When my friend Dianne moved to a new community, she felt frustrated after an attempt to connect with a local moms’ group. “It was like cheerleader tryouts all over again,” she mused. I knew exactly what she meant. My mind returned to the spring of my sixth grade year, when cheerleader tryouts were held at my middle school. It seemed like everyone except me had swingy hair, a perfect complexion, and athletic coordination. I felt out of place and unsure of myself. I knew from one glance at the competition that I would never make the cut.
Like Dianne, I’ve continued to experience situations as an adult in which those feelings of insecurity and inferiority resurface. I still have bad hair days and the occasional zit, causing a preoccupation with the trivial. Walking into a room full of people I’ve never met remains somewhat unnerving. There are times when I still find myself overly concerned with what others think: friends, colleagues, even complete strangers.
Did I smile big enough?
Keep my arms straight enough?
Jump high enough?
However, something has happened that has made a huge difference in my life. I’ve learned what God has to say about me, and I’ve accepted it. It doesn’t matter how I feel about me or what other people think. I believe Him! God says:
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made, whether or not I can do a cartwheel (Psalm 139:14).
- I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved, whether or not I am chosen by a panel of judges (Colossians 3:12).
- I am a child of God, and I look like my Father, whether or not I’m having a good hair day (I John 3:1, 2).
- I am accepted by God because of my faith in Jesus Christ, whether or not I am accepted by other people ( Galatians 2:16).
Now, just imagine a world where we as women believed this--stood on it!--walked it, breathed it, lived it. And then imagine that we taught our daughters to do the same. :)
Are you setting an example today that includes others? Or are you still as clique-ish as you were in 6th grade? Or are you still believing you don't fit in, so you are reluctant to approach people and you hesitate in making new friends?
Know who you are, because He says you are, and pass it on. She is depending on you to teach her to depend on Him.