Before I knew my place in this world, I felt like I didn’t fit. When I was in elementary and middle school, I was teased by boys because of the gap in my front two teeth. I often loathed the way I looked and couldn’t wait for braces to be mine. Soon enough they were, and I realized that one fix wasn’t a fix-all, and I still longed to be better. A better me.
I always thought I seemed too confident when I spoke. Or that I was a bit too quiet when I was around people I didn’t know. In youth group, I felt like I was trying too hard to be holy. With friends, I tried to be funny. With boys, I tried to be witty and cute and enticing. With the world, I only wanted to be part of it.
I was wrong to think that as I would get older, my insecurities would fall away. They don’t fully; most times they morph into a more adult version of zits (which, are still an occasional problem, one that I had hoped would end with my teenage years, but sadly didn’t). I doubt myself in more ways than one: my mothering, my friendships, my marriage, my habits, the cleanliness of my home, the looks of my home, my home in general, my kids’ behavior, my haircut, my postpartum weight, my faith. It just seems easier to brush them under a rug and call them duties.
I love what Paul says about God in Romans 12: God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)
I have a hankering to develop doubt, to believe my insecurities are my underlying definers, and that I am not enough, too much, or anything else in between that keeps me from being me.
It isn’t that I want to be the best woman on this planet, shattering doubts and glass ceilings.
I want to hand all of my junk, all of my mucky doubt, my fear, and my insecurity, and hand it to a loving God, knowing He can make it right. Paul says in Romans 12, “Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” (The Message) Changed from the inside out. Relying on my ability to change is like hoping I will just speak Spanish fluently in five minutes. Not going to happen. Relying on Christ’s ability to change me is a sure-fire way to be transformed. To shatter doubt. To give insecurities a run for their money.
Jesus can and does bring out the best in me. Over and over, everyday, I return to Him so He can refine me. Not to sand away all of these imperfections or insecurities, but so they can be morphed into tools for the Kingdom. What is different, maybe even irksome, in me could be just the right thing for the work He calls me to. The too much. The not enough. The questioning. He changes the duty into a get-to. Not just a have-to.
It’s still true: I don’t quite fit into this world. But that’s because an eternity so good is waiting for me. I cannot wait for faith to become sight, for every doubt to fall to the ground into a million pieces.
Bring out the best in me, Father. I’m fixing my eyes on You.