Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Stacy Averette

Hi there, lovely friends! I’ve decided to add a new tab to my blog’s menu called “Confessions”. These sort of semi-weekly posts will be the place I disclose, acknowledge, admit areas where I’m currently struggling and/or what I’m learning. It’s a place to ramble with my words without necessarily forming a tidy conclusion. Some posts will be light-hearted and others a little weighty. I hope they’ll all be refreshing.

These Confessions will give you a glimpse inside my head and heart to see the lovely (albeit sometimes messy) journey that is sanctification. My goal is to be gently transparent while offering a generous dose of truth and encouragement as we surrender to the joyful transformation of the gospel.

Confessions of a Rebel

“Buy the hat,” whispered the still, small voice.

“But I’m not a rebel,” I said.

“Yes, you are. Buy the hat.”

I quickly tossed the black, flat-billed hat into my cart. The bold, white-stitched REBEL seemed out of place among the black dusty Bibles, framed vintage prints, and the stack of colorful old glassware that rattled as I made my way to the check-out.

The next morning I sorted through my thrifted finds and fixed the REBEL hat onto my uncombed hair. Piddling was the order of the day, moving from kitchen to garage to craft room, deciding what I could part with. I usually want to keep it all.

One of my favorite adults came home from the big city and plopped down in everyone’s favorite chair in the kitchen. He grinned and said, ” I like your hat”, meaning it.

“Oh, I forgot I was wearing it. I don’t even know why I bought it!” I replied, feeling a little embarrassed.

“You know, it’s a Star Wars hat?”

“What do you mean?”

“He pointed to the small emblem on the back of the hat that I hadn’t noticed, and said, it’s from Star Wars.”

“Oh, okay,” I shrugged, tossing the hat on the table. I thought back to all the hours I’d spent watching Star Wars with him and the others. I’d watched it enough to have a vague idea of the storyline but I’d obviously missed an important part.

“The rebels are the good guys,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Wait, what?” I asked, thinking I’d misheard.

“Yeah. The rebels are the good guys.”

I put the hat back on and took a selfie when no one was around. It felt like a moment to be remembered but the lesson wasn’t over yet.

Rebel. Period.

A few days later I shared the picture on social media without adding a caption or explanation.  A friend commented, “I’ve known you for a long time and while you are a lot of things—-a rebel isn’t one of them.”

Why do we automatically think of a rebel in negative terms? I know I always have. But the dictionary doesn’t ascribe a negative or positive value to being a rebel. The definition of a rebel is simply a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler.

I wanted to explain, to share my heart on the matter of identifying as a rebel, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to say all that I was thinking and feeling and social media has never really felt like the right place to lay my words. So I lay them here after weeks of thinking and researching and journaling.

A Google search of  “Star Wars Rebel” produced over 40 million results in 0.82 seconds! (And this is what I love about the internet!) I learned that the Rebel Alliance is the main protagonist in the original Star Wars trilogy. The Rebels were about resistance and restoration—they were advocates and champions who stood bravely against evil.

“I AM a rebel!” I silently exclaimed.

“I told you so,” He whispered. “You are a rebel—a freedom fighter—in alliance with the One True God and His Son Jesus, your Champion. With the help of the Holy Spirit, your Advocate, you are about resistance and restoration, standing bravely against evil, never backing down against seemingly overwhelming odds!”

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. II Corinthians 3:17


God is Funny

The REBEL hat was an answer to a question I’d asked God years ago.

It made no sense to me to buy the hat at the Goodwill that day but after years of bathing my heart and mind in His Word and practicing His presence, I’ve learned to recognize The Still, Small Voice guiding me in the way I should go. Sometimes the way He leads me feels like a rabbit hole. More than once I’ve heard Him speak and thought, “What in the world?”

But here’s the thing: I’ve walked with Him long enough to know that wherever He leads  —well, that’s exactly where I want to be.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

A few years ago I was struggling through a mid-life identity crisis. It wasn’t my first identity crisis but it was almost as brutal as the first one that pulled the rug out from under my well-planned life.

Sidenote: I think one of the reasons we have these identity crises is because we root our identity in what we do. A job, a title, a position becomes who we are (and maybe an idol we worship) and when we lose the job, title, or position we feel we’ve lost everything. But that’s another confession for another day!

Back to my midlife identity crisis:

The job/title I’d had for years had changed and I felt lost, again.

“I don’t know what to do with myself now,” I groaned behind closed doors.

“Just be you,” was the advice I received from my wise counselor.

“But I don’t know who I am,” was my answer day after day.

One day I wrote these three words at the top of the page in my journal:

Who am I?

The three words on the page were my unspoken prayer to the only One who can answer my questions. And I have A LOT of questions! My Creator accepted the invitation to peel back yet another self-protective, idolatrous layer I’d constructed in order to reveal who I am, who He had created me to be. He did that just for me because He already knew the answer to the question! He was moved with compassion by my desperate plea.

Sanctification is messy, friends.

It is not the tidy, perfectly executed road trip with pristine, scenic views and lovely traveling companions I’d imagined. Nope. There are twists and turns and ditches and detours usually because I keep trying to drive the car around the sanctifying hard places.

Sanctification is a “through process.

More than anything, the process of sanctification has required me to let go of what I thought my life should look like and go through whatever The Sanctifier brings my way.

On Being a Rebel

“You’re just not going to follow the rules, are you?” he said as we stood in the hallway at church.

“You don’t know me very well. I am a rule-follower by nature. I like rules and check-lists and systems. Order and efficiency are two of my core values. But if possible, I don’t follow arbitrary, man-made rules that don’t make sense.” (I think I might’ve said “dumb rules” at some point, but it’s been years so . . .)

Apparently, I’ve been a rebel longer than I realized.

At 15 or 55, I never intended to be a rebel of any sort. I’m a recovering people-pleaser. People-pleasers (even recovering ones) are NOT rebels by nature. I’ve always wanted to be thought of as “the good girl” who does what others (parents, teachers, bosses) think I should.

And there’s the rub.

Sometimes there is a great divide between what others think I should do and what I believe God is telling me to do. For me, the choice is simple—not easy—but simple.

I have always chosen and will continue to choose to measure my life by obedience, not the affirmation of others.

I’ve learned that there’s very little that will get you labeled or thought of as a rebel faster than asserting “that’s not what I believe God is saying to me.”

Living a spirit-filled, spirit-led life is not something I take lightly. I read and study God’s Word. I meditate on His Word. I worship. I practice His presence and I position myself in my daily life to hear Him speak.

I measure my life by obedience. If there is to be any impact or influence, it is in His hands.

In closing, I want to share a quote I saw recently:

“One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.” K.L. Toth

The sense of self that I never want to lose is the one that is hidden in Christ Jesus. The sense of self I have come to know is the one defined by my Creator, Redeemer, and Friend and is more lovely than anyone could have ever expected.

I’m a rebel—a freedom fighter—in alliance with the One True God and His Son Jesus, my Champion. With the help of the Holy Spirit, my Advocate, I am about resistance and restoration, standing bravely against evil, never backing down against seemingly overwhelming odds!

This leads to a life of freedom greater than anything I’ve ever known.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

If any of this resonates with you, I hope you’ll stick around for more. I plan to write more confessions in the days ahead to demonstrate what  I mean by living lovely. My hope is to help women in every season trade the try-hard life for the abundant life in Christ.

Our friend Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I’d shout His invitation from the rooftops except that I hate shouting and loud noises, so I’ll be over here gently reminding you to lay down the heavy burdens you were never meant to carry and cast off the ill-fitting yokes you were never meant to wear.  Let go of the exhausting expectations of others and live in the grace, forgiveness, and freedom Christ died to give you!

Be a rebel—a freedom fighter—in alliance with the One True God and His Son Jesus, your Champion. With the help of the Holy Spirit, your Advocate, be about resistance and restoration, standing bravely against evil, never backing down against seemingly overwhelming odds!

One more thing before you go . . .

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