For Mom and Becky.

I was on the phone the other day.

Walk tall, my mama said.

It's been playing in my head like a soundtrack.

Walk tall.

Walk tall, because this is who you are.

Because you will not apologize.

Because who cares, really.

You want desperately to be loved and to be wanted. You want it with the strength of your limbs and your heart and the unshed tears that you're afraid to cry.

What happens when we can no longer hold back the longings of our hearts?

What happens when we say yes to feeling them?

What happens when we say Okay and walk into vulnerability?

It may seem like walking into hopelessness. 

But I will not be cowed.

I will walk with my eyes forward and with breath in my lungs and with all the force of who it is that I am.

I will be shameless.

I am 63 inches tall, and each fiber of my body will own who she is and will not make apologies.

I will not shove my personhood in your face like I'm selling something to you.

Really, if I have to sell myself, then maybe I need to reevaluate some relationships.

But I will also not back down.

Here I am, with all my emotions and stubbornness, with the endless singing and the chattiness and the castles in the sky and the five different kinds of laughter and the pain and the anger and the questions and the shame I want to get rid of and all my sleepless nights and all my desperate fear that I am alone, after all.

Except I'm not.

And it is because of that that I can walk into the world with my head held high.

Because the radiance of God is in me, and He has made me, and He loves me. Not in spite of, nor because of, my failings. But simply because He does.

Let's be a little brave today.

Walk tall, darling.

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