Cheryll Snow's article appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness. With permission, I've excerpted part of it, which is a letter to an uncle who molested her.
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It was such a random, uneventful day as I pushed my shopping cart across the parking lot of our local supermarket. I've battled with my weight for most of my life, and I was feeling especially "unpretty" that day because I had stepped on the scale that morning to find I had gained back ten of the thirty pounds I had lost over the past few months. My self-esteem plummeted, and I decided it wasn't worth the effort to do my hair or put on make-up before I left the house.
After loading my groceries into my car, I got into the driver's seat and turned the key. I caught sight of my reflection in the rearview mirror and I stopped dead. I pulled off my sunglasses and stared at the unkempt hair beneath my husband's old baseball cap. I looked down at the sweatpants that felt a little tighter today and the ratty gardening sneakers I had on, and I felt that familiar wave of shame start to wash over me.
Then. . . before I realized what I was doing, I looked back at myself in the mirror and said, "God thinks you're beautiful."
I cried like a baby all the way home because, for the first time in my life, I truly knew what it felt like to be unconditionally loved. . . .
I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor. And God thinks I'm beautiful.