growing up i heard my mom say to me “stand up straight” more than i heard her say anything else. my grandmother used to poke her hand in my back as an emphatic reminder to “stand up straight.” for whatever reason, i’ve never been known for my impeccable posture. i’ve always had a habit of slumping and slouching. not with any particular intention, it’s just how i carried myself.
the theme of my standing up straight always seems to come back around. i’ve been reminded on several occasions by the prominent voices in my life to stand up. stop slouching. carry yourself upright. head high. shoulders back. confident and unashamed. stand up straight.
easier said than done.
last night at church a spiritual papa came and put his arms around me. he remarked at how confidently i’ve been walking for the past several months but that he’s seen me begin to slouch and slump again. the ever familiar curve in my back had returned. he reminded me that sometimes we have to carry ourselves unto faith. “walk as if you know who you are,” he said. head high.
shoulders back. confident and unashamed. stand up straight.
through tears i rose and stood up a little taller. in about two minutes i realized just how uncomfortable i was. my back was hurting. my knees were going weak. “this is not normal,” i thought to myself. “this hurts.” and the holy spirit smacked me across the head with a revelation that sometimes becoming who you already are hurts. choosing to stand in the place of your god-given identity isn’t always easy. and it’s definitely not comfortable. it takes a lot of discipline and work to form the habits that make you into the person you are. i don’t know about you, but i’m not always a fan of things like discipline and hard work.
the last several weeks and months have brought circumstances that have made it difficult for me to stand up straight, tall and confident. i haven’t always done a great job of standing on the word from the lord. i’ve been too wavered by the opinions of the people i trust and admire. i’ve been shaky in my resolve, allowing my circumstances to determine my attitude. my posture towards the lord has been one based not on faith, but on the feeling of the moment. and little by little i’ve sunk lower and lower into an identity that isn’t actually mine to wear : slouched. slumped. cowered and ashamed.
but, thank you jesus that we always get to try again. we always get the choice to stand up taller and walk as if we know who we are. i’m choosing to stand straighter today. head high. shoulders back. confident and unashamed. it’s still uncomfortable. but it feels more right.