Love The Skin I'm In

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
(Robert Frost)

Some days I look around and I wonder, “What did I sign up for exactly?” The life I live is drastically different from the life I imagined. At this stage in my life, I was certain I would have been married for a long time, have children finishing up high school and halfway through college, have a stellar career under my belt. These are the things that society told me, in one way or another, would make me happy and bring fulfillment. I believed what “they” told me and I pursued it, but it has not happened that way for me. So now what?

After years spent trying to run in step everyone else; trying desperately, yet in vain, to keep in step with the crowd. I strived to have life like everyone else around me was having it. It’s only recently that I came to realize that is just not my portion. I am one of those who marches to a different drum; a drum I tried to ignore and block out for fear of standing out and being set apart when the reality is, that’s exactly what I’m meant to do, stand out and be set apart. Who wants to be different, when different is often ridiculed, rejected and misunderstood. Oh wait - that would be what happened to Jesus wouldn’t it? Hmm…

I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that she always knew that she was destined for greatness. I won’t go that far, but I’ve always known that I had a big destiny and a greater responsibility. I always knew that the “norm” was not meant for me. I’d love to say that I embraced it and went with the flow… I’d love to say my response was super spiritual and absolutely correct. I’d love to say that, but that is not the truth. It is the opposite of the truth. Instead I was scared by the prospect. Then I grew angry at God because I felt like He was withholding something from me because He somehow, despite what He said, He loved me less than everyone else.

What else was I to think when everyone around me was falling in love, getting married (or remarried), having great kids and happy families or remarkable careers. What else could it mean that year after year I had no one to bring home for the holidays let alone introduce to my family? How was I supposed to feel when people eventually stopped asking me when I was getting married, or when a close relative proclaimed that it was obvious I would never have children in their lifetime? Over time it wore me down and I was like Eve in the Garden questioning God’s true intent toward me. What a dangerous place that is to be! Nevertheless, it’s where I was.It is funny how I could see the problem so clearly in Eve, but could not see the same thing in my own heart. Talk about missing the beam in your own eye while worrying about the speck in someone else’s! Sheesh!

Then came the prayer that changed it all; one simple yet powerful sentence – “God show me, me” and did He ever! But love (e.g. God) is patient and kind. He worked me through it over time. He exposed every lie about Him for what it was. He went out of His way to woo me and regain my trust, and somewhere in the process, He made it okay for me to be who He created me to be. I won’t say that it has been peaches and cream since then because it hasn’t. There are still lonely days and nights, what ifs, and moments if fear, anger and doubt. I have been ridiculed, rejected and misunderstood AND I SURVIVED IT! Life has given me its worst and I made it through! You can too. (Phil 4:13)

Knowing God’s true heart toward me and being confident that He knows just where He is taking me has made all the difference. (Jer 29: 11-13) I stopped being embarassed about my life and apologizing for not being like everyone else. I got to the business of fulfilling my God-given destiny and purpose. I cannot tell you what a HUGE relief it has been.

I guess my whole point is sharing this is so that someone out there will stop running and learn to be okay with who God made them. He doesn’t hate you. He’s not angry with you. He loves you and has a great plan for you. Will you dare to allow him to take you there? Will you learn to love the skin you're in? I am praying so...