*spoiler alert ahead, in case you haven’t seen Moana yet*

I’ve been struggling lately, words unspoken weaving their way into anxiety and outbursts. Right now who I say I am – girl with blog – isn’t all that true. It’s more like ‘girl with Facebook and Instagram. Girl with a job that pays me and also involves words so all my own (unpaid) words are swallowed up. Girl with ALL THE LAUNDRY. Girl with all the ideas and none of the daylight hours left. Girl with worries. Girl with fear.’

We recently found out that as of August, my husband will lose his job. This news has thrown me into a total tailspin, keeping me up at night with worry and fear. I work part-time, so our benefits and income will tank while our costs will increase. There is such unknown, and while I know we’ve been promised joy in the morning, that’s still yet to come. The bit of anxiety I manage on the daily has flared, turning me sometimes into a rage machine and other times into a hermit who doesn’t want to leave her safety zone.

For a while I couldn’t figure out why this was throwing me off in such a deep way. Why it wasn’t just surface fears, but rather rooted ones that were emerging slowly. And then as I watched a movie with my kids one day in June, I realized that it’s because I’ve forgotten who I am. And there’s no button to press that will un-open my eyes to this struggle.

The only thing to do is to remember.


When it hit Netflix last month, we finally jumped on the Moana train. I loved it, and still watch with rapt attention every time, sitting cross-legged on the couch like my kids. The first time I saw this scene, I wept. My kids actually asked me what was wrong and all I could say was that sometimes mommy cries when things are just beautiful. This scene still brings me to tears and makes my heart pump hard.

In case you aren’t able to view the video clip, here’s the setting during this particular scene towards the very end of the movie. Moana and Maui are finally about to conquer Te Ka, the fiery lava monster blocking them from reaching and restoring the heart of the mother island, Te Fiti. Stolen by Maui hundreds of years earlier, the missing heart of Te Fiti is the reason islands are withering away and dying. As Moana reaches the top of the island where she expects Te Fiti to be waiting, she sees that the goddess is gone. Suddenly, she realizes that without her heart, the beautiful goddess of life has become a raging monster. The fiery lava monster Te Ka IS Te Fiti. And Moana gently asks the ocean to allow Te Ka / Te Fiti to come to her, walking slowly and confidently through the waves.

As she walks towards Te Ka / Te Fiti, Moana sings this song to her:

I have crossed the horizon to find you
I know your name
They have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
This is not who you are
You know who you are

And this was the point at which I was undone.

Because I know the One who has crossed the eternal horizon… and returned to tell about it. He knows my name. He says who I am, even (maybe especially) when I myself have forgotten. And friend, I need to remind you today. Because in telling you, I tell myself that no matter what, we are loved. And being loved is not being abandoned. Being loved is not being thrown out. Being loved is not being left behind. Being loved is not passive. Being loved is who we are. No matter what.

Being loved is who we are. No matter what. Click To Tweet

With a heart stolen by abuse or trauma, old hurts and scars unhealed…

Withering under the burdens of daily living, etched soul-deep…

Becoming a raging fireball of loud pain or quiet prisoner of anxiety…

Feeling invisible and forgotten, overtaken and dulled by everyday ordinary…

Believing we’re defined by our past, held hostage by a future of which you feel unworthy…

Clawing and crawling our way back, heart gone dark and eyes flashing…

No matter what. Remember who you are:

Good.
Very good.
Beloved.
A temple for His heart.
Remembered.
Rejoiced over.
Worth sacrifice.
Worth love.
Worth grace.
Worth safety.
More than a conqueror.
Holy.
Redeemed.
Beautiful.
Forgiven. 

God is very clear about this, about who we are. It’s as if He knew our propensity would be to forget. There are Scriptures to back up each and every word above. This isn’t me just spouting rote words of encouragement. This is me, trembling and leaning in close and trying not to snot-nose cry and looking right in your eyes. This is me, telling you that I struggle. I am struggling. To remember these holy words, and to let them sink deep into my heart of hearts where they belong. To remember who I am. Because sure as I slowly nod in agreement, another attack comes and I start to feel the familiarity of fire.

But His words… they quench the flames of fear and pain. The reality of who we are is a firehose of truth and security. And when I remember… when we collectively remind one another… when our first reaction to the fear and pain is ‘This is not who you are…’

…suddenly ‘it’ no longer matters quite as much. We can begin to heal. Our scars can breathe. Light can seep through our cracked souls, breaking ground for new life and new paths and making way for a new narrative to lead us onward. The fury and pain and fire can be extinguished, exchanged for the slow burn of a refining fire.

This is who you are. I remember, and He’s never forgotten.

This is who you are. I remember, and He’s never forgotten. Click To Tweet

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