Be you, bravely.
I pulled packing tape over the last of the boxes and hugged the last of our lingering friends. I shuffled my feet in the dusty doorframe of our first home, listening to the hardwood floors creak for the last time, mentally filing away three years worth of memories as I shut the door.
Moving is sad and happy and exciting and nerve-wracking and exhilarating and all the things, isn’t it? We were leaving an incredible community of close-knit friends, ready to place our feet on the path God was paving in ministry.
I moved states twice in my middle school and high school years, so transition didn’t worry me. Leaving besties didn’t worry me. Potentially meeting mean girls didn’t even worry me.
But when I stepped foot into that church hall, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of women who all knew each other.
My face grew hot as I stood frozen in the doorway, glancing around, looking for a familiar face, a momentary lapse in remembering that I was the new girl.
But these weren’t girls I was playing with. I was standing on a whole new field and this was the big leagues — women who toted around four kids and cooked gluten-free egg casseroles and still managed to straighten their hair and show up early for car pool.
I suddenly wished I could blend in, that I could slather myself in camouflage or at least sneak out the back door.
Why did I agree to come to this group?
I’m now in my third year of attending our community’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) program. And every Tuesday morning that we meet to hold each other’s babies and eat breakfast and do life together, I remember my first experience. I remember that girl who didn’t know anyone and most definitely didn’t feel brave.
This year’s theme? Be you bravely.
I’m learning. I’m learning what it looks like to be Kayla bravely. I’m learning that what makes me wonderful might not be what makes other women wonderful, and that’s okay. Great, even.
I’m in my second year of being a discussion group leader, and I’m learning that we’re so much better together. I’m learning that each one of those women I thought I had pegged have amazingly unique stories and perspectives and gifts and talents. And I’m learning to embrace the unique gifts and qualities that God has given me, too. I’m learning that there’s room at the table for all of us.
I’m learning that there’s heaping amounts of freedom in letting go of the self-doubt and the judgmental holds on my heart to make room for the beauty God is creating. I’m learning that He is doing a new thing and there’s freedom in embracing the woman that God has created me to be. I’m learning to embrace that I am made in the image of God.
Imago dei in me. Imago dei in you. Imago dei in formula-feeding mommies and nursing mamas and the yoga-pant-clad crew and the women who love high heels.
Imago dei. That makes me brave.
What would it take for you to start living free and be you, bravely?
This part of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here.