God Smiles at Me

Julia - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on June 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

People of the world, take heed: I am not perfect, not even close. I never seem to say the right thing at the right time; I have never cracked a hysterical joke of my own. My singing voice has never been up to the world’s standards, and though I try, my diet has a tiny glitch with an enormous appetite for chocolate. I am not popular; I have never had an amazing boyfriend, and I actually have to practice endlessly to be good at something. I am a horrible conversationalist and half my wardrobe used to belong to people I have never met but were generous enough to sell it at a garage sale or Plato’s Closet.

I am judged daily, labeled as “pushy” and “religious.” This ruthless world has nothing to offer an utterly imperfect person such as me. After all, the world was made for divas and movie stars and happily ever afters; the world was not made for people like me. So, what to do with this unfortunate reality? This is my response, my belief: I am not perfect, but my joy is. I smile because I am loved.

I do not believe in time travel, or aliens, or even love at first sight. But if there is one thing I do believe, it is in something that is not blatantly seen by the human eye—that I am loved completely by God because I am imperfect. I am loved beyond measure, beyond time, and beyond the human capacity to even fathom this idea. I am loved completely, wholly, and eternally. I am proud of this and it gives me a reason to smile.

My story is not a dramatic one; instead, it is a story 16 years long and still in the making. My story is filled with gorgeous sunsets, music that moves my soul, friends who see me for me, family, hugs, and smiles–the kind that God yanks from the sun to shine on you on a bad day. But this story of mine, like me, is not perfect. The beauty it illustrates equally tells of pain, persecution, misconceptions, anger, and disappointment. “The road is difficult, but it is exceedingly beautiful.” -Father Marciel Maciel, a famous priest. I tell you my story because my sunsets, music, friends, family, hugs and smiles are love notes to me, and the deserts of pain and disappointment always turn me back to the oasis of love.

In conclusion, my existence is founded on a rock. This is a rock you cannot see, but you can feel. And when you cannot feel it, it is still there because you run into it every day. My rock is Yahweh. I believe in love only because that is what I am given–that is the rock that insists on being in the way. I relish the warmth of this love because I am not afraid to admit that I need to be loved. And what do I do with this love? I smile.