The Moment Beauty Begins

 

I was singing worship songs at church as my hand closed around the necklace I was wearing. It is a gold cross with a ruby center stone and small diamonds on each point of the cross. Memories flooded over me as it’s significance was felt deeply in my heart. It was given to me by a mentor I had about 10 years ago, as my life took its spiral towards (what I hope is) my bottom.

At the time I had not yet started escorting, but I was on my path as the horror of being alone with myself made almost any other option preferable. This mentor had been through similar enough experiences that she understood some of my feelings. When she gave me the necklace it was as a symbol of God’s view of me as a treasure that deserved better than I was giving myself. She had given it to me as a reminder of God’s love for me.

I could not understand that love, or any love, and my depression deepened over the year. After being disowned by my family when they found out I was escorting, I had begun sending my prized possessions to various people, as can be common with people who are suicidal. I sent this necklace to my sister.

Fast forward almost ten years and I was hoping to adopt a teenage girl named Josie who I believed needed to know her own worth in the way I had a decade earlier. I asked my sister if she still had the necklace and if I could have it back for Josie. My sister had it with the card I had sent to her at the time, and graciously returned it to me.

I was filled with joy when I received it. My heart has changed so much in the past decade and I now understand that I am a treasured daughter of my God. THEY have loved me through every f@*king mistake of my life and help me get to where I am today. I longed to give it to the young woman who I hoped would become my daughter.

But my God knew there was something else in my immediate future that would require a lot of my time. It is time I would not have if someone called me mother, or even wife. It is the blessing of singleness in this season of my life where I hope be able to have impact advocating for the broken and hurting people who I love the most.

Because of the felony arising from my suicide attempt, I was not allowed to adopt Josie. My heart was broken, but also feels that story might not be done yet. Perhaps I have been given a yellow light on adoption that allows the change to green for something else. So today I wear the necklace in remembrance of the friend who gave it to me (although that friend is one of the many bridges I regrettably burned), for myself, for Josie and for all of the women I hope to walk alongside as they learn to have love for themselves.

In the words of Coco Chanel “beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself”. I want all women I meet to find the beauty in themselves that the giver of this necklace saw in me all those years ago, before I could see it myself.