I caught myself with the worst back ache after being slumped over for nearly an hour long conversation with a friend. I hadn't paid much attention to it until that moment, I honestly didn't even know I had hunched myself over in my chair until my spine tightened itself so much that I couldn't even stand straight when we parted ways.
This wasn't the first time. I do this to myself All. The. Time.
Why you might ask? Well this five foot nine amazon woman gets a little tired of towering over people while talking to the top of other people's heads, or giving the always awkward maternal hugs good-bye as friends rest their head on my shoulder. It's not like I am even six foot, but when wearing heels to proms became taboo and I was shoved in the back line for one too many group pictures, I realized that I was "tall enough".
Tall enough to make people uncomfortable, tall enough to stand out in a crowd, tall enough to block whatever is happening in front of me, and tall enough to get asked by perfect strangers what position I played in volleyball or basketball during high school when really I have two left hands and was rejected by every team.
This is why I slouch people. Because it is just easier that way.
It is easier for me to curl myself into an average posture than to deal with what it takes to be the tall girl.
But that morning I felt a stirring in my heart that I had been doing this in more ways than just this one. I have been shrinking myself down for years, in every area, and God was challenging me to stand tall. Despite if it fits everyone's comfort level or not.
Because I have Jesus - an unconditionally loving, always forgiving, way making, Jesus - who I am passionate about sharing with anyone who walks the earth because He is the only one who offers any resemblance of hope.
And I have a voice - a loud, booming, deep as your father, voice - but I was always afraid to speak up for fear that it would be too overwhelming or my message wouldn't be well received.
And I have dreams - big, mountain moving, dreams - but sharing them meant trying to get the attention of men who have ideas of their own and aren't used to letting a woman lead.
And I have heels - tall, beautiful, probably found at Ross, heels - that I want to wear but fear that other girls may see me coming a mile away and get the wrong impression about my motives or character because a girl in heels must mean that she walks with her nose in the air and not just that she loves fashion. I think I read that somewhere.
I have been afraid to stand tall. Afraid to reach my fullest potential, because someone might misunderstand, or be envious, or reject me. But I am done with that. Because my back hurts.
And so do many other parts of my life because it hurts to shrink yourself back into what is acceptable by other people's standards.
Was it not written, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."
I have a feeling that Joseph understood this as it went against every natural bone in his body to continue to dream that God would use him in any great capacity. How dare he believe God could choose him, right? How dare he believe that he was chosen to rise head and shoulders above the rest and LEAD an entire nation?
But he continued - despite ridicule and misunderstandings and envy and false accusations and betrayal and hurt. He stood tall despite being given every reason to fall back... so what is your reason? What is keeping you from lifting your head and embracing every terrifying dream and thinking "why not me"?
We were born to rise to great heights.
Born to stand out. Born to turn the world upside down. This is what we were created to be and do. So let's give up standing "tall-ish" with our less than honorable habits, people pleasing actions, and self-depraving words. Let's rise to the occasion and live "worthy of our callings". Because our generation is desparately searching for the next Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to do away with comfortable and acceptable and stand up. They need your boldness and strength. They need to know there is hope and purpose for their life.
They need Jesus.
So stand up.
Hebrews 10:37-39 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.