There is a Burning Bush Inside of Me

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tasha burgoyne -burning bush inside of me-3

She lifted her hands to show me how small I was at birth. Her eyes bulged and she declared again, as if it was the first time she’d ever told me, “You almost didn’t make it! Did you know, you didn’t even cry?”

There are those stories parents tell and retell, and by the time I began elementary school, I knew this story of my birth by heart.

My body had hesitated upon arrival; it wasn’t ready.

Wrapped up in the womb of my mother, my story began within hers. And when it was time to make an entrance, my lungs weren’t finished and I’m told I couldn’t breathe. No one knew if the frailty of my lungs would be too much a burden for life, or whether by a whisper or prayer, I would come through.

For the first 21 days of my life, I lived in an incubator. It was the waiting space and the watching space. Wires intruded on my isolation while connecting me to a possible future outside hospital walls. Fingers and voices reached for me through holes while I could not be fully embraced. Prayers and pleas hung over my compact frame like a blanket.

I had entered the room in unmitigated weakness. Somewhere, someone said, “It’s a girl!” I had no voice or breath to respond to my welcoming.

My mom told me that after I was born, she felt stronger than she ever had: ready to fight for me to live in any and every way she could.

The scars on my mom’s stomach from not one, but two C-sections spoke to me of her strength, survival and power. When I was a little girl, I remember how she would take a steaming hot bath every night and slather her beet red body with lotion, making sure to cover the vertical, x-marked scar from her belly-button down. Then, with a tightened brow and pointed finger, she reminded me that it was imperative for a woman to take care of her body by moisturizing.

As I got older she would continue to remind me of this, sometimes by chasing me around the house to dab her eye cream on my face or by smearing a glob of her own after-bath body lotion on my arm or any other bare skin she could find. I would roll my eyes at her, but beneath the show of disregard, I wondered if I would ever feel as sure as she was in her own skin.

***

In a high school theater class, I stood surrounded by my classmates. Our teacher was working us through exercises to help us release emotion and learn to get our whole bodies into our characters with more ease. My classmates shouted things at me to provoke me to yell back.

The noise came at me like 20 arrows on repeat and yet I stood there frozen like a sculpture carved in stone. I was screaming inside, the words pressing so hard on the inside of every part of my body that I worried they might burst through my skin. I was a newborn again, my body enclosed in an invisible incubator, the voices of my classmates like fingers poking at me, hoping for life and breath to emerge. For the rest of that day, I carried the turbulent words with me, longing to be released.

***

Years later, someone told me my words were powerful on paper. And years after that, another told me my voice was powerful. Despite my body’s history of the opposite, I desperately wanted to believe.

What in the world did they see? Who am I to go and to tell and to be? I ask myself again and again, what woman has God made my story and my body to be? If I was born to embody weakness, then maybe it’s true that I can become a woman who embodies the strength and power of Christ the King.

There is a burning bush inside of me. I hesitate, but The Great I Am keeps burning a story into my depths and tells me to go, gives me breath, and urges me to speak.

Mother unto daughter, we pass this promise on from one body to another: our bodies are made weak to give room for the power of God in us to break free.

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Tasha Burgoyne

Tasha Burgoyne

Tasha is a dreamer, a Hapa girl, wife to Matt, and mama to 3 little warriors: 2 wild boys and 1 little lady. She loves french fries, world maps and Stabilo pens. A coffee-drinker, story-lover and kimchi-eater, she was made to walk where cultures collide, from dirt roads to carefully placed cobblestone streets. She blogs at tashajun.com .
Tasha Burgoyne
Tasha Burgoyne

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