Sometimes the winds blow fierce where I live in Southern California. In the summer and fall they present a tremendous fire hazard, drying out vegetation making it a powder keg ready to burst into flame. Gusts of wind whip dead leaves into the air before they spiral downward into a heap next to the curb. That’s how my life used to be. Circumstances, decisions, dilemmas, and men swirled furiously, catching me up in a rush of emotion before dropping my life in the gutter. That was before I became more like the Windblown Girl.
This Lladro figurine first captivated me, many years ago, from a shelf inside A.H. Riise on Main Street in St. Thomas. Only twenty-two, I was pregnant and miserable in an ill-conceived marriage. My mom had taken me on a two-week Caribbean cruise, a get-away that changed my life forever.
The Windblown Girl was rather plain, but the moment I saw her, I loved her. Somehow, it seemed as though an unseen hand had fused our futures. There was an inexplicable certainty that something about her resembled something still to come about me. My mother sensed it too, which was odd. She usually found my feelings difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Yet, it was my mom who spoke my thoughts into being.
“Somehow she belongs to you—is you.”
Though I believed that was true, I couldn’t imagine how. This young woman stood with a gale blowing against her; tiny feet planted firm upon a rock. Dress, apron, hair, and kerchief all blew aft, yet she stood erect, drawn up to her fullest height; slender, straight, and proud. Behind her back she clutched a book. At her feet rested a small basket of delicate pink flowers. For some reason the wind didn’t threaten her stance, rather the tempest seemed to strengthen her. She remained composed despite the wind’s fierce howls.
Looking at her $325 price tag, I sighed. Too steep for me any time in the foreseeable future. Setting her back on the shelf choked my throat and eyes with unshed tears as I hoped someday to see her again. Now the Windblown Girl stands in my china closet. She’s lived there for several decades and my resemblance to her has been growing over the years. My mom surprised me with her one Christmas after traveling to the City of Porcelain in Valencia, Spain. At first I kept her in the box high on a shelf where little hands couldn’t shatter her. Several years later a kitchen remodel gave me a fitting place to put her on display.
My connectedness with her grew in a similar fashion. At first, tiny seeds of faith were hidden away deep in my heart protected, kept safe from anything that might annihilate them. Then came a heart remodel that stemmed from a decision made one morning while driving to work. I was 28-years old and life’s winds were blowing hard.
About three years prior to that morning drive, I had asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior. Though I believed in Him and knew without a doubt that He loved me and had come into my life, something was still missing. It was the power to live life on God’s terms instead of my own. I’d gone to church on Sundays, prayed, and read my Bible. But on Friday and Saturday nights I continued searching for a man who would make me whole, someone who could give me the fairy tale life I longed for.
Until that day while driving to work. That’s when I finally gave up. My hands gripped the steering wheel as I told Jesus—“I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. No matter what, I’ll follow you. I’ll do things your way because mine hurts too much.” That resolution marked a turning point. And I’ve never once regretted it, despite the tumult to come.
A poem from the book Does God Still Guide? gives a glimpse of the kind of faith it would take to become like the Windblown Girl.
Trust enough to stand on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ has meant living in the reality of eternal truth, especially when I don’t have answers. Though that can be painful, it’s far more agonizing and destabilizing to receive the long-term consequences of bad decisions. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is a firm foundation that never shifts, and the more I trust in Him, the more unshakable that foundation proves.
Grasping His book when life’s wildest storms threaten to topple me has helped me stand straight and hold my head up high.
From the moment of my surrender, the Holy Spirit began empowering my life in ways beyond my wildest dreams. Living life on these terms is an incomparable adventure. And, praying Galatians 5:16 (that I will walk by the Spirit so I don’t carry out the desires of my flesh) almost every day has given me the confidence to say that as long as I am obedient to God and pay attention to what He’s teaching me, I am the Windblown Girl. And my life is better than any fairy tale written by a mere mortal.