“My name is Toughie,” 3-year old Gracie insisted from her car seat.
“No. What’s your REAL name?” her older sister pushed back.
“Toughie!” Stubborn, as her new nickname insinuated, Gracie wasn’t going to back down.
One morning a few days earlier, our family activity was a mile and a half hike through the woods to a lake. Our two older girls walked, ran and jumped over tree stumps in the path while the younger two rode on their parents’ backs. We didn’t get far before stubborn Gracelynn decided she wanted to be like her older sisters and, as she said, “hite.” With her own two feet.
Out of Derek’s backpack, she ran to catch up with the older set. Her toe caught on a tree root protruding in the trail and she fell on her hands and knees.
“Come on Toughie,” Derek said as he picked her up, “that’s part of hiking.”
She looked up at him and I could almost see her internal processing. If I want to hike, and I do, then I need to put up with the falls. And there were more falls. Four more if you count them by the scrapes that were left on her knees. At every fall we called her Toughie and cheered her on and every time she bounced back up proving she was up to the name. Absorbing her new persona. She WAS Toughie.
“But what if on the first day of preschool she’ll tell kids her name is Toughie?” her older two sisters worried in the car days later.
Gracelynn’s ears perked up. Preschool? She could carry her Toughie image there too? I again could tell the internal wheels were turning.
Her father told her who she was and she not only believed it, she had become it. I pray this will always be true. “It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11).
Lord, help me to hear who YOU say I am. I want to absorb it and become it.
Written by Alexandra Kuykendall
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