Things are often about so much more than they appear on the surface,
so be careful about coming to a conclusion too quickly.

Tuesday, I posted this picture on social media with text that read, “Sometimes, on a Tuesday, you’re feeling bold and decide to go red and get a tattoo.”

My sweet friends on social media had so many kind things to say, but one comment struck me in particular. A friend commented that she’d wanted to get a nose ring for a long time, but worried how others might respond. She complimented me on being courageous enough to be myself.

She had no idea how meaningful that comment was, not because I was fishing for kind words, but because that nose ring was my own little silent revolution.

revolution

rev·​o·​lu·​tion \ ˌre-və-ˈlü-shən  \

2a: a sudden, radical, or complete change. …d: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something  (from merriam-webster.com)

A Story About A Nose Ring That Was About So Much More Than A Nose Ring

I had wanted to get my nose pierced for a while, but I was worried about what people would think and say. I serve in ministry, write, and speak. I’m also from the midwest and , in general, we midwesterners tend to be a bit more conservative. Not only that, but I have some very conservative church experience in my background.

But even more importantly than all of that, in my own journey with Jesus over the last nearly 20 years, I have moved from someone who followed the rules and expectations of religion out of a desire to be seen as “worthy of salvation” to someone who is focused on a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus and a healthy relationship with Christian community.

As I learned to let go of the rules and press into relationship, I also learned to let go of my need to people please. I gave up my need to find my validation through others, to conform, to earn acceptance, and to find my worth through the approval of others.

Instead, I learned to focus solely on my own personal relationship with Jesus and to put my worth only in who God says I am.  A thriving relationship with Christian community came as a result of knowing who Christ is and who I am in Him.

It’s been quite the ride.

Now, back to the nose ring. One day, on a road trip back home from visiting one of my very dearest friends and talking a lot about this journey I’ve been on, I stopped to get gas. 

As I pumped my gas, I gazed at the scenery around me. Across the street from the gas station and down the block a ways was a tattoo parlor.

When I saw it, my first thought was, “I should totally just stop in and get my nose pierced. I’ve always wanted to. Why not today?”

My next thought was, “What in the world would people say? What would they think? Is that even ok?”

That second set of thoughts bothered me because I feel like I’ve come so far, but I also know that it’s so easy to slide back in to old patterns of behavior.

So I went. Alone. To the tattoo parlor by the gas station in some random town between Franklin, TN and Jefferson City, MO.

It was my own little act of silent revolution against the lies I used to believe.

Remember, revolution means a fundamental change in the way you see or think about something. This nose ring is a visual reminder of the fundamental change that God made in my heart about the way I saw myself, Him, and others.

Sudden and radical are a part of the definition for revolution as well and seem to fit this story. I guess stopping and suddenly deciding to get a nose piercing is a little radical, but it didn’t feel that way.

It felt empowering, like owning my belief and taking a stand against this enemy of “people pleasing”.

I wanted to give myself a physical reminder that not everyone will approve of me and I don’t have to conform to make them, in fact, it’s not my job to try to control how they respond to me or whether they accept me.

Putting such a big value on that had suffocated me in my past.  I spent years of my life trying to follow the rules well enough and be good enough so that others would think my faith was genuine and would count me worthy.

By the grace of God I have moved past that into a healthy relationship with Jesus and with Christian community.

So, I pierced my nose.

It may sound silly, but it’s a constant confirmation that there is only one that I look to when determining my worth or the authenticity of my faith, and he looks so much deeper that what’s on the surface of a person. He sees my heart. He calls me worthy, beloved, chosen, redeemed, forgiven, daughter, friend, righteous, and clean. He is sanctifying me every day to make me more and more like Him, because He loves me.

This week I got a new tattoo. I love it. The same basic principle holds true. This tattoo is an outward display of what is in my heart. It’s an un erasable, permanent part of me that immediately tells everyone I’m a believer.

It shows that I am proud of the Jesus I love and that I won’t ever shy away from sharing Him with others.

Not everyone will love my nose ring or my tattoo. Not everyone will understand. But it’s not for everyone, it’s for me. It is another little silent revolution against lies I’ve believed and an altar I’ve set up on my path to remind me of truth.

***PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS MY journey. I’m not advocating for anyone to get a nose ring or a tattoo. I’m just sharing the story behind mine. 


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I just love new beginnings and fresh starts.  I love the opportunity to wipe the slate clean.  Today is the first day of a new month.  We are in a new season.  Change is in the air.

And I’m so ready for change.

My heart aches for it.  My soul longs for it.

I want to truly grasp Christ’s love for me and rest easy in my identity in Him.  I want His love to overcome all the muck that weighs me down.  I want to understand the character of God and trust in Him fully.  Just like the seasons are visibly changing, I want to see real, evident change in my heart and in my life.

Don’t you?

I’m a tough nut to crack though, and change doesn’t come easy for me.  I’ve learned that on my own, I tend to just make things a big ol’ mess, so I’ve come up with a plan.  This time, I’m turning to the one agent that always produces a truly changed heart and a changed life.

I’m turning to God’s word

I want to invite you to come along on this little journey of change with me.  I’m committing to reading and praying God’s word EVERY DAY during the month of October.  I’m going to let His word sink deep into my heart and pray that over myself and my circumstances.

I’m trusting in the power of His word to bring about a change in me.

Come with me.  Let’s walk this road together.

I’ve created a Facebook group here:  31 Days of Change Facebook Group

so that we can really walk through this together.  I’d love it if you would join me.

Change is in the air and it’s going to start with you and me.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 


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To the Woman Who Feels Alone,

On the outside things looks just fine.  No one knows the hurt that is constantly bubbling just under the surface.  No one understands just how hard you have to work to keep it hidden.  Your smile is firmly in place but your eyes show a tenderness that I recognize.

I see how you keep your friendships superficial so that people can’t get too close.  People seem safer at an arms’ reach, but I remember the loneliness that kind of distance creates.  It feels like it should be freeing to not have anyone really know you, but after a while the solitude begins to feel suffocating.

Maybe your business or your marriage or your dreams have failed.  Maybe you have some shameful secret that seems to be consuming you.  Maybe you are just desperately insecure and fearful.  Maybe you’ve been hurt one too many times in the past.  It could be a multitude of maybes.

Whatever the reason, you have been hiding behind a mask and it is wearing you out.

The loneliness and the hiding is exhausting.

It is time to shake off the shackles.  Don’t let them weigh you down anymore.  Shame and guilt have no power over you.  Insecurity and fear cannot hold you down.  You were not meant to carry that weight.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:1 “So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

No Condemnation.  None.

If you are a sinner saved by His boundless and abundant grace, you are no longer a slave to all of those old things that use to weigh so heavily of you.  You have complete freedom to live a life released from sin’s bondage. 

Come out of hiding. 

Live in the light.

1 John 1:7-9 CEB tells us “But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.  If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong.”

It sounds like it’s too simple to be true, but dear woman who feels alone, it isn’t.

 It really is that easy.

 And it is less lonely than you think because the Bible says we’ve all missed the mark and fallen short.  Every one of us.

Matthew 11:28-30 CEB says “Come to me all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.  Put on my yoke and learn from me.  I’m gentle and humble.  And you will find rest for yourselves.  My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”

Easy. 

Light.

Doesn’t that sound so refreshing?

If you haven’t ever trusted Him as your Savior, what is holding you back?  What do you have to lose by letting go of it all and trusting in a God who loves you enough to give His Son as payment for your sin so that you could walk in Freedom?

Galatians 5:1 says that Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, we are able to stand firm.  We don’t have to submit to the bondage of slavery again.

Think about it for a moment. 

Wouldn’t it feel so good to walk in the light?  Wouldn’t it feel so good to stop struggling beneath the weight of it all.  It would feel so freeing to hand your burdens and struggles and sin and shame and pain to the only one who can help you bear it. 

Christian woman who feels alone, release it.  Claim your name.  You are Redeemed.

Lonely woman who doesn’t know Jesus, meet him.  He is the game changer.

I see you, woman who feels alone. 

Because I’ve been you. 

But now, I’m learning to choose freedom.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

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