The clock next to the bed taunted me. The time glaring back just more proof that I wasn’t sleeping. I had counted the slats in the vertical blinds, the spots on the ceiling and traced the track of a single fan blade as it whirled round. It was one of those nights where the ghosts in my head forbid me to rest.
She’s so calm and gentle. Why can’t you be more like that?
Her voice is so tender and soft, not like yours.
She’s so feminine, creative, a naturally-tidy-born-to-decorate-homemaker.
I’ve struggled with this my entire adult life. I’m loud, brash, boisterous and intense. I thrive with just a bit of chaos around me; if things are completely tidy, clean, sterile, I feel stifled. My house is messy, my voice is harsh and loud instead of soft and sweet. Whether happy or sad, angry or tired I tend to speak with a high volume and strong words.
And I’ve always hated that about myself.
Why can’t I be more feminine? Softer? Sweeter?
Then while reading a book recently, the author asked the reader to put the book down and go read Psalm 139. Really read it. Like many Christians, I had read this chapter umpteen times. I was doubtful, but whispered a prayer for fresh eyes and cracked open the Word.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (v. 13-14)
I started thinking about knitting…and creativity. And how He put more thought, ideas, planning and reasoning into how to create me than the most talented artist, sculptor or weaver on earth.
I felt a tug deep down that He made me the way I am for a reason. It’s not an accident that my personality is strong, my voice loud. And yet…
I feel stuck.
I feel stuck in between who I am and who I want to be.
Who I am and who He intends for me to be.
Who I want to be and who He wants me to be.
That there is more than who I am right now, and I’m ready for change.
But I’m scared of the work.
I say I want to be nothing more, nothing less, than what He wants me to be. I want to be as fully me as He intends, and as full of His Spirit and strength as humanly possible. And yet…
I suppose the adage is right that the grass is always greener on the other side…I know many demure, quiet women who wish they were more outgoing, stronger (not that they are weak, but stronger in assertiveness, etc).
I don’t doubt that God wants to cultivate the gentler side of me. After all, gentleness is one of the fruits of the Spirit – evidence that He is at work in me. And oh how I want that; long for it.
But I also know that to continually trash-talk the innate me that He created on purpose is to spit in the face of the master sculptor. It is the novice stick-man-doodler giving pointers to the expert painter.
So here I sit, stuck in between, praying for the grace to accept who I am, yet be willing to work and allow the change that will make me more like Him.
I don’t have all the answers…heck, I’m not sure I have any of the answers. But for now, when those dark thoughts arise loathing who I am and pining for who I am not, I will whisper a prayer for grace, strength and peace and remind myself…
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.