As I pulled open the drawer to my dresser, I saw the glimpse of a simple golden necklace... it was a thin chain with a tiny crucifix that rested in the middle of it. I have had this necklace tucked away in my drawer since high school. It has taken the trips to and from college, yet I have never worn it. Instead, I have been wearing the same Tiffany blue necklace I had gotten for 5 years.

But today, I saw it, took of the Tiffany blue heart, and put on the crucifix. I look in the mirror. Looking down at this necklace that radiated back at me, my heart was reminded of what I had been missing, who I had not seen, who I have not been wearing on my chest and living for in my life.

I had gotten used to not wearing my faith. I had gotten used to a life that did not take the time to slow down and spend time with the one who gave me the breaths I breathe.

Since my spirit touched this earth, God has been marking me. With each day that I walk the soil of this earth, he is marking me.

I have been marked with the stories of struggle, but also the stories of incredible beauty. I have seen the tears of the purest form of love, and the tears of heartbreak in those I would give my life for. It was in all of these years, up to this moment I spent in the mirror, that I have been marked.

Looking closer, I could see the faint freckles along my chest that were from the "sun kisses" of all of those days spent on the boat on the lake. I could see the wrinkles forming around my eyes, and the scars on my hands from rough housing or playing lacrosse... all of these marks had no comparison to the wrinkles, scars that lined my heart. But, it wasn't until I had slowed down enough to put on this cross, and spend time with my maker, that I saw the marks on my heart.

Take the time to look, and listen. Take the time to wear your heart on surface of your skin, and allow God to show you the ways in which he is marking you with his story in you. Look at the wrinkles that line your smile, study the lines across the palms of your hands... these are the marks that God crafted you with. There are marks in your heart just as the ones in your skin, and there are folds to your spirit that reflect the incredible work you are, just as you are. These marks are the pathways, the alley ways, to connect with others. It is built in experience, and it is through the experiences of

The small crucifix that rests on my chest is a reminder that I know my maker, and I know the ways in which he has marked my heart. Each day, I take up my cross, and wear it close to my heart, because I know that he is using my life, and my spirit for something so much bigger than myself.

Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it" Luke 9: 23-25.