Monday, April 21, 2014

On Which We Stand

Stand Up Straight Don't SlouchMy precious children,

There is something I've never quite learned how to do that I hope you always do well. It's something that is easy for many people, or at least seems to be. It's something that comes naturally for some, while others have to work at it, but I'm reminded of my inability to do it well each time I hear three simple words, and I've been told those words more times in my life than I can count. No matter how often I hear them, I am always taken aback.

But I AM standing up straight, I always think. What do you mean?

But I'm not. I'm often slouching, and although I've tried hard to correct it over the years, it's too difficult to constantly be conscious of it, and that's what it takes for me – to be continually aware of it so I can force my shoulders back into an acceptable posture, one that proves I have it all together, just like I'm supposed to.

Some of us wear our hurts in a much more visible way than others. We are overweight because we eat to fill the void. We are too thin because of years of internal struggles. Our eyes are bloodshot from all of the stress. Our shoulders droop because we are weary.

Some of us are better at hiding all of it. But none of us escapes it.
I wish I could tell you that life will always go exactly how you had planned, that all your dreams will come true, that you will never make mistakes, that no one will ever hurt you. But I can't tell you any of that because the opposite is pretty much guaranteed, no matter how hard it is for you to believe that right now.

You are safe when you are in Mommy's arms, you are protected in Daddy's embrace, and your tiny world is so innocent, as innocent as it will ever be, and oh how I wish that could always be so.

The truth is some days will be hard. Some days will be so easy that you'll try to remember what you were even complaining about before. And most days you'll probably feel a little out of place in this world.

The key to making it through every type of day that you face lies in those three words: stand up straight. Stand up for what's right and good and pure and true, and stand up proudly. Look the world in the eye because you are worth far more than it tells you that you are.

You will not be liked – or loved – by everyone. It doesn't matter how nice you are, how pretty, how funny, how smart. There will always be someone who doesn't like what you stand for and decide that you are not worthy. But you are worthy. You are worthy in a way that you may never fully comprehend.
On Christ The Solid Rock
You can't control everything, but the good news is no one can. The even greater news is that your joy is not dependent upon your circumstances. It's always possible to hold your head up, even when you feel as though there is something impossible weighing it down.

It is because these things are true that is precisely why you should heed the advice of those three words. Your life matters. It has purpose. It has meaning. Remember that and lift your chin when someone tells you differently.

It has always been tempting to me to try to hide, for fear that someone might find a flaw, but I've also seen the hope that can be found in those flaws. I've seen the good that comes from being real. It makes all the difference in the world when you know who you are and on what you stand. So yes, dear kids, stand up straight, stand up tall, but more importantly, stand on solid ground.

Make sure it's a rock that's holding you up.