We left the store and never brought it up again.
We met my daughter and one of her friends for lunch next door at Pizza Inn. They both commented on how cute she looked in her bright yellow top and the big yellow bow in her hair to match.
During ONE of my niece's trips to the buffet line (in all fairness she was for the most part "sent" there), my daughter's friend asked me if she was ever self-conscious about her birthmark. Without hesitation, my answer was no. I explained to them about our encounter in T.J. Maxx and shared with her the "thumb print" story: It was something her mom told her when she was very small and she accepted it immediately and always has. End of Story!
A few days later, something began to weigh on my mind. How many blemishes do the rest of us have? How many of these blemishes do we try to hide or cover up from others? Sometimes we do a great job at it too. It would be easy for my niece to keep her birthmark concealed from others, except those close to her. Isn't it that way for us too?
I had a long telephone conversation this past week with a friend who has a lot of hurt in her life. She has a son who has caused her and her husband much grief. She made a statement to me: "It is time." Time for what? She went on to tell me that she had just turned 60 and for too many years carried around baggage filled with grief, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and so much more. It was time to let go. ( Not to be mistaken with time to stop loving or praying. This never stops). But it was time to let go of the shame and embarrassment. Time to open up to others. Time to allow God and others to help her work through her grief and guilt. Time to share. Time to allow Him to restore the joy in her life. Time to live again.
Unfortunately, I could relate to all she said.
This journey with my daughter has carried me to places that I would never have chosen to go, but to places where I have seen God's face many times. Had it not been for this journey, I would have quite possibly never experienced those life changing encounters with Him. No, this journey has been a blemish in my life. One that has forever changed me and my relationship with God. His hand has been on me through every step of way. His hand has been on my daughter's life. His hand has shaped and molded me into who I have become through it all. And if He has thumb prints, then my life has unmistakably been imprinted with them.
And I will use my nine year old niece as my example: To not be embarrassed. Never be ashamed. But will go forth and boldly and proudly display God's Thumb Print!