Julia once told me that the summer before she came to BFA, she was talking to one of my former students who heard she would be in Bible 11.
"Oh, you'll have Ms. Hewett," the student told her, "She's really weird... and she's in a wheelchair."
He provided no other information.
While these two statements were factual, they are not the two statements I hope best represent the whole of me as a person. I use this story often as an example to lead into how I hope I'm described by future students: Ms. Hewett really loves Jesus... and she has perfect eyebrows.
Several weeks ago now, Alyssa and I had a deep conversation about what God was working on and working out in my life, and she told me to get ready for big change, for God to change what was the outside of my identity that wasn't real to who he made me to be. My real identity is secure in Christ. I'm a child of God, I'm loved, I'm a chosen vessel, I'm a temple of the Lord. The wheelchair and the eyebrows don't really matter. I'll leave those behind to love Jesus more.
Friday night, Tessa came over to talk about poetry and art, and she showed me the images she's done so far in response to my poems. She also included one image that didn't have a poem, but after we talked about it, I wrote a poem titled "Identity" the next morning that resonated with the image of a woman seeing a blank face in the mirror. I, the avid novel and non-fiction reader who hated poetry in high school, never expected to become a poet. Somehow, here I am with Tessa on track to publish a collection in the spring for us to give to supporters this summer. There are plenty of other unknowns along the way, but I'll keep pursuing Jesus every day. I've started saying to people that despite all the crazy unpredictability in my life, I'm ending each day closer to Jesus than the day before. I'm praying for other people to do the same, and I hope we all have the courage necessary to identify more with the prompting of the Holy Spirit than our perfect eyebrows.
For the record, I probably won't shave my eyebrows, but if I did, I'd most likely respond like Jenna Marbles... Full disclosure, the video has plenty of swearing, but it's hilarious to watch how happy she is when she's done. It's pretty close to how free I felt when Amanda shaved my head this spring. I have no regrets, and I'm definitely closer to Jesus regardless of the length of my hair.