Maybe it was a combination of the sunshine and the air, or the beautiful Instagram account I had just happened upon.

I swear to you that everyone takes better Instagram photos than I do.

But I was sitting at my desk at work, and my service captain was next to me, and the full golden sunshine was lighting up my hair, and I was crying silently.


I am a creator, I know, and I am not creating.

Well, I hardly am. I am simply working. But there's a part of me that dies when that becomes the case.

And I realized that as I was looking at this beautiful Instagram account.

And then my friend Chris texted me about all the emotions he had had when he moved to Texas to come to graduate school at Tech. And it was so different from all the things I am experiencing now that I just couldn't take it.

I told my mom the other day that I've been needing to cry for days -- for DAYS -- and I just couldn't. I never had time or energy or ability to let it out.

Emily P. Freeman, one of my favorite authors, says that we need to pay attention to what makes us cry.  It's a clue to our hearts and souls.


I am tempted to edit this, but then I remind myself I'm in creating mode right now. Child mode. This is time for Artist Sara, Child Sara to play. This is where five-year-old me comes out to play, to write, to be precocious. This is where thirteen-year-old, eighth-grade me emerges from her timid shell to daydream about myth.

Yeah, when I was in eighth grade, I was just discovering my deep, abiding love of scholarship. Of Roman and Greek myth. I remember that in Latin class we were translating an abridgment of the Aeneid. We read The Odyssey in its entirety, The Iliad in sections. In recent months I've been dying to reread Homer's classics again, to actually dive into Virgil for the first time -- real Virgil.

It's recently that I've learned that Scholar Me is an active and living part of my soul. Part of my inner Artist.

Thirteen-year-old Sara, serious and with braces, but with hair just as long as mine is now -- oh, gosh, I look at her and I smile.

It's been almost ten years. I'll be 23 this year.

Twenty-three, y'all. My poor mama can't handle it.

I look at thirteen-year-old Sara and I grin. Because she really had no idea what was coming to her.

This was the year she fell in love with Story. This was the year that I look back on and -- even though I didn't know it then, that's when I knew I was a scholar.

That's when I knew I was an academic. That's when I knew that learning fed me.

That's when I knew I could be a classicist, a medievalist. I could be the best logician and debater I knew how to be.

Classical education did something to my soul, man.

And I believe that's a part of my art.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, a sweet, dear friend who has loved me through much and has been such an encouragement in my walk with Jesus. And I told her that all my life, the way God has talked to be has been through Story and Words.

And Adventure, of course. But I didn't know that at the time.

There's something in Epic and in the art thereof that simply lights me up like a little Christmas tree. But with white lights, y'all, not the multicolored ones (let's not get crazy).

I look at eighth-grade Sara, and I want to invite her in, too.

I want to open her hands. Because eighth-grade Sara was SO NERVOUS, holy God.

She was so afraid nobody would like her. She hid behind her books.

And who's to say I don't do that still?

She would be intimidated by me now, but she would wish she WAS me. She would want to BE me.

Well, honey girl, you're in luck. Because this is your future in ten years.

I just want to hold her hands and get her to tilt her chin up a little bit and ask her to laugh a little more.

That was probably the most uptight I've ever been, but I look back on that and that's not what I remember from that period of my life.

What I remember is the love of learning and the way I was a little academic, in my navy skirt and high white socks. What I remember is the enchantment with which I viewed the myths and epics we studied.

There's something about being a scholar that is part of being an artist.

And I don't know how, but I know it is the case.

It's a part of me that I've been denying during the time I was a music major.

There's a component of being a music major -- a music performance major -- that denies the fact that you are anything else. You aren't allowed to be anything else. You are relegated to one thing and one thing only and that is your thing. You almost aren't allowed to have other interests.

Also, there's a stigma that performers are stupid. Especially singers.

I beg your ever-loving pardon.


We are one whole person. We are not simply who we are now, nor are we defined by our mistakes. Nor does our future have to daunt us.

We do not have to be who we were before.


That's something that's been on my mind recently: We do not have to be who we were before.

We can be all new people.

Adventure makes it so. It's like being tossed into a river, a small stone, and being carried deeply away. We are picked up hundreds of miles away from where we started.

Smooth. Polished. New.

No one would recognize us. The journey has changed us. We've been drinking Ent-draughts. We've grown.

And yet -- here we are.


We do not have to be who we were before.

The seeds were always there.


We were always going to be this thing. it was in our DNA.

But we do not have to be who we were before.

There's a Reliant K song that says "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been," It was my favorite song of theirs back in the day; I think it still is.

We do not have to stay the same. We can change, we can grow. Sure, who we are was known by God, and He always knew who we would be. But we don't have to be what our old life says we must.

We don't have to.

We can change.

We can grow, be polished, be refined, be smoothed.

We can grow like hobbits drinking enchanted mead, enchanted water; like flowers who have felt the magical silver rain fall upon their petals; like trees who were once saplings but always knew they didn't have to stay that way.

We do not have to be who we were before.

Or who everything and everything thought we should be.

Spoiler alert: We do not have to be what we thought we would, either.

We are free.

We are free to go back to our roots, free to move forward and upward and outward in ways we never guessed we would.

That's where I'm at right now.

That's where I find myself.

In a land that is nothing like what I would have expected.

And yet.

Here. I. Am.

And I can be both the little academic I always knew I was, and the musician I've been for the last five years, and then something else altogether, entirely.

Because I am more than the sum of my parts.

And I do not have to be who I was before.

We are being made new. Into something we could never have dreamed.

Let's stop simply dreaming and start becoming the reality that we're rooted into.

For we are becoming greater than our dreams.