This is a story about a girl named Gracie. It’s also a story about YOU.
Three years ago, Gracie had a different name, a different home, and a mommy who gave her life, but couldn’t keep her for life. That baby girl ended up in an orphanage. And when that orphanage imploded in corruption, she ended up in another orphanage. At age two, life was a ragged jumble of uncertainties. She was too young to understand what it means to hope, but old enough to know what love was.
And then, God gave her both — hope and love. God saw fit to give her parents. They adopted her, loved her with a ferocious love, and gave her a name — “Gracie.”
They brought her home a few months ago. And something really special happened to the little girl.
She came alive to who she was. She burst forth, like a bloom, from the seed that God planted in the center of her being. It’s really spectacular to see. She’s like a firecracker, in pink cowboy boots.
When you meet Gracie, she’ll tell you, in the loudest toddler voice possible: “I GWAY-SEE!!!!” (Translation: I Gracie.)
She points one stubborn little finger at her heart, lifts her chin, and with a smile widening across her face, she’ll say it again, impossibly louder than the first time: “I GWAY-SEE!!!”
The kid has some serious lungs.
Just for kicks, we harass the poor child, taunting her like this: “No, I’m Gracie.”
To which she responds with the most precious protests, in ever-increasing decibels, assuring us that she is who she is, end of story.
Gracie has something important to teach us.
When I look at Gracie, I think about the millions of women who have forgotten who they really are. I think about the women who know they’re named Jennifer or Kathy, but are pointing to their hearts, pretending to be Michelle or Kate. These are women who have forgotten that the most beautiful part of them is built within. But they are so timid, that they won’t raise their voice above a whisper when someone asks them who they really are.
Friend, do you know who you are? Do you know today what a treasure you are? Are you alive to who you are?
Do you know that the most amazing part of you is already within you? You arrived here, awesome. It was a package deal. When God created you, He planted your awesomeness inside of you, and ever since then, He has been watching you, waiting for that moment when you, like Gracie, can point a stubborn little finger to your heart and say: “This is who I am! I’ve been adopted. I’ve always been loved with a ferocious love. I’ve been given a name.”
There’s a name for that:
It takes courage to discover that. It takes digging. Sometimes you’ve got to spend years digging through layers of masks, and layers of identities that others have put on you, and layers of self-rejection. Self-rejection is incredibly debilitating. The layers get so thick that you can’t find the real you anymore.
But it’s there. Your best YOU is inside you. And it’s not because of what you did to earn awesomeness. It’s because of Jesus. It’s all because of Jesus.
Yeah, for some of us, it takes a whole lifetime to see the beauty that was there all along. Some people die never really knowing.
But we know better. … Don’t we?
And if we don’t know, can we learn today from GWAY-SEE?
Let’s do this together, right now:
Take a good, long look at the center of your being. Go deep. Behold the hand of God, caressing the soul He fashioned with His own design — the fullest expression of who you are. It’s there, I promise you.
When I see my little friend Gracie, I pray that she’ll always know who she is. Because for girls, there’s a sad loss of identity that comes, before we hit junior high. We try on new faces and new names, and that’s when the self-rejection begins to layer up like a thick crust.
May Gracie remember what she knows today. And may we remember it, too. We are loved. We are treasured. We are defined, deep within, by Jesus.
Brennan Manning always said there’s really only one way to define yourself. It’s like this: “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
You are a glorious creature. Slip on your own version of hot-pink cowboy boots, point your finger at your one-of-a-kind heart, and see yourself as you really are:
Thank you, Jon and Anne, for letting me share your beautiful daughter, Gracie, with my readers. GWAY-SEE mentors us with her sweet life.
“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.”
~ George MacDonald
Hey friends! Have you come by for the #TellHisStory linkup! One of the best parts about our little community is how you encourage one another. It would be amazing if you would visit the blogger who linked before you, and encourage her on her blog!