Friday, April 19, 2013

My Burning Bush


Let’s rewind to last Saturday. I had a couple of papers to write so I went to do some work at All In, the best coffee shop in all the land. It just so happened to be one of the most beautiful days that Clemson, South Carolina has experienced in quite some time so I decided to do my work outside…. 4 hours later I left with half of a paper written and a farmer’s tan that would put all of the agriculture majors here to shame. It was bad. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of it.

Anyways, so Monday rolls around and I go to the gym to work on my fitness. I’m self-conscious about everyone seeing my tan line so decide to run on the elliptical in the corner where no one can see me. There I am in my own little world and what happens? The light that is beside me literally bursts into flames. Yes, literally. I almost had a heart attack AND everyone was looking at me because, well a light just caught on fire and things like that tend to attract attention. Not to mention burnt wires smell like poo so there's that. Although the fire only lasted for about 3 seconds, it was enough to make quite a scene.

I immediately thought, “Am I Moses and this is my burning bush? Should I pack my bags and head to Egypt? What are you saying to me God?”

 I started thinking that the Lord was telling me to stop being so worried about what people see and what they think. I started beating myself up about all of the ways that I focused on what the world thought. In my mind it made perfect sense for the Father to call me out on my sin and self-centeredness and to make me feel like poop…but I was quickly reminded that Jesus’ words are never unkind and never accusing. Instead, here’s what He did: He showed me Song of Solomon.

Okay before you freak out and tell me not to read that book of the Bible before I'm married, let me explain. In the beginning of the book the bride says in verse six, “ do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun.” You see, the bride in Song of Solomon is nothing special in the world’s eyes. In fact, she’s actually looked down upon because she works in her family’s vineyard, something that high-class women did not do. But you would never know any of that if you only read what the groom says about her! Man is he smitten.

After he goes on and on about her hair and teeth being like flocks of goats and sheep and other analogies that make me giggle, he continues to profess his love for her when he says things like, “You are altogether beautiful my darling, there is no flaw in you,” and “You have stolen my hear, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart.”

The Father doesn’t see the flaws that the world sees. He doesn’t see my farmers tan and he doesn’t even see my sin. Instead He looks at me and at you and He sees his son in us and He is in love with us. And furthermore we are never shamed into repentance but  instead, just like it says in Romans, it is His kindness that leads to repentance! When our hearts are captivated by the way the Father loves us, we are unable to continue walking in lies and being bound by chains.


My name is Allison and I’m awkward. It’s who I am and what I do. I’m actually thinking about changing my name on Facebook to ‘Allison Always Awkward Bell’ because it is so much a part of who I am that it might as well be my middle name. I think creating awkward situations may be my spiritual gift if we’re being honest…Okay I’m being dramatic, but you get the point.

Let me explain what it means to be awkward. It means that it’s not a normal day if I haven’t accidently hugged someone thinking they were a friend of mine or spilled my water all down my shirt right before class like I did today. It means that I am a little bit clumsy and not super great at social situations but hey, I manage! My oh so evident awkwardness is actually one of my favorite things about myself. Why? Because Jesus uses all of my uncomfortableness to speak boundless amounts of truth to my heart.  When I embrace awkward I become who the Lord has called me to be and live the full life that He has intended for me.

Which brings me to the point of this blog!
Reason 1: Awkward is funny. So see this little guy as a vessel for laughter. I am giving you full permission to laugh at me.
Reason 2: There are lessons that Jesus has taught me through these moments that have broken so many chains and brought me into abundant life with Christ that I cannot keep that type of freedom to myself. I'm praying with great expectation that my stories will be used for God’s kingdom.
Reason 3: I am about to start working at a summer camp for 7-14 year olds who are in their prime awkward stages and someone needs to document the funny things that happen. I volunteer.

Anyways, while I can’t promise that I’ll blog super often, I hope that through this little guy you’re encouraged to embrace you inner middle part, brace-faced, preteen socially awkward self and step confidently into who Christ has called you to be.