The Girl Who Wouldn’t Smile

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   “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5

   “…in your presence there is fullness of joy…” Psalm 16:11

I was singing, singing, and singing, glorifying God, singing aloud, praising Him, singing my own words, singing the song in my heart, putting words to my early morning joy, my joy in loving the Lord, my terrible singing voice not mattering, in my estimate anyway, though hurting my own ears, hopefully not hurting God’s because He sees my heart for Him, circling the hotel building, my hand behind my back where it was casually attached to three dog leashes with my three sweet dogs somehow managing to walk in front of me without getting tangled, such joy, such joy, when all of a sudden I saw two men smiling over at me, and oh how I smiled back at them, so filled with joy I was!

I could feel my face glowing. I wasn’t just smiling broadly. Joy was flowing from me, my whole face felt aflame in love, for Him, yes, and through Him for others, my eyes smiled, I believe, and oh, my heart, my smile reflected the smile in my heart, oh how wonderful it was! Then it dawned on me.

When I was a child, though I don’t remember much of my childhood due to some difficult circumstances despite countless blessings packed in there as well, I continuously met people who exclaimed, “Smile!” “You need to smile!” “Oh smile!” “Why won’t you smile?!” Maybe it bothered them I didn’t smile so much. Or  worried them. Or maybe they figured everyone should smile all the time. Or smile more. Or at all. How often in life do we neglect to smile, or smile on the outside but not within?

I was exhilarated the day I circled the hotel with the dogs and sung to the Lord! Not because of my life’s circumstances or due to anything or anyone in this world. But because as I praised the Lord, I was filled so powerfully with His Spirit. I was filled with amazing joy. I was filled with overflowing love and mercy, with grace and peace and excitement about God. Oh, and hope!

I was the girl who wouldn’t smile. Not so very much anyway. Or not enough in the world’s eyes. Today, even when my face isn’t smiling, my heart is consumed with love for the Lord. Filled with joy, peace, and hope. With hunger and thirst for more of God and for more opportunities to tell the world about Him.

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