Originally published Monday, 16 January 2017.
I sang and danced and swirled and twirled. I had no care in the world. I paid no attention to my foot caught on the hem underfoot or my strap halfway down my young arm. None of that mattered. What mattered was that I felt alive, beautiful and one with creation.
What happened to that little girl?
The one who gave no care to her off-pitch high notes? The one who heard not catcalls of criticism, but simply her voice of freedom? The one who gave no merit to outside perceptions, but just God's wild affirmations? Somewhere along the line, she got buried.
It's always easy to blame others, "They broke me."
They broke me with pointed words, "What's wrong with you, Kelly? Wake up, you self-absorbed one."
They injured me in ways that people don't talk about over coffee.
They pointed out my big nose, loud voice and my bouffant hair.
They made it clear I was destined to be a loser.
In school, I remember things. We all had a papier-mâché project. You put a little something in your balloon, you'd shove in a little figure of sorts, then blow up the balloon. After that, you'd add doused paper on top - lots of doused paper. You cover that balloon right up, layer upon layer. The balloon got hard.
I am like that balloon - 3-inches covered by guilt and shame. You too?
"People stole care-free from me." I yell to God.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Ro. 12:2
God speaks to me,
"Kelly, you can relive the past in your mind
or you can renew your spirit with my mind, the mind of Christ?
Half of me is so accustomed to assigning other people blame for my pain. It's hard to turn away from a comfortable seat well worn. But, the other half of me realizes if I want to be new, if I want to get up and go, I've got to turn another direction. I want to believe it is well with my soul.
I close my eyes. Can I find her? The liberated, dancing singer?
I know she's under there, under the fortified covering of papier-mâché, somewhere...
God calls me friend.
God names me, daughter.
I am his love.
The very pursuit of his greatest affections.
A layer of paperweight peels off me...
He sees me, my beauty.
He writes my name on his hand.
He cuddles me in feathers.
He's my bodyguard, ever-protector, forevermore.
The balloon is seen again...
He leads me.
He unveils his master plan for me.
He tends to my soul.
He teaches and transforms,
molds and makes me,
The balloon pops...Bang!
And that little figure? The one tucked deep away, inside the covered balloon? It surfaces. I finally see it. Except there's one thing I notice, that strikes me - funny. The figure looks nothing like me. It looks like Jesus.
As I strip off the layers that cover me, I see - Jesus, the very power of God, living in me.
I find who I am, through the great I AM.
I release my potential through his power.
I reignite my passion as I draw from his paternal love.
I never needed people to approve me, but Christ to move in me.
But because of his great love for us, God,
who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions...(Eph. 2:4-5)
God brings me back to the heart of who I was created to be. What love, I loved, he loves. I see this when I realize I am alive with Christ.
When I grab his hand and let him take the lead, he leads me to still waters, to new hope and to a new dance that sings his glory.
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