So I came outside to lie on a blanket to write, spread out over the cool summer grass. I was slowly rocking back and forth on the porch swing, and words started flooding in. It’s usually like that.
I find myself fascinated by all the things that make summer surreal. The mocking jay, the katydids, and locusts, butterflies and dragonflies. The grass so green, it seems I’m wrapped up tightly in life’s cocoon. Rain seems to bubble up from the ground like an aquifer.
The sun loves me, plays sensually on my skin and I let it. I blush red and hot, walk around like I’m unaware. But I like this succinct awareness I feel, of my own naked skin.
The warmth travels through my whole body and I’m on fire. I feel it in my innermost places. I walk a fine line of feeling so alive—ridiculous vivaciousness—and keeping my feet planted on the ground. But I’ll never give up my wings.
I don’t feel I fit, so I feel I have to explain to people—I’m a renegade. The most important thing to me is honesty. It’s important to me that I don’t compromise who I am to please others. If I don’t have my integrity, my purpose is lost.
Many times, in many different situations—whether a Christian conference or retreat, or at church, or at educational co-ops when my kids were homeschooled—I have often struggled with feeling I belonged. I have a hard time believing people get me. My ways of knowing God don’t seem to exist within the confines of traditional pews and assigned seats on a Sunday morning.
I am the girl with the spiked hair, I wear short blue jean shorts over my swim suit and I want a tattoo and I do think about surgery after nursing four babies and my body could not quite hold up to it. I was scolded by a friend for these things. But I think God has as much of an opinion about surgery as He does about whether I eat vanilla or chocolate ice cream or whether I decide to go with a Paleo diet or Vegetarian diet. Paul did tell us that it is not about whether we eat meat or we don’t eat meat—do all that we do as unto the Lord.
So I take these words literally to mean that the outside things don’t matter to God. Let’s stop and think about that. What do we do with this knowledge? When we run into a new girl at church covered in tattoos, will we avoid her because we feel awkward, assuming there’s no common ground? Will we match straight up to her and in our best Sunday morning hallelujah voice invite her to keep coming to service and let her know when the recovery services are held? Or will we recognize that regardless of her tattoos and rough edges, she’s got a heart just like us? If you see me out and about–please–just treat me like a normal human being. And I hope I do the same for you.
I’m living my life audaciously as the unique person God created me to be. We need to not judge the misfits. Perhaps they are the only ones being 100 percent honest. Feeling judged and shunned is what led me away from the church and what has caused me to be isolated. But I still know God.
I feel God here—when I feel most alive in the earth—when I’m being true to my rebel nature and testing the elements—then I know for sure God exists. When I feel light causing my skin to tingle. And I sense His protection and that He’s wooing me and taking care of me as a husband does. And then when the ground is drenched and sloshes half-way up my winter clogs, and the tiny buds on Sand Plum trees finally burst into bloom and I see mother blue jays attending their nests so faithfully, then I sense the female side of God, the side that nurtures and gathers under her wing.
I have written about Jesus meeting me in some unnamed field. Perhaps this place I’m at with God is unmarked, unnamed, not special. But I have felt the breath and I have seen the visible evidence of God’s stirrings. So I will mark it –with something. I know not yet what that will be. Perhaps there will be a memory and a name seared on my heart forever at the end of it all—The Years I Found My Own Walk with God.
Nacole is a non-conformist, artist, day-dreamer, and fashion-loving southern mom of four girls, lover to one good, steady, car-building, art-creating man. They call home the Deep South, where she spends weekends with books in the hammock, running around the lake, or roasting marshmallows over a bonfire with her kids. Honest to a fault, and preferring deep conversations to small talk, she speaks straight to the elephant in the room. A lover of the hurting , the shunned, and the un-churched, she’s convinced Jesus was serious when he said he came for the sick. Stuffing the sacred just doesn’t cut it, so her words often edge toward the radical, the raw, and the real. This is holy ground, and you are invited in. Stop by to visit with Nacole on her blog, Six in the Hickory Sticks or on her Writer Facebook page.