the next time you feel you have to defend something about yourself, ask yourself, ‘why am I feeling I must defend this?’ …do not feel you must say anything. be who you are. do not try to be perfect all the time.
They drag her through the streets, like it’s a show. Like she’s a dead animal.
The gravel scrapes the skin on her legs and they bleed badly, but she doesn’t kick, or scream, or fight them. She keeps her head down and her body shakes, silently racked with her tears and uneven breaths. She knows what everyone who sees her will be thinking: if it’s true, then she deserves this. And the worst part of it is that she knows they’re right. She does deserve it.
They bring her to the usual spot where this kind of thing takes place, where the path near the end of town opens into a clearing where there is plenty of space to gather around. Shame overcomes her, washing over every other possible feeling, and she is nearly numb. I deserve this.
But they don’t stop in the clearing–they continue through town, and all she can think is that they must have a more brutal punishment in store for her than the usual, for people like her.
They pull her inside the temple, the sacred temple– Continue reading
I encountered someone over facebook (ironically) whose simple comment will probably ring through my mind for a very, very long time. every single word is vastly important:
“[let’s] proactively cultivate a kind space. disagreeing without being disagreeable is a good goal.”
I’ve been a pretty disagreeable person in the past in terms of harsh and angry words, especially in high school. if anyone (teachers included and I’m not proud of that) said something that made me angry, I wouldn’t hesitate to unleash my anger at them. I can’t imagine just how many people I’ve yelled at, and caused shame; and I’m sure I did cause some level of shame, because most of the time, I was right. and I was (and still am) very good at manipulating words to drive my point home, especially when I’m angry. as I’d say them, you could almost tangibly feel the words cut deep into the air, Continue reading
I was somewhere around seven years old, playing on our open, on-the-street-corner lawn. my small pack comprised of neighbor kids and little siblings and I invented games that involved everything from the street light in our yard to the bushes along the house. the best days were the bright, sunny ones where everyone came out to play, and we all went to the park down the street–whenever we’d hear a loud yell, we’d all fall silent, listening carefully for whose name was being called home for dinner. they were days full of kid fights, and knee scrapes, and bee stings, soothed by jumping through the sprinklers in the yard.
they were the days when I learned foundational life lessons (which we learn once, and re-learn, and re-learn)–why I couldn’t bend the rules in order to win, why it was actually good for me to forgive another person who had hurt me. and one day in particular, I learned one lesson that became a burden that I’ve carried with me a long way. my siblings and I were outside playing in our yard, complete with the summer day scent of the sun and the trees and the grass beneath our feet. I found a flower. I thought it was so pretty that I went around the yard, picking all that I could find. I brought them inside to my mom, who must have noted my excitement over them and put them in their own vase of water, telling me that they were called “dandelions.” sheer beauty I’d picked with my own hands, sitting on the kitchen table. when my dad came inside upon arriving home from work, I grabbed them and ran to show him. he wasn’t as excited I was, Continue reading
this morning, these words (above) came into my head. I thought they were in the Bible somewhere, but they’re not (though I found a thoughtful article that discusses this concept and its’ biblical support here).
I still think it was God who said them.
I thought more about what those words mean—at some level, Jesus doesn’t care about what sins I’ve committed. he doesn’t care if I haven’t sat down and intentionally talked to him in months or if I’ve completely fallen off of my Bible reading plan or if I haven’t accomplished X goal in X amount of time (he does care, and he wants me to spend time with him, but stay with me). but this is the important part: when I say he doesn’t care about those things, I mean that there’s nothing that I need to do to Continue reading
I was in a worship service recently, and in the song we were singing, the phrase “I am found in you,” (in this case, the “you” being God) stuck out to me. I frequently sing my own phrases re-worded when I worship, and I did this with that line, without even thinking much about it: “I find myself in you.” It hit me afterwards: the place that I find myself is in Christ. Maybe it sounds stupid and a little obvious, but it was actually an epiphany for me. Being that I’m in college, I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am, and about finding myself. I’m even reading a book called Becoming Myself (by Stasi Eldredge), because I thought maybe somehow it could help, and it has, but it can’t fix it all for me.
I’ve been fighting a lot of rejection in this season of my life, which might also be why I’m so fixated on figuring out who I am. In some cases the rejection is real—people have questioned and even criticized my decisions on getting married young, Continue reading