We all want to be popular and loved, and many times we try to emulate another person who we admire to reach that goal. Through my middle school and high school years, I tried to look like the models in magazines. I copied their hairstyles and hair color, attempting to recreate myself using their ideas for makeup and fashion. I wasn’t always successful on any level, nor was I happy because of this failure; it may not have gotten me the results I wanted, but it didn’t stop me from trying.
In 1995, I had an acquaintance who I wanted to be like in every possible way. Athletic, pretty, full of energy, and successful in her job; she exuded all the qualities I wanted to be, all the attributes I thought I wasn’t. At one point, I went and convinced my husband I needed a new car (the same as she drove), a sporty little two-door with sunroof, an impractical car for the mom of a 5-year-old.
The car was low to the ground and after one person rear-ended me, I was paranoid driving it, worrying that people couldn’t see me, especially trucks and SUVs. As self-fulfilling prophecies go, I had three accidents, all people rear-ending me or backing into me in parking lots. It wasn’t long before this acquaintance who I was literally fashioning myself after, let me down with things she said and did, and then it wasn’t long before I was asking for a different car, this time a bit more practical.
I couldn’t admit this expensive lesson until years later when I was teaching a class on “Seeing Yourself as God Sees You,” and I realized then that I wanted to be anyone but the person I was, both physically and emotionally. I had to finally come to terms with who I was in God’s eyes, and the fact that He loved me for me, not for me being someone else. He couldn’t recognize me as that fake person, and I had lost myself through it all. I was only able to find myself by looking to Him and remembering His awesome love for me, the love He showed through His Son, Jesus, dying for my sins. This is such a huge thought, too big for me to comprehend at times, but it is Truth. Once you know that Truth, you know His power can transform you into exactly who He made you to be and to become, and that will never be some phony, unrecognizable wannabe, regardless of how popular it makes you.
I may not be the most popular, most athletic, or prettiest woman out there, but I am “me” and that’s a great thing!
“Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect” (Rom. 12:2-4, ERV).
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