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I want to talk to you about a girl. The girl who is deep down inside of you. The one who, at one point in your life, was living free. Her hair was messy, her smile was untouched by comparison and competing. Her mind was filled with make believe adventures. She looked in the mirror and couldn’t see flaws, what’s a flaw? But she saw beauty, and she was pleased. The one that wasn’t burdened by worry of not being good enough, or the fear of being unloved. She was love, and she knew no bounds. Do you know her?

Maybe, you are where I was. Feeling like you have lost that girl forever, feeling like she is so buried by mistakes, and newsfeeds, and standards, and wrong turns that she is simply gone.

I felt like I lost her somewhere between spit up, diaper changes, my husband’s calling, and my lack of sleep. You can truly lose yourself in motherhood, in the giving, serving, pouring, teaching. It never ends, never stops and you never clock out. It’s hard and happy all at the same time and you are full and empty, oh so empty. I didn’t create I competed, complained and compared. I didn’t dream, I doubted. I didn’t believe, I buried my head. I was too tired to think straight, and all I could see was my reality and at times, if I am honest, I was drowning in it. If anyone feels this way right now, know that you are not alone. Know that you are not crazy, and know…just know that it won’t stay this way.

I want you to think back to that girl in you. When you who had dreams, when you felt the most alive, when you were your essential self. You were smiling, you felt free, you felt like anything was possible. The girl who believed she could climb that wall, write that book, start that company, chase that dream, yeah that one, the one that is way bigger than you. The girl who would wake up in the morning and smile, not bury her head at the sound of a baby crying. The girl who would inspire others and aspire to be that person who could truly change the world. Do you remember that girl? Well, she is still there. 

I am learning that as we grow, we have different assignments. And along the way, and through those different assignments we discover hidden talents, bad habits, dark secrets and brokenness. We find our dreams, we find our grit and we find grace. We learn how to hold our tongue and when to stand up. We learn the power, the real power of a smile. We learn the strong gentleness that comes when you have patience with your 2 year old that pushes every change they get. We learn how to be brave.

And I tell you what, for the love of it all, that girl who God made you to be is deep down in the core of your being. It’s that moment when you feel a spark in your heart when a moment inspires you, when a warm cup of coffee pushes you to dream, when the change of the season blows in a fresh perspective. That afternoon you have to yourself, to think about yourself and to care for yourself. That girl is right there.

So, pull away those layers, the lies you believed, the responsibilities good and bad that you carry, the weight, the worry and you will find the girl. The fighter, the dreamer, the teacher, the believer, the worshipper, that God has created you to be. You will find your essential self. He has purpose, and a plan, a calling and a destiny for that girl. He is calling that girl. He is beckoning you to find her again and let Him lead you by the hand. Because we have a lot more living to do, a lot more dreams to chase, and more adventures to take. My friend, she is still there. 

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

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Heather Gilstrap

Heather Gilstrap lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, with her husband, Griffin, and their 3 daughters, Harper Grace, Paisley Joy and Skyler Faith. In her spare time you will find her writing, working out or going on adventures with her family. She blogs at www.lovelyandfree.net

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