Have you ever met someone who impacted you in such a way that it caused you to reevaluate who you were?
It was random.
During a “girls’ retreat week” Susan and I would be sharing a room. The first thing I noticed about her was that she was beautiful and not the teenage hot kind of beauty, the kind of beauty that transcends age. Finding out that she was ten years my senior surprised me.
And she had style—hats, scarfs, cute dresses, and shoes. She had it all. And she was kind. Not the ordinary sort of kind where you are pleasant when expected, her kindness went beyond pleasantries. She possessed a genuine care and concern for others. One that made you feel like you had value in her presence.
I wanted to be envious of her but I liked her too much to feel any negative feelings toward her at all. She seemed to have all the qualities that I lacked.
I realized I just didn’t want to be her friend; I wanted to be like her. I didn’t want to be me anymore. The more I noticed how lovely she was, the more I felt insecure about who I was.
I even began thinking Maybe my husband would like it if I wore dresses like her?
Maybe he’d find me irresistible if I wore hats and fancy scarfs like her?
Maybe I need to step up my fashion game and be more like her?
At this point, I also need to add that while I’m away without my husband I think of it as a week off from “polishing” myself. It was a no make-up, hair a mess, frumpy clothes, and This is how God made me and I’m au naturel kind of trip. By the end of the week I resembled a stray dog.
Hold up, hold up!
I like me. And I like that I give myself time off to relax and not worry about all the outside stuff. I really needed to get a hold of my thoughts and take charge.
Let’s start with my husband, shall we?
I’ve tried on so many scarfs and hats and gotten his, Are you kidding me? face. And dresses? I have a closet full. My husband shops with me and has expressed his opinion freely. Which I love. So, I don’t need Susan’s dresses to impress my husband, I have my dresses.
Why is it so easy to become unsatisfied with self?
Even a focus on what we think we lack is an over focus on self. And that is never healthy. It’s never good to lose yourself in trying to be like someone else.
This takes me right to what the Bible says.
This verse is one of my favorites:
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands…” (Ephesians 5:22).
The key here is to notice the word YOUR. Your own husband, not someone else’s husband. Every husband is different, and we need to be sensitive to the one we chose, and his specific needs and personality type.
Another verse screams out as well:
“Husbands, love your wives…”(Ephesians 5:25). YOUR. Husband love the wife YOU have. The way one man loves and adores his wife may be just perfect for her, but disastrous for another.
We need to cater our lives for the people God made us to be.
The way I conduct my life as a wife may be vastly different than others.
I am commanded to subject myself to my husband. We are not to copy others, we are to live within the directives God has for us.
I need to embrace who I am and be…well…me.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been unkind with yourself by wishing you were like someone else?
We are all called to be present in our own lives and harvest where we are planted.
This will look different for all of us.
So, to compare or wish we were like another is utterly unfruitful. When we play the Do I measure up to another? game, we have fallen into the schemes of the evil one. Yes! The evil one.
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I [Jesus] came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
The answer to staying present and joyful with our lot/circumstances/portion/situations/conditions/life is to focus on Jesus and his abundant life.
We were all made for the purpose God intended for US. Our differences are what make us all valuable and irreplaceable. Only you can be the wife your husband needs. Focus on being that wife. Only you can be the husband that your wife needs. Focus on being that husband.
Focus on being you.
With that said, would you like to see a picture of my beautiful and charming and sweet and godly new friend?
And her inside is even more lovely than her outside.
With that said…
Have fun being YOU.