(I missed Blogapalooz Hour Wednesday night but I REALLY love this topic so I’m giving myself an hour and am writing it now. Okay? Okay.)
The names Miranda Lambert, Emily Bronte, and C.S. Lewis don’t exactly go together. It’s kind of like the beginning of a joke. A country singer, a writer of a classic novel, and a spiritual author walk into a bar…
So, what do they have in common?
Yes, you read that right. I’ve somehow taken these three legendary artists and made myself the center of them. Cute, right?
Let me explain. Their words. Their beautiful, breathtaking words that have touched my heart and carried me through my adult life. That’s what they have in common.
Words are everything to me. Words have been my undoing, and words are what stitched me back together. The way they move means something to me. The way they’re put together to make a simple sentence become a work of art never fails to astound me, and these three people have given me words that I try to live by every single day.
You won’t ever hear me utter a foul sentence about this woman. She is the epitome of real, authentic, classy, graceful badassery and I love her for it. Her music has been part of my very being for a very long time and she’s part of the reason I began writing seriously.
A long time ago she wrote a song that isn’t usually played on her tours, and isn’t known to be a favorite, but it is for me. From the opening note to the last second, I’m completely entranced by Desperation, and one line in particular.
“Tell it like a lie, live it like a movie”…
Ten of the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard strung together. And sort of the foundation for how I live my life. (Don’t get your full coverage panties in a twist Christians, I still take John 3:16 very seriously.)
Think about it for a second. What a gorgeous way to feel about our lives. When I’m 80 and I look back, I want my stories to be vibrant and heartbreaking and redeeming. I want them to be full of adventures and love and pants wetting laughter. I want my friends to sound like the characters they are and I want my grandchildren to say, “Grandma, there’s no way that’s true,” while I sit there with a twinkle in my eye looking back on days gone by.
I want to live each moment so ferociously and authentically. I want to be present. I want to know that I took risks and chances and fell down and then brushed myself off. I’m not expecting a seamless ending of each story like a romantic comedy, but instead a reel of everything. Comedy, romance, action…maybe no drama. I’ve done that already.
Wuthering Heights is in my bones. It’s settled there with a few other books that have just made their way into the depths of who I am and set up camp. I struggle through this book every time I read it, but there’s one passage…one sentence actually, that breaks me down and fills me up all at one time.
“He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive, and he said mine would be drunk; I said I should fall asleep in his, and he said he could not breathe in mine”…
When I fell in love in another lifetime, it was a rushed, ridiculous, “could’ve been but wasn’t” love. And when it ended, I ended. Y’all know that. But my undoing was the beginning of my becoming. I read this book during that dark time, and I always thought about him with these sentences. But somewhere along the way, he fell away from these words and so did the pain.
He wasn’t my first thought anymore when I looked at this passage, but I found the beauty of being me in it. “I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee.” That is absolutely what I want. For me. For my sisters. For my friends. For everyone. Especially for me. I want to look at everything and be absolutely enchanted. Constantly enchanted. I want to see the good and feel the gratitude no matter what. Fully alive.
My love for Narnia isn’t a secret. I’ve traveled through that wardrobe many a time since I was a little lady. And when I sat down to read those chronicles as a grown up, it ripped me to shreds. There’s many lines that resonate. That’s usually the way with childhood stories. (Don’t even get me started on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I’ll swoon for days.) But three little words are written on my soul and in my mind.
“Courage, dear heart”…
Courage. Something I didn’t find until this past year. To be fair, something I didn’t recognize in myself until this past year. Something I’m still learning today. I’m realizing all the brave, courageous things I’ve done my whole life, even if they seem small.
Showing up to school when everyone had decided to hate me in eighth grade. Running my first half marathon even though I wasn’t the typical “runner body.” Telling a man I loved him knowing he wasn’t going to say it back. Being open about my struggles with anxiety. Forgiving my biological parents, even when I have to do it every day. Writing this blog. Finally making the life I want, even if I lose people in the process.
I’m redefining my version of courage constantly. And sometimes it’s hard to have courage. I fail more than I succeed, but I’m trying. And these words, these little words whispered by a fictional lion, comfort me daily.
So, yes. These three people have something in common. They’ve woven their way into my life and their words mean more to me than they’ll ever know. And I’m so grateful for their words. For my words. For yours. They all matter, and you never know who will take them, and never let them go.
Also. I’m praying that one day, a LONG time from now, I’ll be sitting at a bar in Heaven and these three will walk in. First round will definitely be on me. Y’all can come, too. xo.
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