I’ve spent much of my life comparing myself to other people. Outgoing people. Popular people. People that others want to be around. Because the truth is, I’m not that person.
As you can probably guess, imitating others instead of being myself didn’t work out so well. I was doomed to failure from the start, never able to do what they did, all of my imitations falling flat or coming out wrong, never yielding the results I so desired. But over a decade ago, the Lord went to work on that area of my thinking. I came to truly believe that He loved me, not who I thought I should be. It was a life-changing moment. Many struggles to walk in that truth daily, of course, but eventually, being me became my habit instead of my hiding place.
Fast forward many years. I’m secure in my relationship with the Lord, secure in how He crafted me. Then I get a publishing contract, a dream turned reality. But life after publication didn’t set me on a mountaintop high. At least not very often. And now, three book releases later, I finally recognize that in that place of insecurity, instead of clinging to the Lord I allowed my old self, my old thinking to creep back in. You see, I’ve been trying to be the author I thought I should be. The author I thought my publisher expected me to be. An author like the ones I admire. Like the ones readers flock to talk to or be with.
The truth is the same now as it was back in my younger days when I yearned to be like other women in one regard or another–to be more outgoing, to have a musical gift, to be naturally hospitable, to have an easy way with my children. The truth is that I am me and I am unique. One of a kind. I can glean ideas and characteristics from what I see and admire in others, but I cannot make those things look the same in my life as in theirs. I have to reshape and reform them–even discard some altogether. For I’m learning yet again that God’s expectations of me are so much more attainable than my expectations of myself. He only wants me to be who He created and to do what He asks. Authenticity and obedience. Why do I want to believe it’s harder than that?