God knows better than anyone who I really am. He wants a man to love me for the woman he made me to be. He knows when I give who I really am to the right man, the groundwork is laid for a powerful union. What freedom I'm finding in allowing others to know me for who I am: the Colleen who doesn't resemble Cindy Crawford, doesn't always say the right thing, and is bored by college basketball!
Last year, I relocated from Colorado to North Carolina. It had become apparent God's next step for me was back to the East Coast, closer to my family. I was unemployed for a while and struggled with deep loneliness. There was a small plaque on my dresser with Jeremiah 29:11 on it: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah's words are a well-placed reminder from the Lord that whatever my future holds, it's in his hands.
In the meantime, God continues to build my faith, increase my reliance on him, and gently reveal to me who I am—a woman with a greater capacity for love and a greater capacity to bring him glory. As I think back to that sunny day at Starbucks, I realize God's gifts of courage, faith, and authenticity come in many forms, but they're all meant to accomplish that same single purpose—shaping us into the women he created us to be.
Colleen Alden, a freelance writer, lives in North Carolina.
Copyright © 2005 by the author or Christianity Today/Today's Christian Woman magazine.
Click here for reprint information on Today's Christian Woman.