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Reprint: Mirrored: Reflections on Clothed in Dignity

"But, I'm afraid."

Her eyes say the words that her lips cannot. I find the closest piece of paper and a pen, and write down my phone number and her dad's.

"You can call me or Daddy from that phone inside. Just dial '9' and then the number. You are safe. You are okay. Go inside, take a deep breath, drink some water, wash your hands, and go try."

"Okay," she nods. Turning, she takes a step and my heart wells with hope that this is building her for more than just today.

Fear is the biggest obstacle in whatever we do. Stepping into an unknown, a place we have never been, will undoubtedly prompt some anxiety and fear. Think of the first time you saw a baby take a step: excitement, then discouragement at a fall, but then cautious enthusiasm as one step leads to another and then another.

For me, walking the steps through Clothed in Dignity was a step in the face of my fear.

Of failure.

Of embarrassment.

Of being wrong.

Of learning and re-learning.

I learned that my body is mine for life; I can't withhold loving her based on some subjective reason. I learned that just because something is easy for someone else doesn't mean I need to feel shame if it's difficult for me. I learned to be okay with the rough days.

When God said, "Turn around. You are safe, you are okay. Go in, wash your hands and try," I tried.

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