grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

A Letter to Six-Year-Old Me…

on June 12, 2014
Two-Year-Old Me

Two-Year-Old Me

Sweet six-year-old Laura ~

I want you to know, as you sit crying on that hard, cold piano bench, that you are going to be okay. It doesn’t feel like it right now, but you are much stronger and more resilient than you could ever imagine. I promise you.

When your daddy took that picture of your sorrow and forced you to look at it, while telling you how Ugly you are when you cry, you had no idea those words would become lodged in your heart for most of your life. Jammed deep. Buried under other wounds inflicted by words. Under some wounds delivered wordless.

Yes, you took those words and swallowed them whole. Gulped them down, along with the tears you believed made you Ugly.

You made a deal with yourself, in a place so hidden you didn’t even know it was there, that you would do everything in your power to never be Ugly like that again. You would never mar what was apparently so tenuous and false (your beauty) that wet, salt-water drops falling from your big blue innocent eyes could reveal an Ugly so revolting that even your daddy couldn’t contain his loathing.

But, that deal you made, dear Laura…that deal was made with currency more false than Monopoly money.
That sealed-with-dry-eyes deal, sweet girl, is invalid.

The walls you erected – the fortress you built to contain The Ugly…I want you to know they’re not necessary any more.

I know there was a l-o-n-g time when you spent your days with your heart barricaded behind those walls, trying to ensure no Ugly would accidentally escape. (And, if I’m honest, there are still many days your energy is spent shoring up areas of the fortress where a brick or two has slipped out of place – just to make sure the integrity of those walls is intact.)

There have been years when you told yourself – and your fragile heart – that behind those walls, you were safe.
Dry-eyed-brave safe.

But, sweet child, I’m here to tell you that while those walls – that holding-in-the-Ugly fortress – served their purpose of protection at times when you didn’t have access to the strength, the stamina, the truth necessary to allow them to be dismantled, to come out from behind them…
It. Is. Safe. Now.

You are safe.
You are seen.
Your tears matter.
Your cries are heard.
Your beauty is intact.
(…because it’s not just a meaningless cliche that beauty comes from within…because that’s where your beauty originates…from within your remarkable heart…)

And there is One who catches each of those diamond-value tears of yours and saves them in a bottle, records them in His ledger.
Not one tear falls unnoticed or disregarded or scorned or misunderstood.
Not one.

The Tear Catcher loves you, Little Girl.

And even though you haven’t always sensed His presence,
He has always been near.
Nearer than your muffled-behind-the-walls heart cry.

And even though you haven’t always trusted that His Love, His Truth, His Rescue, His Grace, His Favor, His Mercy have been for you – believing that they were only for everyone else – the True Truth is that ALL of those things of His are YOURS.

YOURS to inhabit.
YOURS to drink in.
YOURS to lean on.
YOURS to rest under.

He calls you Beautiful, love.
For you are His beloved child.
He is nothing at all like the broken, untrustworthy, shattered man who took that crying picture of you, waving it in your face, trying to get you to share the load of his own shame.
He is everything that man – any man – cannot be.
He is Love.

Even as I write this to you, today, from the place where I stand 40 years down your road, I know the trepidation that thumps in your chest – the pterodactyl-sized butterflies that start dive-bombing your gut – when you try to accept that it truly is okay to cry.
That, sometimes, it’s necessary to cry.
That, often, it’s a healthful thing to cry.
And that it’s never Ugly to cry.

Do your best to ignore the thumping in your chest, the humongous butterflies rattling your insides, and make a different deal with yourself.
For today.
And for as many days as you need to.
Make a deal with your priceless heart to do the work you need to do to accept the truth that tears do not equal Ugly.
Reach out. Ask for help.

Because, dear little one, you don’t have to worry about trying to cage The Ugly anymore.

Ugly wasn’t the truth then.
Ugly isn’t the truth now.

Love is.

Working with you to believe in the Beauty,
Your older self

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book. ~Psalm 56:8

{this post is a result of Bonnie Gray‘s life-changing book – and her 21 Days of Rest…click on through, grab yourself a copy of her book here, and find the soul-rest, the #spiritualwhitespace your weary spirit craves.}

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

19 responses to “A Letter to Six-Year-Old Me…

  1. Patty says:

    You are brave and you are beautiful. Your story and your heart caught me up the first time I “met” you in Bonnie’s group. I love that you are inviting God to do the work of redemption. Tears are beautiful – your tears are beautiful. God does cherish them and you are a treasure just as you are. Let the streams of healing waters flow.

  2. Such a beautiful letter, Laura. It touched the heart of my hurting little girl, too. Verbal abuse can cut so deeply and become so engrained in us. Yes, your beauty is intact, no matter what. Love the pic of you along with the text, too. Traveling with you on this journey to connect with that hurting child and bring her to Jesus.

  3. Sharon O says:

    powerful. beautiful. touching.

  4. Dorinda says:

    Laura, as I have said before, your words heal, not only you, but those who read them as well. I am in awe of your strength and amazing spirit! Put it in a book! I am honored to call you “friend”. Get that book started 🙂

  5. Lisa Lewis says:

    Oh sweet Laura you have been strong to survive and now loved well; inviting your hidden-whole, beautiful self out into the Tenderness that is Jesus’ embrace. Thank you for sharing these loving words to inspire us to do the same!

  6. Nina says:

    Absolutely beautiful … touched my heart.

  7. Krista says:

    Laura, I think we could’ve been twins! I looked a lot like you when I was a little girl. 🙂
    I also fight tears and yet i’m still trying to figure out why. Your letter was comforting to the little girl in me. Very beautiful post!

    • LauraK says:

      How fun, Krista, that we could’ve been twins!
      I’m sorry, though, that we share the struggle with allowing our tears to fall…maybe there is strength in the sharing?

  8. […] would we say to her, knowing what we know now? Another one of Bonnie’s readers, Laura, posted a very beautiful and touching letter to her six-year-old self that serves as a strong reminder of the power that parents, or other loved […]

  9. mandymianecki says:

    Such a brave, beautiful post! I’m so sorry for the suffering you endured.I pray that this journey to rest beings peace and healing 🙂

  10. Andrea Groff says:

    Thank you for sharing this “letter” Too often we fail to realize the effect that our words or the tone in which we speak have on the other person. Each individual is beautiful in their own special way! Enjoying this journey with you though my posts are slow and few between.

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