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."


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?"


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.