Do You Need A Reminder?


“Why are these notes still on the mirror?”

“Not sure, Hayley, Maybe he thought you needed to be reminded of these things again today. Do you need a reminder?”

Of course, who knew that the person needing the reminder would be me.

A couple nights earlier, (a dark and wet night, I will add), as I made my trek through the muddy yard to pull a pile of junk mail and bills out of our mailbox, I slipped. Fell. Injured the wrist I used to keep from falling on my face.

It hurt. I couldn’t use the hand I needed to do so many things, and I was pretty sure I had broken it. 4-6 weeks in a cast at Christmas? Great! But, at least at some point it would heal, right?

“Well, Mrs. Marshall. What looked like a break on the original x-ray was actually just a defect in the way your wrist bone grew. At least it isn’t broken, right?

Sure. No cast. But, what is this “defect” mess?

And, this is where it all begins. The self-criticism that begins to fester, and begins to tell me-Great. Another flaw. Another “defect” that will never heal or go away.

Another one to add to all those others. To add to the already “messed up” DNA I possess.

The spinal defects that keep me in constant pain daily.

The crooked teeth I try to hide when I smile.

“Strong” arms I cover up because I think they are fat.

The curly hair I chopped off because it made me look different.

The pain and mistakes in the past I swore no longer defined me.

The “defects” that now consist of a new one.

And, then I see it. That mirror. Those notes. The ones I left to remind my kids of their worth. The ones that now whisper: January, Do you need a reminder? You are beautiful. You are brave. You are strong. You are smart. You are loved. You are a child of God.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.                                                           Psalm 139:13

You are beautiful. You are brave. You are strong. You are smart. You are loved. You are a child of God.

January, Do you need a reminder?

Yes, I did. Because just as I tell my son that his autism does not mean he is defective…God wants me to know the same.

That, yes. Maybe I was born with a weak spine. Maybe something (I will die swearing it was not coffee!) stunted my bones into thinking they did not need to grow. Maybe my teeth aren’t straight, and maybe I suffered a lot of heartache and pain. And, yes. I also have some crummy inherited tendencies and DNA, but I am His. Created to be just this way.

What I see as “defects,” he sees as beauty. All these situations, flaws, imperfections, and trials were given to me for a purpose.

To help a little boy embrace and find a purpose in his “defects.”

To help others let go of shame, and define themselves by God’s standards and not the mistakes they have made.

To help others realize that beauty has nothing to do with “good” hair, straight teeth, or well-toned arms.

So, do you need a reminder?

You are beautiful. You are brave. You are strong. You are smart. You are loved. You are a child of God.

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