The Girl I Once Was

“The we once were, they’re coming back to us now.” –Brandy Walker

I still remember, I still remember the way that my hand would shoot up and my heart would start beating. I remember how sure I was that I would be picked, how sure I was that what I said mattered. 

I miss that feeling. I miss that the girl.

The one who came with shaky breath and shaky legs to say what she had decided she was not going to say, because she was sure the Spirit was calling her, whispering to her that someone needed to say it, and it may as well be her. 

I miss the feeling of annointing. I miss the sure but shaky breath. I miss the simple equation of He speaks, I do. 

When did things become so complicated? When did the equation become tangled with variables? With what ifs and how comes and can I trust myself to speak? I miss the girl who just did. 

I remember the way I used to pray fervently for healing. I remember how sure I was, walking away from that pulpit or stage that I was healed. And I remember how the sickness would slowly creep back again. I remember wondering why I wasn’t being healed. 

And I remember saying yellow was fine when my heart was really longing for purple, and purple was right there. Why didn’t I just say what I wanted? I remember hiding in my bedroom, doing things my mother would have approved of, playing with the old makeup she had given to us for this very purpose, but afraid to admit I was interested in. I wonder where that came from, in a house as loving as mine. I wonder how the lies of the world leaked in through the thick armor of parental love. I wonder about the lies that will get to my girls….as much as I try to protect them. I wonder if I always believed that I was too much. 

I remember crying in my bedroom my senior year. I had come home from the state speech tournament empty handed again. I had already missed the cut for nationals. I was devestated. My best was not good enough. I remember the note from my mother, waiting for me on my bed. She had placed it there before the tournament even began. Before I came home, empty handed or elated, she wanted me to know just how proud she was of me. How talented I was. How much she loved me. 

I still can’t talk about that letter without crying. Of course my mother knew my deepest fears. Of course she knew how much I long to be picked. 

And I want to take that girl I once was, hiding in the bedroom, hiding her desires, crying over dreams that did not come true. I want to cup her face in my hands and breathe the truth into her. This world is harsh, and your heart is built for feeling. It will seem easier to tuck pieces of yourself away. It seems like if you stop dreaming big you will stop hurting so badly. Don’t do that. The dreaming is worth it. Even if they don’t always come true. The believing in the impossible is part of who you are.

Your fears are founded. You won’t always get picked love. I wish that you were, but that isn’t how these things shake out. Your heart will break more than once over dreams that are not to be.

I want to warn her, to promise her: You won’t always be picked. But I promise: You are always chosen. 


This is a a post for The Story Sessions Girls We Once Were link up. I hosted an annonymous entry here. Get your hankies and head over. The submissions are truly beautiful. 

28 thoughts on “The Girl I Once Was

  1. “I remember the way I used to pray fervently for healing. I remember how sure I was, walking away from that pulpit or stage that I was healed. And I remember how the sickness would slowly creep back again. I remember wondering why I wasn’t being healed.”

    This Abby. This, this, this.

    I love your brave and vulnerable and “I’m gonna sat it even though I scared”
    Because that’s what we need.

  2. This is so good. Oh, Abby, I just want to hug your neck so tight. You’ve helped so many of our feeble knees become strong, strong enough to stand and speak out loud what we carry within. Believing in the impossible is an anointing all its own. Thank you for helping me burn the lies. Love.

  3. Beautiful, Abby. I can so relate to that girl that once was. And, to tell you the truth, I think she’s still right there, inside you, shining out of these words.

  4. When I read your words that express insecurity, I wonder how those feelings developed. Wasn’t I in the same memory you were in? The same time and place maybe, but not the same memory, of course.
    As others have pointed out, the phrase of truth here is: “You won’t always be picked, but you are always chosen.”


    • Yeah, I don’t know either. This was hard for me to write because….it didn’t come from you and dad. Our house was like a giant armor of love, how did I let those lies seep in? I think most times I didn’t, but they would sneek up on me for seemingly no reason. I think it is just what happens when we live in a broken world. And I wish, as a girl, I would have said certain things, rather than replaying them in my head all the time…. I don’t even have a good reason why I kept them to myself.

  5. saying yellow was fine when your heart wanted purple. that phrase kept coming back to me, over and over, because I did that. I still do that. this is freedom of a whole new sort, beloved Abby.

    love you.

  6. Beautiful. I loved this “I wonder how the lies of the world leaked in through the thick armor of parental love.” It scares me a little too as I send my children out into the world. But the way you ended this? Perfect.

  7. How fortunate your daughters are to have you there for them and cup their faces in your hands so that you may pass on this wisdom to them! You describe the wonderful, unconditional love of a Mother, and you have a glorious opportunity to share her love many times over with your daughters! And continue to seek Mother’s wisdom.

  8. Abby,
    Very touching. I want my girls to know this… that these feelings will want to take over you from time to time; I want them to know life at times is hell but they are worthy. God says they are worthy and they are loved by God and by their mom and me without end. I want them to know it is not what they accomplish that makes them worthy it’s who they are that’s makes them worthy. It is who they are that will impact others not the things they accomplish.

  9. Pingback: Story Feasts, Photo Shoots and Chattanooga: What I am into March 2014 | Accidental Devotional

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