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AmandaCStokes
12-31-2015, 06:39 AM
Everything changed. It only took one word:
Mine.

You weren't ashamed. You didn't parade around my shortcomings, nor did You hold my past over my head. You claimed me. I was Yours.

It was a love like none I had ever known: There were no conditions, no limits, no fear.

For so long, I thought I had to earn Your love. I tried so hard to be a better person, read more, pray more or at least sin more quietly or secretly. It wasn't as if I knew what love was, I didn't. I thought love was keeping fear at bay. The best representation I could muster was manipulation and flattery.

You weren't shocked, but You also weren't repulsed.

In fact, despite all of my uncertainty and wavering fervor, You remained steadfast in Your pursuit of me. I didn't understand. I felt so unworthy, so dirty and unforgivable- like I was tolerable at best, yet You remained, still saying that one word…

Mine.

You helped me understand that what I felt wasn't what the truth was. You taught me how to love and be loved.

You assured me that I was, without any doubt, Yours.

I was a child who ran away. You heard the patter of my feet against the floor, the opening of the door and You let me go. You were never unaware of where I was, but You knew the only way I'd stay was if I chose to. There were crumbs in the kitchen from my hasty attempts to pack food, closet doors flung open and missing blankets… It was an ill planned journey to be on my own.

As the door shut behind me, I knew that I had succeeded and looked back at the house, admiring my escape into the real world. That was it. I never made it out of the yard. As I filled myself with pride over my job well done, I found myself caught in the brush where the grass meets the woods. My backpack was caught, my hair tangled and thorns digging into me from every direction- the more I struggled to free myself, the more stuck I became.

I stayed there for a while; frustrated, bleeding, crying and stuck. You knew where I was, but You let me choose. You had the window open so You could hear me when I called. You listened… My cries, grunts and efforts to free myself made their way to You. We both knew that if I managed to get myself out of the thorns, I would pat myself on the back and keep running.

After minutes that felt like months, I knew my efforts were in vain and I wasn't going anywhere on my own. I yelled. As loud as I could, I called for You. You were there before I could even suck in the air to yell again. When I think about it now, I realize how much You really love me because I was not grateful- I was mad. I was wrong. I couldn't do things all on my own. I was embarrassed. I only cared about how I felt, my own plans and what I thought wasn't fair.

You reached through the brush and untangled my hair. With gentle and steady hands, you pulled vines and branches off of me. You weren't angry, You were patient and so careful with me that I didn't know what to do with myself. You picked me up and carried me inside then spent an hour pulling thorns out of my arms and legs and twigs and leaves out of my hair. It hurt a lot and every time one thorn was removed, it reminded me of all the other thorns still stuck in me.

You took care of them, though and cleaned up my cuts then bandaged me up. You said so much with so few words that day, but my favorite part was Your offer to explore with me and venture into territory unknown to me. You knew the woods and what lay beyond, you said I just need to follow.