and to dumb to realize, I let life go on after that day. I did everything I could to pretend I was fine. This photo captured more than my smile on that summers day.
The next picture fast forwards a few years. I was dressed to the nines for a date. The selfie I took captured only what I can describe as a deceiving beauty. I looked flawless but on the inside, a certain depression and turmoil was working its way into my system. I was just about to begin what I will forever refer to as my rock bottom. The date I went on was out of a desperate need to fulfill a hole in my heart. A hole no man could ever fill. In the following weeks I was abused, used, and almost killed. That smiling face won’t tell you that. No, it can’t, but that picture is one that could tell so many stories.
The next picture I noted, is one that was taken of me almost two years ago. I was sporting sunglasses and my hair was flowing in the wind. My smile was almost as bright as my outfit. I was content. That’s because the photographer was the man I’m about to marry. It was taken right before we left on our first official date. He thought I just looked stunning, though I remember not feeling like it at the time. His face lit up when he looked at me and I can only image mine doing the same with him. This picture reveals so much healing, joy, and love. I look at this picture and my heart skips a beat at how beautifully orchestrated our love story is. How God placed this man in my life at just the right time. I see how caring, loving, and forgiving he is. This picture speaks volumes. It not only tells me where I’ve been, but it also tells me where I’m am headed. I’m not an old photograph. I’m not the same person I was in an old photograph. No, I am a new beautiful God-Fearing woman. I have one hell of a story to tell but only to show that healing is possible even if it’s not liner. No picture can capture who I am or who I was, but each picture gives part to a story. And my story may be broken and bent, but my story also has a healer. My story ends not with one man, but two. Jesus forgave my sins and gave me the ultimate second chance, Jerimiah mirrors Christ’s love for me every day. So my happily ever after has already began.