Petite, wide-eyed, spirited – she’s made herself at home, this little girl. Hers is a spacious apartment, filled with floor to ceiling windows. This shy little one lives deep within the real estate of my heart. I sometimes wonder if her apartment is bigger than my own. Truth is, she’s held a lease here much longer than I have. Many seasons of my life have come and gone over the years, and she’s welcomed them all. She’s a constant among these halls.
She’s not intrusive or demanding; she’s but a child, with a lifetime of space to fill. Her windows are her dreams. Some of these dreams she can easily discern; looking out on a clear day, she’s able to sharply see a husband, children – a family of her very own. She smiles when she considers the many dreams-come-true she’s been privy to, over the years. Some dreams, though, are hard to visualize…does she dare believe that they can be hers?
No one ever told this young lady she was worthy. No one ever made her feel safe, cherished, validated. I sometimes catch sight of her shuffling through the dark halls as if she’s waiting – aching for something. A familiar heaviness fills the darkness…this pint-sized breath of innocence wants nothing more than to know she is a treasure to the ones who gave her life.
Even though her sweet, ponytailed self takes up a lot of space, I’ve grown to appreciate the unexpected source of wisdom she is to her forty-something year old roommate. She’s etched herself on the woman I am in ways I couldn’t have realized, had she not been sharing the walls of my heart. She’s taught me compassion. She’s trained me to notice pain in the eyes of those around me. She reminds me that, beneath the surface, everybody has a story…everyone longs to be nurtured and valued.
As the years progress, and we become more familiar with one another, I’m finding that I’m able to teach her a few things, from time to time, as well. Nowadays, she’s open to reminders that there is One to whom she’ll always be a treasure. One who believes she can dream big dreams, because He is the strength behind her. One who finds her of great worth. She knows this One. He stole her heart at eight years old, and has yet to abandon her.
In baby-step fashion, she’s coming to realize that earthly kinship can merely pacify. The only One who is able to wholly satisfy the craving of her heart…He has adored her, with an everlasting love, since the daybreak of time.
We’ve shared a lot across the years, this little girl and I. There was a time when I wondered if she’d ever move out—a time when she challenged me in ways that felt burdensome. But, now…now, I hope she’ll linger; we make a good team, it seems. Plus, it’s not very easy to find good roommates. I think I’ll pop in, with some cake, for a visit—just so happens…we both love cake.
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10, NIV)
(This article was originally written for Faithwriters on October 9, 2014. To view this article as it originally appeared, please visit: Autobiographical Challenge.)