Have you ever been so brave that you shocked yourself?
It happened to me today.
I have a very distinct mental self-image. I am dressed like a schoolgirl. I remember navy uniform shorts, a white polo. White knee socks with black-and-white Oxford shoes. There is a headband in my hair, and tufts of white-blonde hair stick up from it. There is a sheepish smile on my face, conscious of the fact that I am but a young girl. There's a book in my hand, a backpack over my small shoulders. I'm looking at the playground mulch in the space between my shoes.
Yes, I know who I am.
I know my limits.
I wouldn't dare.
Slowly, slowly, slowly, then all at once.
It's like waking up.
One moment you are yourself. You are standing on your own two feet.
And the next --
The next you are essentially having an out-of-body experience.
I did something today I have never done before.
Today I was brave in a way I have never been brave before.
I took my courage in both my hands, except I didn't, because I didn't really have time to do anything other than feel and act.
No, wait. I had the time, but thinking wasn't going to do me any good in this situation.
These days, the Holy Spirit of God is teaching me to listen to His Inner Witness. The Inner Witness is the place where the Breath of God, His Spirit, touches and meets my intuition. Speaks into my soul, into my gut.
To overthink is to ignore the Spirit of God and His whisperings to me.
So I didn't think. Or I tried not to.
I just felt the movement of the Spirit. And I moved outward in response to that.
And now I am standing back and looking at myself in the mirror, and I am shocked at what I see.
Where there once was a girl's body, now I see a woman in its place.
My hair looks super good today, and that's kind of shocking, too, but the most surprising thing is that I still look the same as I did this morning, but I know I am an entirely different person than the one that got out of my bed at an ungodly hour.
God spoke and I moved.
Y'all, I'm pretty traditional. I'm nervous about breaking what I think is the norm. I'm worried about being too much, being not enough, being all the things but not what people want me to be.
I err on the side of nice, of please don't hurt me, of I don't want to step on anyone's toes.
But today I did something that Past Me believed was unthinkable. It was totally incongruent with who I am.
Who I was.
Who I've been.
The changes happen so slowly, so subtly that you hardly know you're any different.
You wake up and go about your very ordinary day and then, out of nowhere, you surprise yourself.
In the moment, you go, "Yeah, sure, I'm gonna do the things."
And then you do the things, and you step back for a moment.
And your eyes get wide.
And you have a sort of out-of-body experience, staring at yourself from both outside and within your skin at the same time.
And you realize:
Look at what the Lord has done for me.
Y'all, Jesus has made me brave.
And never in a million years did I think that would be true of me.
Look at what the Lord has done.
This is my Adventure, and He has made me brave.
Title photo by George Cole.