Just. Be. Small.


kelly christian -just be small3By Kelly Christian | Instagram: @kellychristianwrites

Virtually invisible on social media, rather unaccomplished in most any sense, and barely known in my own hometown, I’m a small person in this world. At 39, after not working for ten years, I feel my absolute smallest. A 23 year old director interviewed me and asked for my resume. I confidently said, “Sure!” yet all I could think was, Oh no. Where do I find one of those? I couldn’t even recall the last computer I had saved one on. It probably was such a worthless piece of aged machinery that it wasn’t even going to turn on once I located it.

I just started writing one and after some stretching and attempts at brainwashing my reader, a semi-acceptable one page resume came together, mostly from things my 18 to 26 year old self did. I kept thinking she’d better pull through for me because the-me-ever-since hasn’t been pulling any weight in the world’s becoming-something category.

Now that I’m looking for work and outlets to use my gifts, I’m finding something very interesting about this momentum. There’s an intense internal push to hurry up. Hurry up and arrive at being good at something. Hurry up to be known. Hurry up and be successful. Hurry up and be everything you hoped you’d be. Hurry up and be in a completely new stage.

What impossible expectations flood our fledgling aspirations.

In the midst of this surging struggle to start again, I talked to the Lord and I felt his Spirit whisper a message to me in the stillness. The message has been:

Don’t go a step further. Stop. Feel what it feels like to

Just. Be. Small.

At first I thought, I don’t want to sit in it. I want to move ON! I want to get somewhere. I’m tired of the waiting, the detours, the sacrifice. I had three children ages 8, 10 and 10 when we got pregnant with another baby. I told people, “She missed the stay-at-home-mom-boat.” I loved staying at home, but have known for a long time that getting back out there was my next step. Just be small? I was!

Yet, it was true that the second I decided to “do something,” all the internal freak out, inner insistence, and general dramatic concern began. I needed to find some grounding in the midst of these winds of change I had so warmly welcomed.

That’s why the Lord’s whisper to “just be small” began to feel like a relieving encouragement to this disenchanted daughter.

The building pressure to be big and amazing and to have arrived was coming up my throat and the idea of just letting myself feel my own place of smallness for a moment, as part of the process, seemed achievable. Real. Strong. Even interesting.

So I’ve begun to sit in the smallness–to not hate it or separate from it. Instead, to wonder at this raw, unseen place every person encounters, sometimes with twinges of discomfort and other times with bouts of trepidation that come with incessant squirming. Sometimes before I can sit, it takes some pacing-the-living-room-prayers to chase off the impossible expectations that prowl, but eventually I can. And I feel a strong sense of okay-ness wash over me. Not a giving-up-okayness, but a secure-in-my-journey-okayness.

We all start small. The starting is sometimes at 16 and sometimes at 39 and for all of us it happens many times over, for many reasons.

Whatever it is, the exact second in time we finally step towards it, we can absolutely despise that we’re not there right away. We lose our cool. We start praying threatening prayers. Or we stop praying at all and just wring out our thought life in a tumultuous assault.

But what if while we were making our awkward adult baby steps, we just accepted each step as right where we were supposed to be–an interesting place worthy of our time, and a point on our journey where we could find great reason to celebrate?

What if we let our small, fledgling aspirations sit on the table before us, all tiny and barely there? And instead of kneading them and choking them into something bigger with an impulsive, nearly hateful, impatience, we just sat with our darling start. What if we held our cupped mugs of coffee and felt glad for the hope of a new beginning? What if we let ourselves just. be. small.

About Kelly:

Kelly ChrisKelly Ctian is ever reckoning life through wonder and conversations, always wishful for the next chance to put everything that means anything into type. Her heart is riveted by faith, questions, beauty, creation, identity, and sparks in conversations with strangers and friends alike. Kelly resides in Charlotte, North Carolina where she writes nonfiction, teaches English as a second language, and enjoys loving on her four little dignified souls alongside her husband. She is on Facebook and Instagram.