Today I posted my 2000th Instagram photo - a silly, insignificant milestone, but it made me scroll through all 2000 of the little squares I’d posted since early 2011. I don't know if its the postpartum hormones or something else, but I was struck by the journey and story I saw in those 2000 squares.
Instagram is a funny thing - it can be whatever you want it to be, and someone can look at it and interpret anything they desire. But when I look through my own pictures, starting from the beginning, I see the whole story. In the first pictures a single mom, a girl smiling and trying so hard to fit in two worlds at once; desperately trying to figure out how to be a mother and provide on her own, while desperately searching for an identity as a 21 year old.
In those early pictures, I see my own brokenness. I see a girl making mistake after mistake, all in attempt to find fulfillment and an identity. I see a girl hanging on to a string of hope, hitting her rock bottom. I remember in my darkest season, curling up on the floor and sobbing. Sobbing because of choices I’d made, because of an emptiness I just couldn't seem to fill. I remember thinking I’d never have “it”. I’d never have happiness, that I wasn't good enough to be loved and have a good life. It all seem so unattainable; I felt too unworthy, like there was just something inherently wrong with me. My heart desired a life I thought I’d never have.
But in those 2000 squares, I saw a season where, in that place of deep darkness, God met me. I could see the corner I turned. I remember the change in my heart, and in my life.
I saw my love story with my husband unfold in those little squares, I saw seasons of joy and seasons of pain and personal growth. As I scrolled through those 2000 pictures, I saw our family grow. I saw the highs and lows of our family’s story, the excitement and the struggle, the love and also the dark days of postpartum depression. I saw our heart’s desires being granted.
My life isn't perfect, and neither am I, but when I see the journey God has set me on, I see nothing but grace and promises fulfilled.
And so it seems so fitting that picture #2000 is our first family picture as a family of 6. I’m holding my daughter, the daughter I’ve imagined and dreamt of and prayed for since I was a little girl. A daughter named Lyanna, which means “God has answered”. A couple weeks before she was born, I met a sweet Armenian woman who told me that the name “Lyanna” means fulfilled in Armenian. As I sit here holding her, reflecting on those 2000 pictures, I feel it. I feel fulfilled.
I don’t have it all, and I don't have it all figured out, but I am fulfilled. And not because I have a daughter, but because I have a Savior.
Because you see, that girl back in the first of those 2000 pictures was broken, but knew she was meant for more. I was searching and trying, and while I failed more often than not, I knew there were promises for me to have a better life. I knew I couldn't give up on those promises, for my own sake and for my son’s sake. In my lowest of times I doubted that those promises were real - there were dark times where I didn't want to keep pushing forward. And that’s where God found me.
In the depths of despair and in the brokenness of failed attempts at finding my worth somewhere in this world, God reached for my heart. And His message of redemption and grace and of being loved just as I am answered every promise my soul was holding on to. The hope I had been surviving off of finally had its answer.
And when I look at my little girl’s face, I see all of that story, all 2000 of those little Instagram squares, written in her name. Lyanna; Fulfilled. Promises fulfilled. A promise to prosper, and not be harmed. A promise of hearts desires granted. A promise of a life lived to the fullest. A promise for peace that transcends all understanding. And a promise of trouble in this world, yes; but an even greater promise, for He has overcome the world.