Words from my heart
The story goes like this …
Julie, my daughter who has a wonderfully wide smile, gave me a Tigger figurine one springy day in 2004. I don’t think she had any specific reason other than to contribute to my slow-growing Tigger collection. My new addition—a mere three inches tall—stood proud, just like Superman. I placed him on a shelf, smiled, and carried on with life.
In my life, I’ve struggled with knowing how to share my opinion. I’ve struggled to believe that I have a voice. The year 2004 was especially challenging in this area, and I’d waffle between two extremes: staying politely quiet because it was—of course—the safer thing to do, and being so blunt that listeners’ eyes would pop open in disbelief. Their sly glances were noticeable, along with their darting question, “Did she really say that?”
I knew that I had strong beliefs, but I also knew that I had to learn how to share those beliefs with respect and love. While reading Scripture one afternoon, I came upon the following passage:
“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name, and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted” (Psalm 138:1-3 NIV).
Verse three caught me by surprise! Just when I was about to succumb to living as a passive bystander, God reminded me that he had made me bold! He had made me stouthearted! God reminded me that he had planted his message of love within me, and that HE would provide the strength to deliver it.
At that moment, of all things, Tigger bounced into my mind. What an odd association—Tigger and God. Well, that orange little guy with the lavender nose became my Psalm 138:3 superhero. His stance was so bold, so stouthearted. And his broad grin declared sheer joy in the new role I had bestowed upon him.
To document this mini epiphany, I wrote the Scripture passage on half of a 3×5 notecard, folded that in half, and then tied it around Tigger’s neck. The fact that it looked like a cape was 100% coincidence. Loved it!
This sounds like the end of the story, but no. Here’s the tale end …
For my birthday that year, my sweet mother gave me the exact figurine as Julie. Appreciative, yet silently wondering what I would do with two Tiggers, I told her about Julie’s gift and Psalm 138:3. Without missing a beat, she said, “Well, now you have Bold AND Stouthearted.”
There you have it. THAT’S my story.
I have a thoughtful daughter, a sweet and witty mother, and twin Tiggers who remind me that I have a God who bestowed upon me a bold and stouthearted spirit.
I have a God who gave me a voice to speak truth in love.
O Lord, I will sing your praise with all my heart.