Photographs are crazy amazing things aren't they? They show you a piece of who you were at a specific point in time. But snapshots certainly aren't the full story. They are only a tiny piece of a chapter. And that chapter is only a tiny piece to the whole story. The story of life that God is writing.
My high school graduation day, 1997.
See that girl up there? Boy was she naive.
My childhood chapters were beautiful, and full of love and security. And when I look at this photo, I see such a naive little girl....and I'm thankful for that chapter. She was a good girl, full of life and full of potential.
But she was oh so blind to the real world. Blind to the suffering and loss and lack that so many experience. Not a care in the world, she was only beginning to build the foundations of her faith. It was a shallow, untested faith. Free from the scars that help to open your eyes and your heart. Working to understand what it meant to follow Christ. It was a lot of head knowledge, but certainly no heart knowledge. But brick by brick, she was laying each truth she learned down onto the walls of what would become a mighty foundation. This would all become the cornerstone of a greater understanding on which to build her life.
This was just a snapshot of a special chapter.
My Wedding Day, 2005.
Fast forward a few years and a new chapter began. Marriage. And this happy, hopeful bride at age 26 had no idea how selfish and prideful she really was. Marriage is crash course in showing you your true colors. And thankfully, my husband was willing to love me despite my long list of shortcomings and self-centeredness.
And again, this was just a snapshot of a special chapter. A chapter that has refined my character and sanctified me in ways I never knew I needed. And it's difficult. And it's so so good.
I'm so thankful that neither of these snapshots truly defines who I am now, or the full story of my life. They are simply moments, taken from chapters, taken from a life still unfolding. And any one photo taken out of context, does not represent the whole story. I am no longer a naive teenager or a selfish newlywed. Those were only chapters.
I hope by the time I am in my 80's or 90's, I will have an album full of snapshots and moments that represent my years of struggles, victories, mistakes, maturity, bad decisions, and life-altering sanctification.