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The Question That Shook Me

Years ago, on a sunny drive home from errands,  my husband asked me to describe myself in one word. Literally, “If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?” The question shook me. Not in a sense that he offended me or that the question was too much to handle. It shook me because it's one of those questions you think you should have an answer to right away, but I did not. I was taken back when I could not think of one word to describe myself. 


The only word that came to me was loving. And I could not push that word out of my lips because I knew that it wasn't true. I was not a loving person, so that word would have been a lie. Don't get me wrong, I love. I love my husband and daughter, my family and friends. I am overprotective of those close to my heart, but to describe myself as loving was a stretch. A big one, like homemade slime. 


When I picture a loving person, I picture Jesus or a Mother Teresa type. And I am too hard shelled to even consider saying I was the “L” in loving compared to those two.


So, since I couldn't say what I wished to be described as, I said the word I thought people would describe me as being: STRONG. There’s nothing wrong with the word strong and I know I am, but that is not what I want people to remember me by at my funeral. 


My husband’s question hit me right in the core. I knew he wanted to ask me a thought provoking question, but I don't think he knew how hard it would hit and sit in my soul. 


Even years after, I still want people to describe me as loving. Someone who truly loves and cares deeply for those that matter most to her AND those she doesn’t even know. Not strong. Not, "She could get through anything" strong. 

I want, "She was such a kind spirit. Her love, care, and devotion filled a room. She smiled and hugged, and she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world."


I want to be described like water. Ever flowing with the motions of life. Majestic to be around. Calming. Soothing. Nourishing. Needed.


It’s been years, yes years, since this question was asked to me. And I feel like I can finally say I’m an “L”, but I have yet to become the loving and ever flowing person I aspire to be. My shell is still too strong… #punintended


Am I loving? Absolutely. I love snuggling with my daughter and hubby. I wave a lot more and smile at strangers. I’ve become less self-centered and more servant centered. But, am I the most loving person I could be? Not yet. 


I still have my crabby tendencies and I leave up walls to protect myself. Those walls were built from the strength I developed and to be loving you must be open to being vulnerable, and I am not quite there. It’s tough to let people in too close, I've had major loss in my life and the thought of more is unbearable to my heart. My walls keep me safe. Or so I think. 


I’ve come to realize that those walls just keep me held back. That the outer shell of “strong” is just a shell of fear. To become the woman I aspire to be I must allow my heart to be put on display and have possible injury again. And I must learn to LOVE through that injury. Through the rubble of the walls being torn down. Allowing the flowing water to cut through the stone.



As I walk closer to God, I am learning more about who He is and in turn more about who He created me to be. And as I walk towards my calling, in my purpose, in being more Christ-like, I am striving to become that “She is so loving, there a (Jesus) glow about her-type.” And I am enjoying every step of the walk, no matter how hard it may be to break that tough exterior shell.


So what is the one word YOU would describe yourself as? 




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