I can’t remember the last time I was able to look in the mirror and not cringe as soon as I saw my reflection. The image looking back at me was not what I wanted to see. Dark eye circles, red blotches, acne scars, freckles, you name it I hated it. Makeup was my savior. I could cover up everything I hated and become the ‘beautiful’ girl I always wanted to be. Makeup boosted my confidence and made me feel like I was important. It was my safeguard from the judgmental looks I thought I would receive without it. I thought to myself ‘If I can just keep this mask on then I can be popular and accepted’. So I threw all my energy into looking a certain way; getting new clothes that were in style instead of hand-me-downs, keeping my makeup on point, making sure my hair always looked fabulous, and most importantly, changing my outward character to fit into what popular society portrayed. I constantly compared myself with my beautiful friends and often found myself lacking. I became extremely depressed; thus starting my downward spiral into skipping meals, working out until I felt like fainting, contemplating the need to live, and in the end withdrawing from everyone. Pretending to be somebody I wasn’t was to exhausting. So instead of just letting go and letting God show me how beautiful and special I was in His eyes; I ignored Him and ran away, trying to escape from the hole I dug myself into. I smile sadly looking back at that time in my life because little did I know that my mask was on crooked thee entire time. As perfectly put together as I tried to be it still couldn’t cover up the misery and awkwardness I felt when in huge crowds or meeting new people. I thought I was pulling off this masquerade quite well but I was at a ball I wasn’t meant to be at, and, eventually, my crooked mask fell off completely. I was broken and exposed. At that deepest moment in my life when I felt the most helpless and lost was when God was able to step in. I realized that I was destroying myself by trying to be someone God never created me to be. I wasn’t created to be the world’s definition of perfect. I wasn’t suppose to have it all together. I was created to be broken by the world’s standards because only then would I be whole in Christ. I was created to be imperfect by the world’s standards so that people could see God’s perfection shine through. I was created to be me, the REAL me, so that I could be free. Free from the worry, anxiety, depression, self image issues, and restrictions the things of this world put upon me. Am I saying that I’m fine now and I have my life together? That I know exactly who I am now and what I am suppose to be doing? No. I still struggle everyday with my insecurities, anxiety, and depression. Only now I have something I never had before. Hope. As I’m writing this, with my chipped nails and messy hair, I am smiling because I have hope for my future. Why? Because I’m no longer trying to run it, instead I’ve given it to God and I am so excited to see what He has in store for me next.