When my family and life were falling apart, I hated going out in public. I lived in a fairly small town with a tight knit community and everyone knew our dirty laundry. There was no hiding it. Not just because of the typical small town rumor mill, but because we kind of (totally) stuck out like a sore thumb.
We lived on a main highway in a pretty dilapidated and very old farmhouse. We drove our family around in a 15 passenger van — a RED one — that was always parked in our driveway because it didn’t fit in the old, tiny garage. Nothing subtle about that. And to make us even more conspicuous, we were the only family with 11 kids AND we also had the police over for ‘visits’ on a regular basis. We were “that” family. I loathed being that family. My dream of a big, happy family had turned into a nightmare and a public spectacle.
So, you can see why I wasn’t psyched about venturing out — ESPECIALLY to school functions. That involved eye contact with hundreds of other parents and neighbors…and teachers. Ugh. I didn’t even have it in me to make eye contact with all the little kids, much less all of those adults.
I will never forget one particular evening that one of my littles had a concert at the grade school. I had worked myself up into a state of complete dread that evening. As the time to leave got closer, I scrolled through multiple scenarios in my mind that could legitimately keep me home that night… but there were none. No one was sick or bleeding and nothing was on fire… and I couldn’t bear to disappoint my excited little sweetie strictly because of my own fear and dread. As I was composing my posture by letting out one last sigh and gritting my teeth so I could ‘bear it,’ something amazing happened. On my way out the door, I heard the voice of the Lord whisper gently and ever-so-lovingly to my heart:
Don’t forget to wear your crown.
What? My what? My crown? That’s right… He’s my Father…and… I’m His daughter. That makes me…Royalty. I am His Princess. There it was right in front of me… A truth that no cop cars or rumors or old crummy houses could change. I was a Daughter of the King!
Suddenly, I stood straighter. I stood taller. My shoulders became square instead of slouched and a new confidence came over my whole being. Heart, mind, will and emotions all got on board with this new truth as I chose to trust the words of the One who saw me for who I really was…and I was enough.
That night I went to my kids’ school — not in fear of what people thought — not as the local scandal — not ashamed. I went with boldness and confidence in who I really am because when I was afraid, I chose to trust in Him. I trusted His Word and what it says about me. And instead of shrinking back, I looked every single person I passed in those jam-packed halls in the eye…