Photo Credit: Werner Kunz via Compfight cc
My grandmother loves to tell the story that when I was a little girl, I told her that I wanted to be a French woman. I would prance around her house, rolling my r’s when I talked. After all, that’s what French women did, and I wanted to get it right of course. Whenever I hear this story beginning to unfold, my stomach tightens, and suddenly hiding under the nearest flat surface or retreating to the bathroom seems like a pretty fine idea to escape the peals of laughter coming from everyone in the room. To this day, I still can’t remember what I learned that made being a French woman so alluring that I wanted to become one. I suspect it had less to do with learning about French women and more to do with how I saw myself.
I have always struggled with identity and wanting to be someone that I’m not. Even at a young age I knew that I was different. And I hated being different.
As I grew older, I remember having an ongoing daydream fantasy that the real me was buried underneath an outer shell of the girl who so desperately wanted approval and validation from those around her. I used to think that underneath my exterior was a beautiful woman who had it all together. She had long, flowing hair, and she was about fifty pounds lighter. She was happy and exuded confidence. She walked, talked and looked like every other girl in school to whom I could never measure up. She always knew just what to say, had the perfect comeback for every zing and every joke thrown her way. She was perfect. She fit in. She wasn’t different. I kept hoping and wishing this person would be the real me, the one that everyone would see. I would pray for God to make me normal so that I felt less…me. I kept waiting for the one day when I would wake up as my perfect self. And every day I would wake up to find that God had silently denied my heartfelt petitions and requests.
Little did I know at the time there was a girl inside of me, waiting for her chance to see the light of day. She looked a lot different from what I first imagined, but she was beautiful to behold. She was strong, bold, and courageous, and God was calling her out little by little.
One of my ongoing prayers is asking God to show me how He sees me, and to help me root my identity firmly in Him. It is a long journey for sure, but I am getting the lay of the land.
Today I’m linking up with Holley Gerth on Coffee for Your Heart at http://www.holleygerth.com.