Just Me

Sheryl with celery

I’m not sure what the turning point was–or even if there was a turning point.  It may have just been a gradual adjustment, a growing into rather than a “Ta Da!” moment of becoming.

Satisfaction with myself eluded me for most of my life.  I was a master comparer. In Elementary school the comparison of my athletic abilities to the more agile, swift, and fit began. Middle school left me fixated on my nose and when I might possibly be able to change it.  Along the way to whatever form of maturity I now live, longing to have legs like my mom or hair like a friend or confidence in my musical abilities like my friends or a metabolism that didn’t resemble a rock’s dogged me.

It wasn’t that I was ignorant of truth.  I’d seen the plaques–”God don’t make no junk” and “Please Be Patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.”  I even believed them.  Well, mostly.

I’m not sure if it’s being female and, therefore, a natural at comparing myself to others.  I’m not sure if it was being an American in the late 20th century where self-improvement is part of the air.  I’m not sure if it’s just being a dirty, rotten sinner saved by grace.  Comparisons and striving (at least emotionally) to be other than I was was a normal part of life.

Somewhere along the line it changed.  I accepted my oh-so-slow metabolism.  I decided I wouldn’t recognize myself (and wondered who I would be to everyone else) if my nose no longer looked like my nose.  I embraced the fact that I’ll be riddled with nervousness if I have to play my flute in public.  I know I’ll never win prizes for athleticism.

I’ve also come to understand and enjoy that I need time to myself.  I need to write.  I’m good at what I do more often than I’m not. Loving people well doesn’t place restrictions on clothing sizes, math skills or anything else that I can obsess over.

More than any of that, I’m in the process of accepting truth.  Truth that God (the one who created me AND everything anyone can discover in the natural world) calls me his own.  He chooses me.  Before he created the earth’s foundations, he chose me.  He didn’t choose some idealized version of me.  He chose me, the flawed version.

There’s freedom in that truth.  Freedom to not fight what is.  Freedom to be a steward of what I have and who I am and not squander those while trying to be someone else.  Are there places I’d like to see myself change and grow?  Of course.  However, they don’t control me; I choose to act or not act on them.

Believing truth allows me to accept others with their imperfections and struggles.  The same truth that applies to me applies to you.  It applies to everyone we meet.

Because of TRUTH, I can be who I was created to be.  I can be just me.

How have you become more yourself as you’ve walked into maturity?

 

She’s back!  I’m back to Jamming on Thursdays with Bonnie over at Faith Barista.  If you’re a blogger, consider joining the jam next week and adding your own riff on the topic she brews up.  If you’re a reader, see what others had to say.

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11 Responses to “Just Me”

  1. MoragNovember 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    “Loving people well doesn’t place restrictions on clothing sizes, math skills or anything else that I can obsess over.” – so true! I’m new at faith jam – I enjoyed your post.

  2. DorothyNovember 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    Hi Sheryl ~

    I am jumping over from Faith Barista … (so glad the Thursday Jam is back)

    I remember thinking a few years ago about the ‘God don’t make no junk’ saying and wondering over and over in my mind “what if I am the only mistake that God made?”

    Writing on this week’s topic has helped me to see how hard I am on myself and to make a more honest effort to lighten up.

    The keys are acceptance and God’s truth.

    Blessings ~ Dorothy

  3. TirzahNovember 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Love you friend!

  4. Ginger HuntNovember 14, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    My dear friend,
    I have always cherished you exactly as you are. You have played a part in my sons’ lives, and I have admired your ability to get deep into a conversation that some young person didn’t even really know how to start.
    My life certainly didn’t turn out the way I had planned…..not at all. But I keep walking because Jesus is there. I can be me with you. Just me. And that’s okay.

  5. SherylNovember 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Oh, Ginger! You are so safe and comfy. I’ve never felt pressured to be more than I am when I’m with you or the amazing men who are your sons. I think you should come to Colorado for Christmas. I’m sure going to miss hanging out with you this December. I’m so glad we can walk the Jesus road together.

    Tirzah–Love you, too!

    Dorothy and Morag–thanks for stopping by! I’m thankful Bonnie has the jam going again. It’s the kick in the bottom I need to get writing more consistently.

  6. Bonnie Gray | Faith BaristaNovember 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Hi Sheryl, It’s SO awesome to be here, at your place…. after all this time. And still get to hear your wonderful voice in the Faith Jam. Yes, freedom to explore being me. And not “squander” life trying to be someone else. You make it easier by being here. ;)

  7. SherylNovember 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Welcome back, Bonnie! I’m so glad YOU are back . . . back here, back to the blogosphere, back to the Faith Jam. You make it easier to express myself.

  8. CherylJanuary 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Only just got to read this, and I love it. Makes me think about my Christmas sermon about how Jesus brings us adoption into His family. And an adopted child is a chosen child. An adopted child can’t ever be an “accident.” He or she is totally and completely on purpose. And yes, that’s how God loves us. So good. So amazing. I love you.
    When you comin to visit??

  9. SherylFebruary 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Soul–I’m sorry I missed your comment for so long. I’ve been sick all year. UGH.

    I love, LOVE, love all the adoption language of the New Testament. I remember learning in Cote d’Ivoire that a natural child can be disinherited but not an adopted one. What good news!!!!

    I’m coming to Hungary. Is that close enough? It’s just a quick trip though. Time, money, health, and everything else have conspired against anything else this year. Know that I love you even if it’s a long time between actual ‘ugs.

  10. Ronald JohnsJuly 24, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Sheryl,
    You are doing “awesomely well” as a child of God!” Very proud of you!
    Ron

  11. SherylOctober 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Thanks, Uncle Ron!

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