The first time I saw it was only from a distance and it looked amazing. Like everything I could have ever hoped for. But the person who had it was vastly different than me and I didn't understand that until Friday. Because on Friday I saw it on someone that was more similar to me. And I realized, pretty quickly, that God had just done something pretty amazing: He set me free from what was captivating my thoughts.
What I didn't realize, and maybe this will help you learn something as well, is that we are able to see a lot of things we like. Unfortunately we equate appreciating and liking something with wanting something because we think it will give us something we don't have. Whether that's confidence, approval, success, or any other worldly temporary fix. We honestly believe it, whatever it is, is the answer.
But what we like or appreciate does not mean it's us, and it certainly doesn't mean it's for us. And by for us, I mean the right thing and for our benefit.
God created each of us so uniquely. Some of us can pull off runway style clothing, look incredible, and it fits our personality, the way God designed it, to a tee. And then there are those of us who are most comfortable in a LuLaRoe look, a Lululemon look, or those like me that are happiest in jeans, a t-shirt, and with a book and my Bible in hand. (Seriously, I am probably the only one that waits for a school concert to start trying to read a book instead of with a phone in my hand and I know I am the odd man out at the orthodontist's office reading a book instead of staring at a screen.)
However until we really have our eyes opened to see that what we thought we wanted really isn't us and definitely isn't for us, we will continue telling ourselves it is and live with the guilt and shame that we haven't yet achieved it.
This year our daughter had to memorize and recite a poem for her reading class. She had a couple ideas until she came home and
helicopter mom I stepped in with a strong different suggestion. Needless to say baby girl memorized the first sixteen verses of Psalm 139. Verse 14 reads I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. (CSB)
And that's what we need to realize. It's possible to appreciate the things we see in others without wanting them for ourselves. It's possible to see the way God designed us with our preferences and be okay with it instead of feeling that we would be better if we looked like a fashion plate or She-Ra Princess of Power. It's not that there's anything wrong with either of those, but if we are constatnly unhappy with who we truly are, we are going to make everyone else around us miserable.
The frightening reality is that some of us (read me) have been so focused on the things we like about others for so long, we've lost most of ourself along the way. But He knew where we would wander, He knew what would capture our thoughts and attention, and He will still use it all to show us why it happened in the first place. Because from start to finish, God has always been about setting us free.