Many years ago I hosted someone for coffee and was a bit in awe of all she’d accomplished. Her resume was long and contained so much of what I wished mine would contain. Half my mind listened to her talking, the other half cataloged my very short list of accomplishments. (why do we do that?) That wasn’t the only time I’ve listened to an impressive list of works cited but I’ve noticed that each time, it’s more okay. I’m not sitting there green with envy or seething with jealousy as much as I’m a little impatient with myself. I’m not much of a visionary where I’m concerned, but I would like to add to my list of credits. And, I like to think that it isn’t because I want my own name glorified, but because He’s given me gifts that I wholeheartedly believe must, and will, be used as He intended.
Well, it’s been 7 months since I declared this the year of courage and I realize that sometimes the most courageous thing we can do is accept ourselves and get going with using our gifts. It’s my impression that most of us struggle with that. Clearly, it takes some courage. We’re quick to look at our flaws or our short list of accomplishments or worse, think we’re less than the next person. In our minds we know that’s not right. But in our hearts, we’re guilty some days. Since then, I’ve also met with other accomplished folks and each time they’re gracious and friendly and warm. And not only that, inspiring.
It’s a new concept that I’m embracing: liking me and how I’m made. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m getting it. For many years it was more like an extra-large shirt that didn’t fit. It felt inside-out, the color was wrong, the buttons didn’t match their holes…now I’m starting to think that I’m rockin’ this shirt! I’m so glad it’s mine!! At this rate, I’m expecting to find it quite flattering, even. I can only expect that because He’s allowed me the courage to accept myself.
Paul Tillich says, “Trust is the courage to accept acceptance.” So in this year of courage, I’d like to accept that the Lord has me firmly in His hand and is working out exactly what He has for ME to do. My role is not going to be what someone else’s is, obviously; it’s tailor-made for me. Not only does that inspire me to believe that exciting adventures await, but it also allows me to be genuinely happy for others when they become who they’re meant to be.