Don’t Stop Beliebin’

I shared in my newsletter that the theme of Brave Misfit for the month of April is renewal. My pal  and fellow Brave Misfit Amber Kincaid has generously shared her writing here.

I met Amber years ago at Bible Study Fellowship. She was one of two people under the age of 35. She was maybe 20.  Her candidness was so real it was impossible to keep my guard up around her. The third week BSF I felt the Spirit urge me to invite her on the mission trip our youth group was going on that summer.

Amber said yes, of course. Mission work has a big place in her heart, which is why she also said yes to babysitting my three children even though she (candidly) told me kids weren’t her thing. They still talk about the bike ride she took them on. Amber served twice on The World Race and the stories she brought back were inspiring, frightening, and hysterical.

Also, this girl can make me laugh like no other. I haven’t seen her IRL in years but her place in my heart is permanent. I’m more thankful than she knows God put her in my life.  You can find her bloggage at Ragamuffin Stuff, where her quirky humor will have you laughing while  her wisdom will keep you thinking.

Rock on, Brave Misfit.

Someday me, you, and Seal will road trip again.


Renewal is the theme I’ve got rolling around in my head, thanks to my favorite Midwestern Mama, Kara Shepherd. Renewal is a seemingly spiritual word, unless you’re talking about its pain in the butt connotations like renewing tags and all other annoying grown up things. When I think about renewal, I think of relief, restoration, and refreshing.
I’ve been trying to come up with a clear picture of renewal that really hits the ball out of the park with some insanely impressive idea to prove what a deep thinker I am. The only thing that keeps popping its little dreadlocked head up is Justin frickin’ Bieber.

Everyone has loved the Biebs at some point or another, whether you’re an active Belieber, a parent of one, or one of the past. Who could resist that bowl-cutted beauty belting the infamously incessant “Baby” all over the world?

Photo Credit: AndrewDallos via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: AndrewDallos via Compfight cc

The rise and fall, and rise again, of Biebs gives me this menacingly weird picture of renewal. I’m no die hard fan, but everyone knows he started out as America’s Canadian sweetheart and quickly turned into a giant letdown, being booed off the stage for his ridiculously wrong shenanigans. Recently, I’d say he has made an official come back (don’t even pretend you don’t sing the mama don’t like you song).

Bieber and renewal—where am I going with this?

The thing about renewal is this sense of repairing what once was. At its core, renewal is restorative, and once it hits, original goodness is redeemed and even bettered. Bieber is back because he’s been renewed. He was good to begin with, and although he went through some cray days, if you will, he’s back. No one wants a brand new Justin Bieber, they want the one they met nine years ago, but an even better version (please Lord). We don’t necessarily want or need a whole new thing. What’s more compelling than a brand new something is the best part of that old something being restored again, elevating what was originally meant to be.

My renewal revelation is that you and I were created good, every single person on the earth. There’s a good in you, a genuinely valuable identity that is God-breathed, specifically unique, and immensely necessary. Along the way, we’ve all gotten off our beaten paths and had ourselves a Bieber backtrack or two, but there’s renewal available always.

Renewal to restore the original you—that specific inherent special something. Renewal to call out dreams buried beneath all of the wounds, mistakes, tragedies, accidents, and wrongs. Renewal to refuel the authentic and propel you to the greater version of you. Renewal to remind and repair. Renewal to restore and remember.

Renewal isn’t about creating a brand new version of you that forgets where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Renewal is about reaching deep down into those places that are uniquely yours and breathing life back into the things that may have gotten trampled along the way. The beauty of renewal is that there’s always something worth renewing, and that it’s a journey and a process. Hopefully that takes some pressure off those trying to be something they’re not overnight.

Here’s to finding what needs renewed—it’s there, I promise. Here’s to believing that you are good and have something to offer. You have something you must offer at a time like this, when the world is desperate for people who know who they are, who believe that they are worthy, and who get that they are always being renewed.

Finally, here’s to getting all those Biebs’ songs out of your head.

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