Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)
TITLE: Identity War
By Kelli Hunt
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I find it to be untrue in the sense that: I once didn’t mind waiting. I was naturally nonchalant and patient (what other way was there?), but now. . . “c’mon people, the light’s BEEN green!”; I once was polite, no matter what. Now, “are you kidding me? I don’t think so!”; I once was way friendly. . .now, just sedately neighborly; I used to call the metal thing on wheels that you push at the grocery store a “buggy”, now, it is a “cart”; I used to “let the dog out”. . .now, I “leave him out.” I could go on with examples of the South within me being conquered by the North, but in one aspect the Confederate flag refuses to lower, and that is when it comes to the battle of the accent.
It is still obvious to others when I begin to speak that “you aren’t from around here, ARE you”?? “No”, I respond, knowing what the next question will be. “Where ARE you from?” After all these years, my accent still makes me different. It makes me stand out as not being from "around these parts." I’m just not. . .quite . . . the . . .same. (Drawl those four words out loud, just for fun). Apparently, this girl raised in the South cannot get rid of her Southern accent! And the South in me secretly hopes that never changes. (Here I wave my Confederate flag).
But when I seriously ponder on my true identity, I do know that what must override my adopted “yankee” and my natural “reb” is who I am in Christ. I was thirteen when I first surrendered myself to Jesus Christ, and that was just the beginning of my new life, or identity, in Him. One of the most influential verses from my early life as a believer was Galatians 2:20 (NIV) - “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Truths like this, intermingled with the staunch bible belt culture of the South gave me a firm spiritual identity; life in the North, however, resulted in several major skirmishes being waged against that identity, and I have adjusted and allowed for changes in spiritual thought. But one thing has not changed - Christ in me! He is not going anywhere! He remains, just like my Southern accent! A few questions come to mind.
When people interact with me, does my life in Christ have an accent? Does it catch someone’s attention? Does it immediately reveal a difference about me? Are my words, whether written or verbal, living expressions of Christ in me? Do they point to the fact that there is Someone other than me living in this body? Do they lead the reader or listener to go a little deeper in their own relationship with Christ, or maybe spark their curiosity about Christ?
My answers to these questions reveal to what extent there is still a sort of spiritual “civil war” going on inside me. I will always have more surrendering to do - to the Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me, whether I’m “sittin’ pretty in the South”, or “hanging with my homies” in the North.
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