I See Your True Colors

by Anne Marie Owens

This past weekend our daughter, Sophie, asked for sushi and a movie. And our son, Jude, was just happy to be with Sophie. So I grabbed some Tokyo Express then took them to rent a Redbox. They (Sophie) chose the movie Trolls. It looked like a colorful cartoon with a fun soundtrack, so I got it. And all was good that night until Sophie told me she was too scared to go to bed because of the zombies. Zombies? What zombies?! Oh awesome, we’d just managed to fill the minds of our young children with colorful trolls & zombies. Even I thought that sounded creepy. Needless to say, when Rich checked the rating and saw it was PG, he pulled out our copy of The Goonies and said, “Annie, The GOONIES is PG.” Truth be told, zombies are right on par for a PG rating, no excuses. Lesson learned, check the rating before you let your kids watch a movie.

Okay, so you’re probably wondering what’s with the title of my post. Well, like I said, the movie has a really fun soundtrack. So the next morning on my walk, I decided to check it out. And yes, I’m slightly ashamed to admit I was exercising to the Trolls soundtrack. Anyways, one my favorite numbers on the soundtrack is a cover by Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake of the song "True Colors." And it’s actually really well done. Cyndi Lauper would be proud. In "True Colors," the artist sings, “I see your true colors shining through and that’s why I love you.” Well, as cheesy as that line sounds, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Because when I heard it, all I could think was, “my true colors are uuugly!! I hope no one sees them shining through!”

Because the truth is, this past week I’ve been full of anger, bitterness, ingratitude, and unbelief. And my thoughts, actions, and sharp words have all confirmed that. My heart has felt really black. Scary black. For one of the first times in a long time, I’ve felt desperate. Desperate for Jesus to do what ONLY Jesus can do, to change my “true colors”. I’ve realized heart-level change is all on Jesus. HE has to do the work. I can’t “fake it till I make it” and I can’t “obey enough” to heal the black desires of my heart. Both the Word of God and the inner working of the Holy Spirit have confirmed to me that, apart from Christ, I am dead in my transgressions. Apart from Jesus, my heart is black and my heart will stay black.

So, this week I took a blank notecard deck and started writing down verses about how God saves us. I started asking God to heal me on a heart level. No more behavior modification. I want real change. I want Jesus to kill the idols in my heart. And I want to live in the freedom that ONLY comes from worshipping the One I was made to worship. I decided to start by memorizing Ephesians 2:4-7. And you know what jumped out to me? It was the first line of the passage, “because of his great love for us.” It is not because of my churched background, my Scripture memory, my marriage to a preacher, my PCA upbringing, or my mad parenting skillz (clearly;) is because of HIS great love that I am saved. Wow. Talk about humbling. Only God’s “great love” can turn my black heart white. Isn’t the gospel of Jesus Christ the sweetest news you’ve heard? It is by grace we have been saved. And it is by grace He promises to change our “true colors.”

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A line from a Jimmy Buffet song comes to mind, My head hurts, my feet stink and I don't love Jesus. I hate to admit it, but I have gone through spells like this. Thankfully they don't last long and the blackness lifts. Jesus always hangs in there with me.

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