I grew up in a VERY small town in Arkansas. I love the people there dearly, but the culture hasn’t changed much in the past...well as long as I’ve been alive. There’s a certain code of moral ethics everyone seems to agree upon. Some of these include, “the bigger the hair the closer you are to God” and tattoos and facial piercings aren’t voodoo, but it’s better if you don’t get one. From where you go to church to the kind of music you listen to and ESPECIALLY who you favorite sports team is (the razorbacks..or the razorbacks) everyone can agree on “how it is” in the south….except me. I’ve never hunted an animal in my life. I hate watching sports. I think tattoos are beautiful, and I’ve had a nose ring since I was 18. Externally it’s pretty evident I never belonged in the deep south. I found freedom and sanity when I moved to Nashville, TN in 2011, but even here there have been times where I’ve been afraid I’ve been “too much” for others to handle. It’s so interesting how easily our brains confuse cultural influence and biblical truth, isn’t it?
I have always been confident. I have always been artsy. I have always appreciated the strange, and I have always thought outside the box. Now that I am a worship leader it’s been an interesting process disassociating the bible belt culture I was raised in with what Jesus actually says about my love for art, and tattoos.
One of my new favorite quotes by Lisa Bevere is, “God does not love His children the same. God loves His children uniquely.”
According to Psalm 139 I was knit together in my mother's womb. I was given a unique set of passions and brain functions that were only for me. Just me. Yes others might share similar likes or dislikes but the chemical makeup of my brain is mine, and only mine. Wow. If that’s true being a quirky, rock loving, tattoo having, songwriting, worship leader is about something so much bigger than me. If we are EACH uniquely designed and loved by God AND if we are a part of the body of Christ that means there is something unique about each of us the world needs.
Let that sink in.
Brother or Sister the greatest disservice you could ever do to the world is try to be something you’re not. If you like purple hair..Dye your hair purple. If you like rock music..listen to rock music. Yes all my piercings, tattoos, and my hair (at one time) pointed to Jesus. It was all for Him, and as believers that’s the way it should be. Never be ashamed to stick out or have ideas that no one else has ever done before. We need them, and we need you to be brave enough to be yourself.