Day 60-Something: This is Who I Am

After climbing Machu Picchu this March. This may look cool, but I really was just airing my armpits...


I so didn't want to write this.

I've been fighting this post for at least a week. Mostly out of fear...and maybe wanting to hide. But if I'm being totally honest, this post has been a long time coming and for whatever reason, today I have enough gusto to share it.

The other day I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with a new friend. We'd only ever met in passing prior to the yummy hipster food hour that commenced but we share a mutual friend whom we both love, and long story short, this mutual friend shared this here blog and the rest is history.

Between laughs and kindred-spirit-moments she asked it.

" are you doing this thing? ... I mean, do you struggle? Do you wrestle with 'what ifs'?"



Yes to it all.

This past month has been a whirlwind of emotion, temptation and questioning my decision.

A whole year? 10 more months of saying no to dating someone? Did I make a mistake? He seems perfect now, what was I thinking! I lost my chance! What if I meet the man of my dreams and he walks away? What if he gives up on me when he finds out I've dedicated the next year of my life to reclaiming who I am and loving God and my myself and learning what I want to do in this world because I want to live for something greater??!

And. And! Of course I'd meet the most gorgeous man alive in month two who tells me I'm pretty and makes me instantaneously combust with happiness...and dread...because then I think about these 10 months again.

As I write this, I can already begin to see the ridiculousness of the worries I have harbored.

...welcome to my creative mind...

It is amazing the power lies from the enemy (and our society) have on us in the dark until we expose them to the light.

Writing this. Exposing it to the light...felt like the end-all worst thing to me over the last two weeks.

I've wrestled with ways to make this post private...or not post at all and write about the llamas I befriended in Peru instead, but I just couldn't do it. I've suffered major writers block...and it's because THIS is what I needed to share. This is what the Lord has on my heart. This is what is authentic and needed and good and unflinchingly raw...but I was afraid because...what if he/she/they read this and thinks I'm...[enter an adjective for strange/weird/crazy here.]

But, this is me.

And if it is one thing I've learned, its that we can no longer change our stories to suit someone else's need.

Sometimes I hide the fact that I love God...because I've wrestled with feeling ashamed of it. People don't always like you, or understand you. I've been the focal point of jokes. I've been forgotten. Rejected. Dismissed. Sometimes it seems like loving and obeying God keeps me from fitting in or getting what it is I think I want...and that...just hurts.

Evil loves this kind of stuff.

The stuff that can get us in a tizzy hating on ourselves and contemplating giving up and hiding in the shadows. This month has felt like the enemy and his minions are somewhere creating little man-bolts of distraction and lies to hurl my way. "Hurry! Hurry! We're losing her! Throw her that one! She won't be able to resist tall, dark and handsome!!! She can't possibly believe she's worth it!"

And those little jerks are right...kind of.

Because I haven't been perfect in this.

I may not be "dating" anyone but I can assure you that I've allowed my heart to get caught up in moments of infatuation or worry about it. Whether its been a call, a text, a special look, an ongoing conversation...or waiting. and waiting. and waiting for someone to respond to a message, I've given myself

my self-worth

my thoughts

my time

my attention

momentarily to story that is not about me and is not mine.

You see. When our hearts get caught up in our own plans and conjured narratives, we miss what is real. We miss the beauty that exists all around us both inside and out. We miss our good through the speckles of bad that can (and have been) wiped clean.

A woman I admire sent me a message the other day. This woman is a long-time, incredible friend who loves God. She is also the type of friend you just listen to because she is wise and hears from the Lord in crazy-cool ways. (She also once had a dream about me getting married so I automatically elevate her to prophet status in my life...)

Her message read, "I was reading Proverbs 4:25 and I thought of you and your year ahead. Hold steadfast, Steph. You won't regret it."


In the middle of my battle, in the most perfect annoying of timing, God used her to say this:

25 "Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you."

...and it continues:

26 "Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways. 

27  Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil."

What a dagger of sweet, beautiful conviction. I'd been momentarily diverted; caught looking back instead of ahead.

I'm learning that I still place much too much emphasis on what others think of me. I'm learning that I still struggle to trust that God has good for me, that I am not forgotten. That I cannot "mess" this up. That I am worth waiting for should someone come along...and if no one comes...I'm still worthy. And loved. I'm also learning how easily I can be deceived and distracted to curtail myself to fit a different narrative.

But. I'm also learning to fight.

I'm learning to look Satan in the face and say, "Not today!"

We are will never be perfect, but we can perfect the ways we allow ourselves to think about ourselves, our stories and our God. And this, this will affect our actions and reactions to every situation, temptation and story we encounter.

My prayer is that this somehow encourages you in your walk wherever you find yourself.

Maybe you're struggling to find new friends in a new city and it seems like no one likes you or cares. Maybe you hate the way you look. Maybe she broke your heart. Maybe he won't return your calls. Maybe you've lost someone, or a job. Maybe your kids are driving you up the wall and all you can think about is life before they entered yours.

I don't know your story or your struggles or the lies you tell yourself.

But I can tell you that the enemy is not creative. He uses the same stupid pick-up lines on each of us ...and we eat them up!

Where in your life do you need to give yourself the gift of grace and forgiveness for all the crap you've been believing...or delivering to others? What are your man-bolts, how do they cause you to look back instead of ahead? Stay strong, push ahead.

And if you don't believe in God, my prayer is that you would take a step...even if that step is solely to reflect on your current life narrative. What do you think about yourself? Do you see yourself as loved and worthy?

Because. You are.



  1. Brennen Manning once said "there is more power in sharing your weaknesses than your strengths." Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. Thanks Steph for being courageous enough to write this. So awesome to have those friends like that one in your blog to inspire you!

    Remember - our worth is found in God, our identity in Christ. You are wonderfully and fearfully made (psalm 139: 14)

    Keep up the great work and keep putting God first :) proud of you!

    Looking forward to your next post :)

    God bless,