I am more than who you think I am.

Outwardly, I am sweet. I am kind. I am innocent and made of all the nice things. I am the self-appointed sunshine girl.

I like being cute. I like being kind and sweet.

But you do not understand --

Underneath I can roar.

Maybe I'm to blame. Maybe I have been a coward. Maybe I have not said what needs to be said. Maybe I have not stood up, not spoken out.

Maybe I've decided I like being nice more than I like being myself.

Maybe I've decided I like people to see me as honey rather than as something with a little more zing.

I am trying to take off my own edge.

Why?

I am begging, with my eyes and my soul and the way I walk around -- I am begging, Please love me.

Please.

There are so many things I have forgotten.

I have forgotten that I am beloved already. That Jesus calls me darling.

I have forgotten that it is possible to be kind and also to have a little edge.

I have forgotten that all the disciples were countercultural.

I have forgotten that I am beloved and brave, darling and daring, elegant and edgy.

I forget that because I am already loved, I don't have to ask anyone to love me.

I have forgotten that I can roar.

I can and I may.

I am fierce and I am fiery and I am honest and I am loud. I can say when things make me uncomfortable, and I can speak out when I see wrong, and I can refuse to back down/

I am also made of honey and cream. I can also be kind and spun of sunshine.

We are gentle as lambs, wise as snakes, brave as hobbits, and fierce as warriors.

We are paradoxes that are happening now.

To live this way is super hard, y'all. We are constantly forgetting, constantly having to remind ourselves.

Identity is stuck in a cycle of remembering and forgetting.

But we have hope.

May we remember, Jesus.

Help us to live like we know it's true.

Because it is.

We can, and we may, and we will.

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