Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thirteen Again

Aren’t those early teen years tough?  Trying to figure out where you belong, where you are going and who you are.  I don’t have really bad memories of those years, but I don’t have really good ones either.  I was so relieved to get to college and adulthood where I was finally confident of where I was going. 

I’ve never really struggled with self esteem and you would think now that I’m now on the verge of my late thirties (but I’m still totally in my mid-thirties) I’d be coming into my own.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  All of a sudden I feel thirteen again.  And it doesn’t feel any better now than it did twenty some years ago.  My hormones might be even more out of whack now than they were then.  I have been talking to other women and realize that I’m not alone.  It really is a difficult but good thing to open up about.  Just like in junior high, there is safety in numbers.  Especially in the bathroom.

When I was entering adulthood I had it all figured out.  Everything was going to be perfect now that I was in charge.

I would have the perfect house.

The perfect marriage.

The perfect children.

The  perfect career.

The perfect extended family.

Full of self-reliance I had it all planned out.  Then life hit.

And I don’t have a house.  My marriage is far from perfect.  My children, although wonderful and fabulous, are far from perfect.  I am not really that great of a mother most days.  There are issues and problems.  My career stalled out and it seems impossible to start over.  Seriously, Lord, this is not what I had planned.  Not at all.

Why would he not let me have that perfect life?  Well, maybe it’s time for his perfect plan instead.

As God has allowed each of those ideals that I staked my life and my self worth on to be stripped away, I could no longer rely on myself.  I know things are not perfect.  I know I am not perfect.  When that happens I am forced to rely on God for my self worth.  He is perfect.  If I had it all the way I wanted there would be no room for God. 

Along the road, it’s been a hit every time my attempts at perfection or sometimes even decent have failed.  Those are things that are important to me.  They are the bedrock of who I am.  It’s all very personal to me. When they are shaken, I feel like a loser.  I have failed. 

The good news is that I have failed.  Me being a failure is a very good thing.  When I feel worthless because of my less than perfect life, the only place left to look is to Christ. 

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9

He is the only place my self worth should come from.  He loves me so much that He died in my place.  He made me just the way I am.  All I need to do in life is cling to Him.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17


It’s not so bad to be thirteen again.  Maybe I’ll get it right this time and let Him take the lead.  There is really no other way.  Maybe I’ll live for His passion and pleasure instead of my perfection.  Then I can finally grow into true maturity, not just adulthood.


Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  Romans 5:3-5

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

1 comment:

Wayne Pederson said...

I'm trying to live Paul's words in Philippians 3:
"I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless, because of what Christ has done. Yes everyone else is worthless compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it as garbage so that I could gain Christ."