Today I got my braces off.
This is me. No makeup, no filters. I have a real smile. It’s not perfect. My gums need some work, and they weren’t able to fix my overbite completely because I am missing a tooth in the front and trying to bring my overbite any further would mess up the sides. But I really don’t care.
This is the girl who got an F on her last AP Chem test. But she walks into that class early in the morning before class starts to get help, smiling because she knows she is going to learn something and leave that room a little less confused. She manages to pick herself up and start over again no matter how frustrating it gets.
This is the girl who dances at school and does ballet in the hallways. She enjoys texting people inspiration and petting fluffy dogs. She sings worship songs really loud, and is honestly always really loud. She loves giving people hugs and doing the crab with arms.
She loves volunteering at the hospital. She’d probably rather volunteer than go to prom, and since her parents won’t let her go to prom that is probably what she is going to do. There will always be patients to talk to and errands to run there coupled with laughter and inspiration. Some of the nurses don’t get why I’m so happy to be there all the time, but it seriously makes my day so much better.
She is scarred. I was reading my diary from 7th grade and I couldn’t believe how hard middle school was for me. I can’t really believe that I really struggled that much and felt so hopeless so young. But I wouldn’t be who I am today if I never went through that. Those scars are just another reason to smile because God has brought me through so much.
But she is genuine. She pours pieces of herself into everyone she meets, an open book with nothing to hide. And she is beautiful.
I guess my smile has always been a part of me. Reading my old diaries makes me realize that I’ve always been an anxious kid with extreme test anxiety and maybe a low-key panic disorder. I was so depressed back then, but God was just beginning to create something amazing out of me. I wasn’t supposed to pass algebra, but I made it to calculus through tears, mercy and grace. When I smile, I don’t realize it. I don’t ever notice how much God has been working in me from the beginning either.
God, whether I’m broken or not I will always smile. My smile will forever be a reflection of you.