By Shelley Shrader
She studied her face in the mirror. Her skin glistened like a newlywed bride showcasing a jubilant smile. Her joy came from the depth of knowing who she was and whose she was. Her eyes reflected beauty and worth like that of rare coins.
It was only a year ago she looked in the same mirror and saw a different person marked by shame, guilt and a deep sadness. But something wonderful and exciting happened to her this past year. It was a life-changing experience.
As a young girl, she dreamed of being wooed and romanced by the perfect handsome gentleman, somebody who would treat her like a queen. She longed to be swept off her feet by a man who loved and desired her more than life. Who relished every moment with her and gave her his undivided attention. She wondered if such a man existed.
One day, she closed her eyes and saw her knight in shining armor. He was dressed in a dazzling pure white robe and riding a white horse. She was wearing a stunning beautiful white gown fit for royalty. It resembled the Renaissance era; simple but elegant.
She wore a crown of white roses and solemnly stood in a downpour of rain. The small mudslide developing under her feet almost carried her away. But suddenly, she found herself swept up by this noble gentleman. He extended his hand to her and hoisted her up on his majestic steed. He carried her through the storm into a calm, peaceful, serene garden. There was not a dark cloud in sight. The atmosphere changed in a moment and she found herself surrounded by beauty, love and warmth. The sun shone down upon them in a beautiful ray of light.
She felt as though she was living inside a Thomas Kinkaid painting with all the vibrant color surrounding her, flowers and plants of every kind. They dismounted and strolled the garden holding hands. She thought to herself, this must be what life was like in the garden for Adam and Eve. So surreal. So beautiful.
He said something to her she will never forget, “My darling you are beautiful. I see no flaw in you. I want you to stop beating yourself up. You must learn to love yourself as I love you.” They continued walking and sharing their innermost secrets with one another. Then he turned to her, stopped and put his hand gently under her chin. He looked intently into her hazel eyes and simply said, “I made this world and everything in it. Including you, my beloved. You are the apple of my eye. Sing for joy in yourself.”
She was captivated by His presence and the words of life He spoke. It was like blinders had been lifted from her eyes. She now saw a different person when she looked in the mirror. She saw someone worth pursuing, irreplaceable and utterly beautiful. She saw Jesus. He is her Knight in shining armor who came to rescue her and make her whole again.
Shelley Shrader is a stay-at-home mom who loves The Lord. When she is not volunteering at her church she is dabbling in creative endeavors, scrapbooking, card making, bead work, and prophetic art. She has been active in ministry for 15 years as a Bible Study leader and Altar Prayer Minister.
Because Jesus set her free, she is passionate about leading others to freedom through a personal encounter with Christ. Currently she serves on the Freedom Ministry Team at Lighthouse Fellowship in Fort Worth, TX.