For years I looked to others to get my example of what is good, right and true.
I knew that just about every situation that I came across had to be seen and approached from a different point of view. A perspective that was so new to me that it felt like everything had to be looked at upside-down. What I always knew was right now turns out to be wrong. Those behaviors that used to be encouraged are now frowned upon…everything was foreign.
A new language—
A new outlook—
A totally new way of life.
In learning what it looked like to do things that were good, right and godly—I did what I assumed others did when they were immersed in a foreign land—I watched those around me intensely. I tried to learn the language and culture by listening to how they talked and interacted. It was in some ways easier because many words sounded the same. Though in that same way learning the language was immensely difficult because the tainted view that I previously knew; stained those words that now was being said with affection and acceptance; like love and trust.
I knew that the majority of my life I lived in a way that was contrary to “this new Christian life” and it was a constant struggle to be made aware of my wrong thinking and trying to change it. Many times all I felt like I could do was mimic those who were in front of me. I only knew what I did was wrong because I was told that it was (not because I felt it was wrong…I hadn’t even gotten to the place where I could recognize the wrong in it)—so I surmised that the things that others did and the way they acted must have been right…
With a growing conviction I continued to watch, learn and repeat what others did—all the while asking God to change my heart.
The examples that were placed in front of me were that of strong women. Those who knew what they were aiming for and went after it. Those who had years of walking with the Lord and knew His voice. Those who definitively knew right from wrong and knew how to respond to situations standing on what they knew was right…immediately. Their decisions were made and followed through. Things just happened around them…decisive, significant, resolute, determined, influential, inspiring… Those attributes described the far majority of the women that were around me at the time. These women were the living examples to me of what godly women look like…so not like me…
Oh, how my heart longed to be just like those women.
In my heart and mind I thought that being like these examples of strong godly women would be the “end game”. I saw so many examples of that strong leader that I deduced that it was what women looked like after walking with God for a good amount of time. I guess, I thought that being like them would be who God intended me to be.
The more I journeyed, the more I realized that I came up short all of the time in regard to the goal of being like these women. And yet my heart was wanting so deeply to just be like them. I wanted to be strong and passionate—able to think better on my feet—be solid in what I wanted to convey and not waver when others came against it—persuasive and compelling when I spoke—bold and engage people that I don’t already know—a fierce protector—an eager learner—one confident enough to share boldly with others the powerful way that God has shown up for me…
All of those thoughts about who I was supposed to be became deeply ingrained into my daily life—reinforcing daily the thought that “I’m not good enough”
I’ll be good enough when I am strong and bold—
I’ll be good enough when I don’t allow my emotions to overtake me—
I’ll be good enough when I can think and respond quicker—
…when I don’t flounder so much in parenting—
…when I can be the one to impact others…
Imagine my pure and absolute delight when I was with a friend of mine who reminded me of a truth that I never could hold on to for myself. It was as if I could believe it for others…but it couldn’t apply to me—I wasn’t good enough for it to apply to me—
God made me exactly who He wanted me to be—
Psalm 139:13-14 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
I am not the person who when I walk in a room commands the attention of the ones in it. I am not the one who can look at a situation and fix or lead it to success.
Jeremiah 29:11:For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
No—I can’t be anyone else.
I am the one who would rather walk up to someone that I know and connect with them. I am the one who has to think things through at all angles before I come up with a decision. I am the one who loves those around me deeply, fiercely and loyally…and when I get hurt, I am also the one who feels that hurt to the depths of my being—which my the only response is to run with my brokenness to my Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I cried as my beautiful friend reminded me that the way that I am made is just right—
My tears washed the polluted view of myself from my own critical eyes and I wept in what my heart heard.
God is letting you know that you’re valuable, that your feelings are important and that you matter.
Tears fell as I heard the words given to me by my Father, through her—
Dear God, I am so thankful for those channels of your love for me—
I am highly favored.
I am a child of the King!