If you've just been clicking through my Instagram stories, that's fine, but I recently started Lizzie McGuire recap podcast with my good friend Lilly. And we are having a blast. It's seriously such a fun project, and to get to work on it with a fun friend - even better! It's ok if you've always hated Lizzie McGuire, or if you listened to the podcast, and decided it's just not for you - we've set ourselves free from needing to be career podcasters, so we're just enjoying the ride. But if you do want a party for your ears, start with the most recent episodes first, they're better.
Each week as we've broken down to the minutiae fashion statements, character developments, and quick cutaways I've found myself being the cliche police. It feels like the worst thing you can be today is a stereotype and the show Lizzie McGuire relies somewhat heavily on them. There's an irksome little brother that in the end you love. There's a mean-girl cheerleader that used to be a best friend (until she bought a bra), but really her bullying is just a guise for her insecurity. There's loving friends, and just enough racial diversity for us to talk about how there should for sure be more racial diversity.
No one wants to be a cliche, and yet, we know they are safe. We know what we can expect. We can roll our eyes, but quietly rest in the predictability.
The fiercely independent side of me has long kicked back at cliches (I am self-righteous about not having a curated Instagram), while desperately wanting to fit in (ok, but do I have too many weirdly filtered photos?). And as all things do, this has spilled into my heart for scripture.
I've spent most of my Jesus-loving years rolling my eyes at Psalm 23. Even if you've never opened a Bible you know it...
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters.
He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name's sake.
Even when I go through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff - they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love with pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
It's read at every funeral, both in reality and in TV. It's just played out.... like there's just so much other scripture, can't we be a little creative? Every time I've heard it preached, I've thought, "cool, so you just didn't want to prepare a sermon for today."
I'm not sure I have the words to describe the season I'm in right now. It's good. It's hard. It's exactly what I needed, and seems totally unfair at the same time. Just, for the first time in a while, I don't have a "this is what I'm going through let me tie it in a bow for you," or even for me.
But for the past month and some changed, I've prayed Psalm 23 everyday. And everyday, it has become more and more rich to me. It's like a piece of cheesecake that you bite into, and you're already sad that it's going to end, except that it doesn't end.
Last night in my high school girls Bible study we talked about the profound truth that God is for us. He loves us more than we love ourselves. And I was rolling around with that thought today, when a sweet Pitt student was texting me about her future plans, and said, "I hope God turns my life upside down so that one day I don't even end up where thought I would."
My first thought, was "wait, I skipped something... Kaleigh skipped something, no one wants God to turn their life upside down." Then my next thought was, "what faith." What faith that she (I, we) would trust the goodness of the Father, that we would hope for the inevitable. No one's life turns out the way they planned. (And if it did, congratulations on your boring life.)
Because really this season has been me leaning on one cliche wishing that God would give me any other cliche than "24-year-old single girl trying to figure it out."
Why not hope for surprise? Why not hope for the unexpected? Why not rest in the goodness of the Shepherd trusting that he wants goodness for us even in the darkest valley? Why not love the cliche while open-handedly not let it define you?
In other news, my Pitt girlies will be please to know I'm still recommending the SheReadsTruth app like I'm getting paid commission.