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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)

TITLE: Identity War
By Kelli Hunt


I proudly live in Pennsylvania. It has been my home now for twenty four years. Here I have been a pastor’s wife, raised two children and experienced lasting friendships. Here a foundation has been laid. But before here, I was there - born and bred Southern…for twenty seven years. From the cradle to young adulthood, the roots of my identity went deep into the land of cotton, as my family of origin lived in and moved from Florida to Alabama to Georgia to Kentucky. It is said that you can take the “girl out of the South, but not the South out of the girl”! However, my post-Southern life, since being replanted into Yankee soil, would attest that this statement appears untrue. . .almost!

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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This article has been read 316 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carla Rogers 02/28/13
I can identify with the MC. I am from the south (still there, so my accent doesn't stand out as much). But I stuggle more with making my life standout as a Christian. Good article.
Judith Gayle Smith03/03/13
Beginner? You are much too humble. I enjoyed reading this so much! Thank you.

Loving you in through and because of Jesus, the Christ . . .

Have you "thrown a brick"?
Darleen Coon03/04/13
Awesome writing! I think you will be moving onto the next level quickly.

Your entry was humorous, thought provoking, and really on topic!

Keep on writing, you have a real talent for a Reb!
C D Swanson 03/05/13
Your writing seems seasoned...I'm thinking you might have come in at the wrong level.

Having said that, you did a great job with this well written and creative piece. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

God bless~
Linda Berg 03/06/13
I also relate to this story. I am a transplanted Minn-ee-sotan to the south of Texas.

What a well written article with the finale being about our language having the accent of Christ.

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
This is a delightful devotion. You do a great job of showing real life and balancing it with a delightful sense of humor. Your message is great too and the transition was smooth. You did a great job with this. I enjoyed every word.