Someone like me

This is the season of new beginnings and resolutions. Everywhere we turn we hear about new diets, new workout routines, and new lifestyle promises. We see "gurus" selling books, videos, and programs to the masses. But I'm one of those kind of people who look at those "successful, pretty people" and think, "They're nothing like me."

Even on a personal level, I am surrounded by people that I perceive to be better than me--smarter, prettier, more resourceful, more blessed, whatever. I always see myself as being just a little less than others, a little less deserving of good. Blame it on my childhood, on my teen years, on my adult years. It doesn't matter what you blame it on.

I often look up to women of faith who really put the love of Christ into action. I think of women who write books, lead women's retreats, even have TV ministries. I always see them as being a little different from me. They seem to have arrived at their faith in a way that is categorically different from where I'm at. They don't seem like me.

I'll be honest--I struggle with some of the protocol of organized religion. As a divorced and remarried woman, I know that there are a large number of "Christians" who would not allow me to be in a ministry leadership position. And I understand why they feel like that. I've read the scriptures. I know that God has laid out expectancy for those who lead.

But I want to see someone like me lead. I want to see someone who is not perfect in every way, who openly admits their stumblings and faux pas (and I don't mean that their house needs vacuuming as they head off to another state to lead a retreat). I want to see a woman who made a marriage vow early in her adulthood to find later that it takes two to build a marriage and two to repair and rebuild it. And if that woman is the only one willing to repair and rebuild, I don't believe that her husband's choice forever chastises her to second class citizenship in the church (which is where she should be finding ACCEPTANCE, LOVE, and GRACE not further judgment).

I want to see a woman who knows she has failed time and time again raising her children, making the same mistakes her parents made but who realized it before it was too late and was willing to admit her mistake to herself and her children and to others. I want to see a woman who did not realize that simple things like bubble letters and friendship bracelets made from floss had eternal value, and gave them freely never knowing to expect anything in return because she was truly giving out of the little she had freely.

I want to see a woman who has made mistakes--like I make all the time, because although I know that sin has no hold on me, I still trip and stumble sometimes--who is clumsy in her walk of faith just as she is in sports. I want to see a woman who was chubby and awkward, who the world judged harshly for doing the best and only thing she knew how to do but who was willing to face that criticism because she believed, no...KNEW, that her story would encourage others.

I want to buy her book, go to her retreat, and watch her show. I want her to have public "duh" moments and similarly awesome "ahh" moments as the love of Jesus and His grace wash over her. I want to know her, to be counted as her friend.

"Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit." --Titus 3:3-5 NLT

Father, I have made so many mistakes. When I look in the mirror, I see the mistakes and not the beauty you have created in me. And I see these people around me who I feel are much better qualified to be beauty, to be loved, to be forgiven. Remind me today that all I ever have to be is who you made me, and also remind me that you love me and saved me not because I was good enough, but because you knew how miserably I would fail and yet you wanted me as your own anyway. Teach me to accept myself and others, your creations, as you do and leave the judgment to you. For I know your justice is better than mine, and I can't even understand it. Thank you for giving me beauty, surrounding me with opportunities to rediscover it, and ways to reach out to others and encourage them to find theirs as well. In Jesus' name, AMEN.


Cheri said…
Thank God for grace.

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