I was just washing my face after glancing in the mirror and realized pride seeps through these bones. It seeps through these bones and out my eyes like the burst of dust following the pounding of the lion’s paw. I shook my head and began pouring warm water and soap in a circular motion to the outskirts of my cheeks.

So quickly I recall the events of the night and how I cannot even cry. I am so proud and eagerly shout I’m fine while nervously laughing and twisting my sadness to a smile while sounding much like a chipmunk as I race words after word out my mouth. Old friends gather around me while I share my sobs and triumphs like I have never had a conversation with people before in my life. As though I’d never known how to navigate a conversation about me. And the scene rewinds and fast forwards to a pace I cannot seem to keep up with and I sigh with a roar even now. I scrub harder around my eyes, hoping the mascara is not the only thing I’m cleansing.

I want to just break down and be alright not being alright in the presence of mutual love. But even with the beckoning safety of my friends’ arms, I chose the familiarity of my pride instead. I turn off the water and dry off with a white towel. Clawing my way through the ponytail stuck in my mane, a sense of relief tingles my scalp and together we breathe. I feel so primitive. So unnaturally natural, and it hits me.

Right between my ribs and my heart it hits me. I so selfishly use pride to protect me from myself, I can’t hardly understand what could befall me. With a swagger of pride I mask this deficiency of Christ with the face of confidence. This false face of confidence which so deeply disturbs me. I know where my strength comes from… and I know where my efforts fail me. I know whom to call on, and I know its’ too easy to rely on myself instead.

And I am quickly seeing something beautiful beneath these hidden exchanges between flesh and spirit. I was made for a king. I was made for a confidence and strength I could never bestow upon myself. I was made for a king who would honor me with His strength, a confidence found alone through Christ. And I’m seeing short glances of whom He intended me to be. The ferocity in my eyes, the calming peace in my watching pause. In the lying face of pride, He is transforming a roaring child into the very likeness of His precious lioness.