A Case of Mis(Taken) Identity by Cara Gabrielse

Does this make me look fat?
The voice in my head says, “Yes.”


Cara Gabrielse, Salt & Grace

The voice in my head says,
“I am fat, and
I am soft, and
I am ugly.”

So it doesn’t really matter
What you say –
My mind is made up.

My mind is made up about
My floppy arms and my squishy belly,
My dimpled thighs that jiggle and wiggle like
And while we’re on the subject,
What happened to my neck?
What’s with the ruts in my face,
Freckles on my skin
Crawling with veins?

I’m a clay pot arguing with its Maker,
Telling The One who shaped me
He did it wrong!

I’ve lost my way,
Forgotten who I am,
Who I was created to be.
I’m Suffering
From a Case of Mis(Taken) Identity,

Covering up instead of stepping out,
Letting Fear rob me of my destiny,
Letting the world determine my worth.

The world perpetuates
The myth of better,
The myth of more.
Forcing its false dream upon us,
The talking box screams:
Keep up!
Don’t you want to be an Idol?
Don’t you want to be A Real Housewife?

We’re ensnared by snake oil salesman
Who promise a quick fix to whatever ails.
Surely you won’t die.
Take, eat,
You’ll be like God.

We nip and tuck our brokenness,
Photoshop, and chemically peel away our imperfections.
We numb, binge, purge, cut it off
And we call it

Courage is
Beating our wings against the chrysalis
Until we become, until we fly.
But the world says, ‘Chill butterfly,
Life ain’t meant to be a struggle.
You do You Bro.’

The world is a liar.

We were knit together in our mother’s womb.
The Maker did not drop a stitch, yet
We cry.
Why did you make us this way?
Why not prettier, blonder, thinner,
Whiter, blacker, richer, smarter?
A little more here,
A little less there,
A little more…
In our derriere?

We’ve lost our way,
Forgotten who we are,
Who we were created to be.
All of us, Suffering
from a Case of Mis(Taken) Identity

The poor and needy search for water
Tongues parched from thirst,
Starving for acceptance.
Fearing the worst,
They crawl over the worn out welcome mat,
Take a seat in the pew,
And see white male privilege in the pulpit.
While the ladies in the church basement
With their felt boards and their felt hats
Are asking each other,
Does this make me look fat?

Church: you’ve lost your way,
Forgotten whose you are:
You are
People of THE Way,
People of THE Power,
Aliens, born not to be comfortable
In this skin because this world is not your home.

But you’ve sold out.

You’ve sold out to The Platform,
You’ve sold out to The Couch,
You’ve sold out
To the World’s definition of beauty,
To the World’s definition of success
To the World’s definition of truth.

It’s time to stop posing,
Time to stop comparing,
Stop rolling our eyes,
And Pointing our fingers,
Managing our image,
Afraid to love, afraid to accept
Building a moat instead of a bridge,
Showing up on Sunday to be fed
Toast and Tea,
Thank you,
Nothing too spicy for me.

Jesus didn’t come to draw a line
On a frosted cake,
He came to put an end to our fake.
He didn’t come to make bad people good,
He came to raise us from the dead,
To silence the voices in our head.
He came to pardon the prisoners,
Heal the heartbroken,
He came to show us the way,
To show us who we were created to be,
Jesus came, and lived, and died to give us our

Let’s behave like we believe that, shall we?
Let’s raise our floppy arms in praise,
Worship like no one is watching,
Let’s swim in the river of grace,
In our bathing suits,
At the beach!
In front of people!
Let’s show off our necks and our scars and our wrinkles
Wear them like badges of honor,
The timeline of our story,
A map to our soul

Let’s stop listening to the talking heads and
Start talking to each other.
Let’s keep our face out of the mirror and
Be about the business that matters.

Show me the way,
Help me be who I was created to be,
Jesus, restore my identity.
© 2014 Cara Gabrielse, used by permission

For more insightful writing, visit Cara’s blog: Salt & Grace


How to Grow Old Gracefully ~ Part 2

My Sweet Gramma Tweter – 80 years old

To Grow Old Gracefully:

Be comfortable in your own skin from the inside out. Nobody is perfect. In fact, our imperfections often set us apart from the crowd and endear us to others. Lauren Hutton has a cute little gap in her teeth. She probably hated that as a child, but it gives her distinction.

Are you satisfied with what is going on inside your body? Do you have unresolved conflict with a loved one? Are you tormented by the abuse or trauma you suffered as a child? Seek counseling; become more comfortable with who God made you to me and resolve those inner conflicts.

Don’t fight your age – embrace it. I wouldn’t want to be twenty again. I might enjoy looking twenty, but I wouldn’t exchange it for all the lessons my forty-seven years have taught me – and
I certainly wouldn’t want to relive any of those ‘lessons’.

My gramma made peace with her age. As I look at the skin on her face, I don’t see wrinkles, I see the family we share, the places she’s been, years of wisdom, and a life well lived. The small amount of
wrinkles on her skin have always been irrelevant to me.

Take care of your body. You only get one; you can’t trade in it every few years for a newer model. If you abuse your body with lack of exercise, or over indulgence, it will show wear and tear. Feed your body nutritious whole foods, exercise your heart, drink plenty of water, and use daily moisturizer and sunscreen. Care for your soul with prayer, spiritual nourishment, rest and times of quiet reflection.

Growing old gracefully is more than just looking good on the outside – it comes from the inside out. When you fill yourself with grace, it will be evident on your face and in your life.

Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:18 (CEB)

Read part 1 HERE