• Barb Lownsbury

The Child Within

I have found one of the harder challenges in life is learning to reconcile who you thought you would be with who you actually are. Inside my core there’s this inner child who whispers in my ear, reminding me of all the adventures I’d promised myself, all the deeds that would be done, of the woman I would grow into. There was a chapter in my life where facing that little girl was hard. I felt so very aware of the ways I’d failed, so clear about the ways I’d disappointed myself and made wrong decisions at key points that came back to bite me hard.

I think most of us, at some point in life, realize we’ve let that inner child down. Maybe your career didn’t go the way you expected, or you thought you had met the love of your life, only to get divorced years down the road. For some, the love of your life never materialized. It could be the way you look, how you interact with people – I think we all have something we, in our core, feel conflicted about and disappointed within ourselves over.

I’ve worked hard to come to a place of peace with that little girl inside of me. My ideal self had to take a hard look at my real self, and the two had to come to terms. For me, it started by reminding myself that in God’s eyes, who I was at this exact moment in my life was enough. It wasn’t my accomplishments that would earn His love. It wouldn’t be my level of success, the use of my talents, or the good deeds I had done that would earn His approval. It wouldn’t be my character, my heart for others, or anything else I did that would make me worthy. No, He loved me simply because I was His. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought, did or believed about me; God found me of infinite worth.

The more I grabbed a hold of that love, of that freeing truth, the more the little girl inside of me started to perk up. Her eyes lit up again at the sense of her infinite worth; her joy came back when she realized she mattered so very deeply to the One whose opinion mattered the most in the universe: her beloved Creator. I know I’m hopelessly flawed, a sinner who will always struggle and waiver. Yet I also know I serve someone who is greater, who is more powerful than my weakest, darkest moments. I’ve watched Him pick me up and take me places I would have never thought to go.

Finally, I am at peace with who I thought I would be and who I actually am. I welcome the idealism of that child inside of me; she reminds me we do have great adventures still to be had, great deeds of love to do, and of the woman God is molding me into. And I remind her of God’s tremendous grace and mercy, of how much further He’s taken us than we certainly could’ve gone on our own, and that our mistakes have been used to become our greatest teachers. We smile, hands entwined, and move forward to face the day.

For Further Thought: Luke 18:15-17 says, “Some people brought infants to Jesus, hoping He would touch them in blessing. The disciples rebuked them for doing so, but Jesus called to the people. Jesus: Let the little children come to Me. Never hinder them! Don’t you realize—the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children? You can depend on this: if you don’t receive the Kingdom as a child would, you won’t enter it at all.” Young children receive blessing without second thought. They actually have to be taught to say “thank you.” The light in their eyes when they receive something special is precious, greater than any words of thanks. What blessing does God want to give the child within you? How can you step out of the way in order to let yourself receive it at your inner most core? Remember–it’s God’s heart to want to see your eyes light up with joy!

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