Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)
TITLE: The Story of a Girl
By Jodi Gardner
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A young woman labors in the vineyard. Her family values only her self-sacrificing manner. While she toils, experiencing loneliness allied with feeling abused, invisible, as well as physically and emotionally exhausted, she realizes somebody has been watching her. She had not notice the prince investing in her. In her shame, she fears more humiliation. He says, "Come with me." But she is leery. She secretly longs for the prince's love. She is not a weak woman; nor, is she vein. She consents, "I will come to you. I will tend your flocks and give you all of me I can. But I will not be treated like a veiled woman."
The prince reassures her. He declares her likeness unto Pharaoh's mare: capable, cherished, beautiful and chosen. Of all the possible maidens, the prince elects her to walk beside him. No, he will not hide her away or put her mockingly on display.
His compassion softens her heart. She slowly lets down her defenses, making herself vulnerable. The confusion, shame, and exhaustion gradually wash away. He perseveres to access windows in her defenses. She begins to hold herself upright, not with pride masking emotional wounds, rather with dignity. She humbly realizes the prince offers unending love.
The prince presses on. He does not negate her past or feelings. He appreciates her many trials. The woman she is on the inside continually manifests in a humble greatness. He pledges his eternal support, comfort, and protection. He joyfully declares, she is shielded under his banner. He confirms her role is changing. Where she once tended the fields, she is now becoming the bride of the prince. He beseeches her, "Do not hide from me. Do not let the lies of the enemy rule over the fruits we have together. Let go of the past, my love. We will do this as one."
In her vulnerability, she waits for the appropriate timing to give her body to him. Tough times come, and life seems dark again. She fears he is gone and his abandonment. She makes a choice to trust him. She maintains her focus on her prince. While she awaits his return, she allows his love to transform her further. Even though she cannot see him, she knows he has equipped her to make the changes. These are not conversions she could make on her own. Only he possesses the authority to change her. So taking in a deep breath, she surrenders to the calming light in the darkest of nights. She accepts her conversion from the field worker and mother to the lost and lonely into the princess. She no longer watches the parades pass. Rather, with humility, she rides in the head chariot. Many warriors protect her in her royal garments. She feels the sun upon her face; the same sun that leathered her skin and drained her energy as she toiled. The warm glow now beckons her to join her prince on their wedding day.
The prince cannot stop declaring, "How beautiful you are, my darling!" She clearly perceives herself as he sees her -- whole, capable, and lovable. She recognizes her scars do not obscure her beauty, but rather enhance magnificence of who she is. She no longer listens to the lies of the past but only to the truth he provides.
Oh, sisters, can we not see we are this young girl?! God watches over us, even when we felt lost and alone. He pursued us. He knows how hard we struggled to survive. He is so proud of us. He never saw us as incapable, ugly, broken, or shameful. He knows we have fought many wars and are battle fatigued. He wants to dress us in His glory. Not by our might, but by His love. Just as this young girl could not change herself from the field hand to a princess, we cannot by our might change ourselves from our own perceptions to how He sees us. It is only by becoming vulnerable; we can accurately see the royal garments He offers. He wants us to keep our eyes on Him. He does not want us to surrender the character He instilled in us, but rather accept gifts that allow transformation into the daughters of the Most High King.
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