Quick catch-you-up: I started college. It’s pretty awesome. So are you.
My fear of math is gone (and so are my stomach ulcers from calculus, for those of you who have faithfully read my blog). I dropped Spanish upon realizing I love English for a reason. I am taking seventeen hours, working two jobs, and I honestly haven’t been this happy in a long time.
But public speaking left me in tears.
The second class we were to do an introduction speech.
I jot down a few facts about myself between classes and walk into the classroom feeling confident that I can adequately introduce myself.
We have a few sentences to tell who we are. To tell people where we’ve been, what makes us who we are. You kidding me?!
I do my best to only hit the highlights of what makes my heart beat and what makes my dreams so big that they keep me up at night.
Each person stands and does the same. Some keep it surface-level; others open up a little.
Then it is Her turn. She is beautiful, but not the kind of beautiful that makes the front of Vogue–or even Seventeen. She wears scars and pain. She stands. Her brown skin and bright eyes announce her turn.
She introduces herself. “I don’t really know anything interesting about myself, and this may be a little inappropriate, but I can roll an awesome blunt one-handed while driving.”
Some of the eyes around the room opened with shock. Other people smirked.
“And when I was little my mom wouldn’t let me get my ears pierced. When I turned 16 I got my cheeks pierced as a BIG EFFF YOU to her.”
By this point most people are laughing and smiling, as if to say without words, YOU GO GIRL!
Be you. Do your own thing, and be proud.
Honey, you’re a rock star in my book. If only I had that kind of guts.
Everything in me cringed. Not because I am better than her. Not because she is proudly proclaiming an illegal act or an act of rebellion against her own mother.
No, not at all.
I cringe then, and end up crying big ole alligator tears later. That beautiful, bold girl is not so brave. She’s broken.
Her identity is not in Jesus. And that should break those of us who are believers.
It was also a moment of conviction for me. As much as I pray for the lost to come alive in Christ, I sit right beside spiritually dead people every.single.day and am not broken by it.
It took someone (in a follower of Christ’s perspective) basically crying out that she is lost for me to snap out of my day-to-day routine and decide right then and there to love on Her. To pray for Her. To continue to live a life that shows I am far from perfect, but I am saved by a perfect Prince of Peace, who died to know Her.
I am blessed to be able to learn about wonderful things like macroeconomics and how to deliver a pretty decent speech. But if that’s all college is about to me, I am in the wrong place. My heart is also in the wrong place.
No, college, and every other place I go and every place my feet happened to be planted at that moment, is a big ole chance for me to let others see Christ. To make His name famous.
I want the nations to know. I want this nation to know. I want my town, my beautiful little place I call home, to know. And I want you to know. I want Her to know.
I want Her to know that life is short. And it’s messy and beautiful and full of broken promises and temptations.
I want Her to know that King Jesus is eternal. That He is spotless and pure, having faced every temptation and never sinned. He keeps promises.
Baby girl, don’t find comfort in this world. I want to write it on my hands and fill up every corner of every page with it. I want it be what I am about. What makes my heart beat and what makes my dreams so big they keep me awake at night.
I want you to know that. I want you to know how it feels to be free of the burden of sin, because I know all too well what a burden it is.
If there is anything I want to tell Her, it is of my Lord. The one true God. Because I can tell Her that it sucks that people have hurt her. I can tell Her that she is oh so beautiful. But none of it matters if she doesn’t know Her Creator. Because even grudges won’t last forever, and looks fade.
If ever there was a time that I realized how important preaching the Gospel to yourself daily is, it was that day. In public speaking, watching Her lay out pieces of herself for us to hold for a minute.
Sometimes we are not so blessed to have it so obviously revealed to us, but we know broken, lost people. Let us love them with every beat of our heart, and never stop showing them that Christ is worthy. May we have in us a renewed heart for the lost. May we remember that before we were believers, we were worse than bad–we were dead.
Thank you, Lord, that I have found life in You. Thank you for tear-filled car rides after Public Speaking. Thank you for Her. Thank you for wake-up calls, and countless chances to show the world who you are and what you have done.