Saturday, February 11, 2017

S h a d o w s

When I was a little girl I was terrified of shadows. 

Not just any shadow though, it was my own. My parents tell me I would turn around and see this giant scary gray thing and I would run away and cry.

I would cry because no matter how far I ran... the shadow seemed to become bigger and would never stop chasing me. 

I was too little to understand that there was simply nothing there... but a shadow cast from my own body.

Sometimes I think I'm still afraid of my own shadow. 

Not literally... but all of my fears become a shadow that I'm constantly trying to run away from.  

Isn't it funny how we grow up... but the fears never leave? They just change and become different things. 

I wonder what would happen if one day we actually turned around to face the shadow and walk towards it instead of run away.

We'd see it would become smaller... and that it's not real.

The shadow I feared for the longest time only seemed like a giant because I kept running from it. 

But once I got closer, I saw that I actually made it bigger than it was. 

The moment we realize that the giant shadows are created from us running from them... we'll have the courage to turn around and finally face them. 

And slowly but surely step by step, we'll come to know that we ourselves are bigger than any shadows we cast. 

Take the first step and turn around, face your shadows... they only seem bigger from far away.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Prisoner Set Free


"P-R-I-S-O-N-O-R… Prisoner."

Silence.

I shuffled around in my floral skirt, matching green top and Birkenstock clogs… trying to stand still as the beaming light from the auditorium hit my face.

It was the 6th grade Spelling Bee at my school. And to my surprise, I had actually made it through a few rounds.

This year had been a rough one though.

Being the new kid at school while undergoing the shrek meets limited too/i wear glitter with everything phase ------ brought some serious insecurities. (I was a little harsh on myself, we all have moments).

And this little bit of spotlight couldn't have made it any better.

I could see the judges flipping through their books and whispering to each other as if a court ruling was about to be made. That single moment seemed to never end, as I was in agony up on stage in front of my whole school.

"I'm sorry, that's incorrect."

My heart sank. My feet began to move me to the right of the stage before I even knew I was walking.

Don't fall and make an even bigger fool out of yourself now Barbara.

I saw my mom from afar sitting in the rows, but I quickly took a seat next to a friend, now deemed the loser section.

"Hey good job up there…"

I couldn't look at her. My eyes had already began to betray me, as my face turned hot and tears streamed out the side of my eyes.

Not now, not now… Barbara don't cry.

Too late.

"Hey are you crying?"

Ugh.

I denied it. I threw some lame excuse about my allergies being in that gymnasium, or something like that. I couldn't even admit it.

I never forgot that day as much as I tried to. And that word stayed etched in my mind as the word that disqualified me from moving forward.

And yet I find it funny that it happened to be the word Prisoner.

As I grew up and went to high school, I still found that word followed me around.

It was as if it knew that somehow it became part of who I was.

I was the quiet girl.

Don't draw attention to yourself, because you might say something stupid and they'll think you're weird. Don't speak up. Stay in that little box and you'll be just fine.

But something inside of me always pushed back harder, as if to remind me hey this isn't who you are, you're more than this.

Most people know the story of Moses, he was brave and led his people out of Egypt.

Not many people know that he struggled with himself and God about his insecurities. But I love that God calls and tells Moses who he is before he even knows it himself.

Moses rambles on to give excuses why he isn't the right guy for this mission.

// O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and slow of tongue.// Exodus 4:10

But God wasn't having any of it.

// Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.// Exodus 4:11-12

The Lord knew who he made Moses to be and what he would be capable of. All he had to do was grab the rod and trust God had it all covered.

God didn't disqualify me from my future because of my past weaknesses and insecurities… He qualified me in spite of those weaknesses because I belong to Him.

And He says the same to you.
 

Once we trust the One that already knows who we are, we'll realize we no longer have to be prisoners to our fears, doubts, or anything else whispering us lies.

And then we can finally be set free to become who we were meant to be all along.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

On Borrowed Time

photos: lumiereandlove.com
Life is comprised of fleeting moments. And yet I can't help but think of the possibility that every moment can hold. 

I was driving home the other day, clutching the wheel, exasperated from a day that seemed to be way too long. I caught myself thinking... 

This is it... I guess a day like today is what my life looks like. Is this all there is? God are you there?

As many times as I've heard it said and tried to convince myself that one day isn't your entire life... I just couldn't shake the feeling. It hit me hard, and I just didn't feel like giving myself the pep talk. 

But a random thought crossed my mind as I mumbled to myself.  

You have one. 

One what? One purpose? One job?

You have one life. What you are you going to do with it?

It came rushing in like a sting after a sudden blow to the face. 

This life, however it may look today, tomorrow and every day that has taken place is mine... the clock doesn't stop. And this is my only shot at it. 

One shot to try again.

One shot to get so worn down, fail, fail, and fail again... but get up again anyway. 

One shot to share with the world what's inside this mind and heart of mine. 

One shot to show God's love to others and what He did for me.

One shot to love. 

So what is it that is stopping me then? Why is it that this darn fear is so gripping that it stops me from moving forward?




Is fear powerful?

No doubt about it. But I realize that fear is something that begins in the mind. And anything that starts in the mind can be controlled and overcome.

I don't want to miss out on any moment I could use in my life. Even if it seems mundane or ordinary. 

If this is my one shot at life ... I want to make sure I soak in every failure, idea, talk... every opportunity I get so that I can turn it into something I can use. 

Someone once said Your life will stay the same... unless you take action and change something in it.

We are all on borrowed time. Here for a distinct reason even if we don't see it yet. Mine may look totally different from yours.

But I wholeheartedly believe that every single person that was placed here, has a unique purpose, born at the perfect time... with an amount of time to complete it. 

The question is... will we ultimately choose to follow it or not?

I'll end with this thought. I hope that we all choose to find the courage within us to overcome any fears that may stumble us along the way.