They can be our best friend, but our worst enemies if we aren’t careful.
They can help us see things from a different perspective to help us address certain things with our lives…but in turn, they can be the sticky black pitch that catches us in a trap that is difficult to escape.
As you know from my last post, I have been struggling deeply with fatigue lately…and on top of this fatigue, I’ve also been deeply tempted to go back into a depression; so I went in for a counseling session recently. I didn’t get to see my counselor, for she was unavailable, so I wound up speaking with someone else.
In this session, I revealed that lately I’ve been facing many mirrors (family) that reveal attributes of my personality that I deeply want nothing to do with. To top it off, I recently had an encounter with a total stranger at the store that really cut me to the core.
A woman caught my name, and how I spelled it, as I was making a return at a store…and made note of it by stating she has a daughter named “Marni” (spelled the very same way). I thought this was pretty cool, for I rarely find people who share my name with the very same spelling…and we engaged in a small conversation while in line. Somehow, the conversation began to encircle that she is Jewish, and it came out that I come from such a background, but am a Christian today. Her response? “Oh, I hope my ‘Marni’ is still Jewish.”
My mind immediately saw an image of my mother, father and whole family sitting in judgment of me…and I began to feel one thing. Guilt.
“Did I make the right choice, God?”, is what began swirling through my heart.
To put a cherry on top of all this, this school term I’m deep in the book of Romans. While this book focuses on God’s grace and love through Christ, law still remains. What a mental mess I have found myself in over this…especially with being bombarded by my Jewish past laden with law and tradition…oh, and guilt.
Where all of this has been coming coming out, has been in my parenting…primarily in how I feel about myself as a mother. The main question swirling through my mind most of the time?
“Will I mess up my son and prompt him want to reject God the way I rejected God for so long?”
As I talked things out the other night, it became apparent that I’ve been silently, and secretly (even to myself) comparing myself with other Christian women, who are mothers, in my life – seeking to emulate how they do things with their children that I find admirable. Yet every time I try to do as they do, I fail miserably.
The biggest fail in this? I’ve been taking the best of the women I look up to in my life, magnifying those “bests” to the highest power, and trying to live by that standard.
Getting up early in the morning to have “personal time” with God in the word…fail.
Being gentle in my voice at all times with my son…even in disciplinary moments…fail.
Feeling joy all day, every day, even amidst fatigue and depression…fail.
I’ve been trying to be as these women are in my sights, and I fail every time…and this is why: I wasn’t designed to be these women even in their best. I was designed to be me in the best God designed me to be.
The same is true for you, too. You weren’t designed to be anyone in their best…you were only designed to be you in the best God designed you to be.
Trying to live differently than you were designed to live will prove to be painful and miserable. For the truth is, when we measure our worsts with others bests, we’ll feel like failures every time.
We’re more than the sum of what our friends, and even family, are at their best [and worst] in their lives.
We’re each uniquely created.
We’re each given unique testimonies.
We’re each allowed to go through certain struggles that are unique to our characters and personalities.
These will all be different from everyone we meet, are connected to by blood, or even in Christ! We may relate to one another, and understand one another’s pains and joys; but in relating, we aren’t to try and take on the attributes of another to try and be something we’re not [as individuals]. We’re created to work out a mission He’s each given to us individually to work out.
We’re to live as He designed us to live…individually [for His name’s sake].
My encouragement for you all today is this…seek not to be like others around you. You are more than what meets your own eye. You are each unique, wonderfully, fearfully created images of the very hearts God designed you to be. Live in this truth, let these things clothe you, and don’t ever seek to do like someone else (no matter how awesome they are)…or even be like someone else.
Be yourself. For you are more…and have been remade.