Nobody else can do it. At best they will be a lousy copy and no part of them trying to be you will be anything more than a child playing dress up in your identifying characteristics.
Let’s face it… we’ve all done it at least once in a lifetime. Me? I’ve done it dozens upon dozens of times before I learned the secret truth. What’s the secret? Whoah! Hold on now… You dont seriously think I am going to go ahead and give up the answer to that THIS soon do you? OBVIOUSLY you don’t know me well.
First off – I will humor you with my own ridiculous behaviors – never once touching on the fact that YOU may do any of these things. I promise. Cross my heart.
I remember when I was a little girl I would wear my mom’s heels, apron, and sneak her cook books into my room so I could play house. I’d put my ear to a phone and listen sympathetically to a dead air tone and say soothing things to my bears while putting bandaids on my dolls. I would try to read really hard books (see theology books on the lap of a 5 year old) instead of the picture books I was ready for and stand up on a bed and try to tell my animals about Jesus because I wanted to be super smart like my Daddy. (You should know my Dad is a pastor.) These seem harmless, and even very good qualities for a young child to aspire to. Given. But then I started school. I tried to walk like Stephanie and I wanted so badly to have the pretty curls and glossy hair of Kim. I wanted clothes the other kids had thinking I would feel so much more self confident if I did. I wanted the barbies, the games, and the big play sets they had too. I wanted to play in the band for one reason, and be amazing on the drama team for another. I wanted people to see the person I built – not the person God did. Why? Did I honestly think that I could do a better job than GOD? Guess I did. Funny, I still do it today… like I cant learn this simple lesson once and for all.
So I try to be “super mom” the way I see other mom’s doing it… I wish I could work and bring home money the way some wives do, and to cook and prepare amazing spreads of food for parties and gatherings I will never have the courage to host. I want to be the amazing volunteer at the school that teachers secretly all wish they had, be active in the church’s this or that, the latest walk-for-a-cause thingy, and wow all my friends with how crazy wonderful I am. I want to sing like an angel and be the life of a party. Heck, I’d just take being invited to one right now! I want to be beautiful beyond words. Why do I want all that? Because I forget who I am.
I have learned the secret…that wasn’t a joke to get you to read all this. God brings me back to it every time I seem to forget, and every time the simple answer seems so much sweeter. I relax so much more fully and I am happy beyond description, warmed from the inside out. It’s sorta like a love note tucked in the last spot I finally look when searching for the “key” to who I am. God gently reaches down from Heaven and points to it… like words on a sticky note, short and clear.
It’s so simple. God made me the way I am because he NEEDED a Christi in the world. He didn’t need another Gina, Susie, Lori, or Kate. He needed me. And being me is not always super easy mind you, but it does come natural, I have all the skills to be her, and if I relax and trust God in it, He will even use all the broken stuff, mixed up stuff, and even the really yucky stuff too. He NEEDs YOU, too. You cant be me, and I cant be you. But we can be ourselves, which is even better.
So, the secret is to smile. It’s good to be you – even if you are not perfect, are feeling like you’re sorta stale, yucky, or not the person you want to be. Let God worry about who you need to be, because He knows best who you are to become. He can take it all, mold it like clay, and build a magnificent new creation from your lump of a life. He can do that – but first you have to stop trying to be someone you aren’t and be the very best YOU that you can be. Hand over the broken stuff that just doesn’t work and let Him fix it. Stop worrying about what you “should be” and just BE!
Go do what nobody else can do… to be YOU!
Published in the Mount Zion and Barkers Chapel monthly newsletter for April 2011