I would say it started right about 2 years ago. I remember I was on a road trip with some friends on the way home from Nashville Tennessee. We stopped at a tiny, janky little gas station in the middle of nowhere. I walked into the less than the standard bathroom and I looked at myself in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. Not because I didn’t like my appearance but because I knew most of the way I looked was because I wanted to look that way for other people. I knew I was better than this. I was different and I was hiding it and for the first time in my life, I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
You see my identity had begun to be wrapped up in what people thought about me. I wore the right trendy clothes, did my makeup that was acceptable and kept my long red hair just the way that people liked it because they told me never to cut it. While I was looking at myself in the mirror I knew that I could be better, I could be ME. So I looked deep into my own eyes, and said, “What the $%^& are you doing Ellie Lacey?! What’s keeping you from being the best version of yourself?! YOU! No one else REALLY CARES. Get out of your own way.” I left the bathroom without even using it because I was so shook (a word teens are using nowadays) by the revelation I had just had. Not even a few weeks later I had cut a few feet of my hair off, dyed it blonde, pierced my nose, gotten rid of an exorbitant amount of things, quit my jobs and was on a plane moving to California to start ministry school.
I had 5 closets, (lets not even get into that, another post for another day) and I got rid of all of my clothes and only kept enough black clothes to fit into a large duffle bag. I began to dress like a rebel because I felt like a total BA (sorry kids) and it was an outward expression of my inward transformation. I liked the way I looked in black clothes so it’s all I would wear, and I didn’t care what people thought. Although my color choices had become darker, inwardly I because lighter. I was finally expressing who I had always wanted to be, the best version of me, the real me.
Everyone else’s opinions of me began to fade (in the best kind of way) and I began to discover the voice within myself that was telling me who I wanted to be.
You see we are each made so uniquely. We are taught from a young age to fit in at all costs, not to shine too brightly. But this is exactly the opposite of what Jesus wants for our life. The Gospel is a story of a societal rebel without a cause, Jesus. He exploded everyone’s boxes and broke the normal stereotypes all for the mission of doing what he knew he needed to. He looked different, acted differently and his story is now the beacon of all hope and eternity. His story is the most unique, rebellious story of them all, and we are called to be like him. He called us to be like HIM, so why do we try so hard to be like everyone else?
I don’t think the bible would talk about “not hiding your light under a bushel” so many times if it wouldn’t be such a temptation and a problem for all of us.
Satan wants us to fit in. If we live a “good life” and do everything exactly like everyone else we’ve ever known, where’s the uniqueness and power in that? Copying other people’s stories isn’t unique, it’s plagiarism. You are better than copying. You were made by the creator, and in the creators imagine, go create! Create your life; don’t let other’s dictate it.
I believe one of Satan’s biggest goals while we walk this earth is probably just to get us to “be normal.” He wants to steal our uniqueness and for us to not shine too brightly. I believe there is so much power in how differently and specifically we were each created and made to be and sadly most people don’t take advantage of it. I personally believe of the greatest gifts that we each hold within us is our uniqueness. Maybe it’s the superhero-loving freak inside of me speaking but I’d like to believe it’s kind of like a superpower in a way.
Now before you burn me at the stake for being a heretic, there are some things I need to clarify in no certain order…..
- There are time’s when you should listen to your community and care what other people say. Use your wisdom.
- You should always be led and guided by the Holy Spirit to the changes you need to make and the things you are called to do.
- I like wearing trendy clothes because I like fashion. So sometimes I dress basic, not because I care what people think about me but because I like clothes and I like the way they make me feel about myself.
- Please don’t go off the rocker and do something totally stupid and say it was because Ellie sparked my personal revolution. You know what’s biblical (if you don’t get a mentor and study the bible) and I am not encouraging stupidity. Be smart about your life and your choice but don’t be boxed in.
People ask me now why I always wear black and why I dye my hair blonde. I say the Ellie Revolution started in a random bathroom in the foothills of Tennessee. I’m still finding my way, it will be a forever process, but I always want to stay true to finding out exactly who it is that God made me to be and being unique. It’s going to take a long time for me to find all of the treasure that God placed inside of me when he made me, and the same goes for you. I hope this inspires you to chase after the best version of yourself, your REAL self!