I have been led astray. I have been lied to.
My identity has been shrouded for most of my life and I never even knew it.
As a young girl, Wonder Woman was the superhero, not me. As a teenager, it was best to just fit in like the rest. As a young woman, Gwen Stefani had it all, I never would. And as an adult, I built a career out of revealing the beauty in other women while I hid from my own.
I kept dreaming about who I was most similar to instead of figuring out who Melinda really is.
I finally get it now.
The darkness was afraid of me.
He was afraid I would find out the truth of who I really am and what noble cause my heart beats for.
My true presence, once identified, would radiate light and defend truth and that was absolutely hideous to him.
I finally see now, how he has been working overtime on me all these years. He’s put in double shifts just to keep me distracted from believing I was someone worth loving, let alone someone worth living for.
Two times in my life I almost believed him enough to do something about it.
I hate to admit that he has done a pretty good job. But not good enough because I’m still here, aren’t I.
I am on to him, now.
I have looked back far enough to see the tactics, I’ve opened my eyes wide enough to be alerted to the strategies, and I have become educated and empowered to break free from the carrot-on-a-stick routine; I’ve looked within me, dove deep into my delights, desires and anger to discover the powerful life-giving presence I possess.
I open my mouth today to boldly declare: Darkness, you have lost.
I know who I am and you will never be able to tell me otherwise.
I know whose I am and you don’t stand a chance against Him.
I know why I am here, so you can’t confuse me any longer.
And I have found my voice, so I suggest you retreat while you can.
Because of my story: lies will be broken, truth will be set free, blind-eyes will open and broken hearts will be mended.
Because of my presence: no evil will be sustained, fear has no place, oppression will not stand and love will always reign supreme.
Because of my voice, generations will gather, daughters will dream again, sisters will unite and mothers will lead
And because of my participation, families will align, marriages will strengthen, communities will be hopeful and the church will unify.
But you already knew that, didn’t you. This is why you have been on my heels for so long.
Today is the beginning of a new chapter, it’s the one where you don’t play any parts or have any lines.
This chapter is the most glorious yet and I cannot wait to begin writing it.
I am a challenger by nature, so I challenge you, today. Look back, open wide-eyes to distractions, lies and smoke and mirrors that have led you to a wandering of purpose and a wondering of who you truly are.
I believe life is meant to be rich: rich in health, rich in relationships and rich in passion and purpose. But a life of concealed identity is a life of great poverty.