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Monday, January 15, 2007

My Favorite Color is Purple

I was born with a port-wine stain birthmark on my face. It's one of those uncontrollable, character-building things that the Lord chose for me. It made childhood difficult--sometimes unbearable--but at the tender age of eleven, I knew deep, deep in my heart that there was purpose in my creation. I knew that God had a plan for me and for the way He had made me. Many, many, many days I have questioned that assurance I felt over 20 years ago. I have allowed myself to wonder if life might have been easier with a different face. Would my outlook be different? Would I have more friends? Would I have better friends? Would I be happier? I have also learned to keep my mind free from those thoughts. They are not productive and not of the Spirit.
When I met my husband, Charlie, God gave me the second greatest gift (next to my salvation in Christ). Even as I write this post, tears spring to my eyes when I think about the way he looks at me. With love and adoration. With respect and tenderness. He looks at me the way a Christ-like husband should--with the eyes of Christ. He knows I am far from perfect but he wants me just the way I am. Meeting and marrying Charlie gave me so much freedom in my heart. It allowed me to trust someone completely.
When Charlie and I learned that we were expecting our first daughter, a secret fear crept into my heart. I have always loved children but I also remembered how cruel and uncaring children can be. I had been the object of many school yard pranks and locker room jokes growing up. Would my own child someday turn into one of those cruel children, or even worse, would she someday resent me because of the way I look? After she was born, I was really too busy to dwell on these thoughts but they lingered in the back of my mind, always waiting to leap to center stage.
As Emma grew and began to develop, we realized quickly that she was a precocious child, quick to learn and eager to soak up all kinds of information. I began to have great conversations with her, even as a toddler. One night, a few months after her second birthday, we were sitting in her bedroom having one of those talks. I had been trying to impress on her the idea that God has a plan for everyone and specifically, He has a plan for her. Out of the blue she said, "Mommy, why is one side of your face light and the other side dark?" Startled, I remember carefully measuring my words and trying to control my fear. I said (my heart pounding like a drum), "Well, God makes everyone different. Some people have dark hair and some people have light hair. Some people have blue eyes like you and some have brown eyes like me. I don't know why God made Mommy's face like this but I know He has a plan." Emma was very quiet for a minute, I could tell she was thinking about it. Then, taking my face in her hands and looking right into my eyes she said, "Mommy, I know why He made you face this way. My favorite color is purple and He knew that I would fall in love with a mommy like that."
Now, I have loved the Lord for over half my life but I fell more deeply in love with the Lord and my little girl that night than I could ever have imagined. Thank you, Jesus, for your sweet, sweet salvation. Thank You for the daily blessings of my life here on earth and the wonderful promises of a future with You. Thank You for Emma. Amen.

3 comments:

Nina said...

Thank you so much for inviting me here. This story about Emma and her favorite color so touched my heart. So precious is she and you as well. I am blessed to know you and your family. Much love to you.

Linda T said...

Jen,
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him."
II Chronicles 16:9

thanks for allowing this truth be known to us through you. Love you, Linda

my4kids said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes. My brother was born with Cerebral Palsy on his left side so his left hand hangs to his side and his left leg doesn't always work like it should although he is able to walk. We are only 14 months apart so growing up we were very close in school and I spent many years being tough for him because I wasn't going to allow people to pick on him (even though he could take care of himself). When my children were old enough to ask about their uncle I told them a similar answer to yours that God made him that way for a reason. My 6 year old says she likes him that way because it makes him special.