I've realized something.
This year will mark 30 years that this heart of mine has been beating. It is hard to comprehend, really. I look at who I am and I know I should be way more mature. If you think I'm kidding, just ask around! On the other hand, I am way beyond where I thought I would ever be. And that's a good thing.
At church this past Sunday, a teenage friend of mine was crying. She was hurt, wounded...scared. I could tell beyond her beautiful tear-soaked face that there was a heart full of questions and a mind that yearned for the answers. I truly wish I had them for her.
But as I held her, through the sobs and the embrace, God reminded me just how fragile an adolescent heart is. And how my heart is still very much like a 16-year old girl. I don't think I could ever forget how it feels to be rejected or made fun of. How it feels to have a waterfall of emotion flooding into your system and no way of turning it off except to sit in your room and cry. Or write pages of journal entries. Or even paint away the pain. That was one of the reasons I started creating artwork. It was therapy. Who knows where I would be if I didn't have art to pour into at such a sensitive age.
My heart will never forget the first relationships it clung to. Or the people who accepted every weird part of me. And the ones who did not. Deep inside every adult, there is a teenager somewhere. A little bit of that life still exists. I can see it even in the most mature human beings.
Many of us still yearn to belong. To mean something to someone. To be loved. And in our hearts, we seek to be relevant in a world that is constantly changing what is cool and what isn't.
I prayed with her that morning. Not because I wanted to be seen but I wanted her to know that God sees her and knows what she needs. He sees every insecurity and every drop of water from our eyes. And He is here with open arms, saying:
"You may not understand but I do. Give me your fragile heart and I will heal it. Give me your battered heart and I will protect it. No matter what this world says, you are loved because I said so...and proved it."
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."