Trusting God with Who You Are
A few weeks ago, my niece drew this portrait of me.
I was relieved that my face wasn’t surrounded by facial hair, which she had included on all of her portraits of other people. Whew, dodged that bullet! The details were surprisingly accurate: Those two dots above my nose are the nose pads for my glasses. (I checked in a mirror that I didn’t have any other strange bumps on my nose.) She colored the curled ends of my hair darker, depicting depth and shadow. I like the cheery blue clouds over my head.
But what I noticed most was that gigantic eye compared to the squinty other one. She calls it my “big eye,” and she says it stays big even when I laugh. Oh, goodness, a new thing to be self-conscious about! You can scroll up to the real photo of me at the top of this article and see that big eye for yourself. She’s right!
I love the picture she drew so much that I plan to laminate it and keep it. In years past, I would have been embarrassed by it. What changed?
We do a lot of comparing of ourselves to other people. What would your list of comparisons look like? Mine goes something like this:
- I’m pretty uncoordinated and scared of the ball. I was regularly picked last for the team in PE class. (Let’s not miss the irony that I now work for a publisher of physical education products.)
- No one has ever called me the life of the party. Parties wear me out.
- I am uncomfortable being in the spotlight.
- I love making lists, and I often let those lists control my life.
- I’m very serious and quite gullible.
- I am deeply sentimental.
I could go on, but that would be depressing!
Instead, let’s look at the bright side:
- If you need a cheerleader for the underdog, I’m your gal!
- I’m organized and get totally pumped by supporting other people’s leadership.
- I am incredibly idealistic, almost always persevering after others have thrown in the towel.
- I enjoy researching difficult issues and taking notes. Need someone to think through something with you? I’m in.
- If you share your hurt with me, I will genuinely feel your pain and hurt with you.
You might look at that second list and think *boring*! But God made me exactly that way on purpose. Just like he made you the life of the party, the math geek, the neat freak, or however you would describe yourself. Maybe your house is a mess but your kids have a blast with you. God made you that way for a reason! Somehow we need to stop comparing ourselves to other people and embrace who God made us to be, just as I have embraced my big eye!
The Bible tells us in Psalm 139 that God created your inmost being; he knit you together in your mother’s womb. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Catch this: We are the works of God’s hands (Psalm 138:8), and his “works are wonderful” (Psalm 139:14)! God is saying, “You are wonderful because I made you!” Furthermore, he has a purpose for each of us (Psalm 138:8).
Honestly, I don’t know why God gave me a big eye. But I have grown to understand why he made me serious, organized, and persevering. He has used those characteristics in meaningful ways to accomplish bigger things than I could have imagined.
Do you compare yourself negatively to other people? What characteristic of yourself can you embrace today?
By Christine Drews. Chris loves spending time in God’s Word and noticing God’s hand at work. She telecommutes as a senior developmental editor for a small publishing house. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, bicycling, sports spectating, and influencing the children in her life. This is the third post in a series about Growing in Trusting God. The first post is here.