So today I've come to the conclusion that I am in complete agreement with the great philosopher Popeye when he penned the immortal words, “I yam what I yam”.
Because basically I've realized that no matter how much I retry to recreate myself, this is what I yam (am).
Here's the back story: I guess it all started a few weeks ago when I got an email—actually a survey—-for people in their forties and fifties. They called us “half timers”. Let's just say that I did not handle my invitation to join this new age group well.
The truth is that I'm not ready to be in half-time. Those of you who are familiar with my story know that God took my life on a detour in my twenties and I really feel like I'm just getting started.
Then this email came reminding me of my age. Instead, it was like I got hit in the face with a bucket of cold water saying, “You're getting old”. (A thought which had not occurred to me before). Even though I don't know why the flecks of gray that keep popping up in my hair or the fact that I literally belong to a perimenopause support group didn't clue me into this fact before, this email was just too big of a truth bomb.
Of course, this incident was followed up by another—-this time a supposed compliment that a top I was wearing looked nice—-very modern. Here was the bothersome part: They said “You should try dressing modern more often. It looks good.”
Even though it really was meant as a compliment, all I heard was “You dress like an old lady”
That's when things started to go a little loony tunes as I decided I was not ready to go through a midlife crisis yet and started updating myself. (Which as I remember from Father of the Bride part 2 was exactly what Steve Martin’s character did when he started feeling old.).
Anyway, with coupons and discount codes in hand, I began to update my look. As the clerk at my favorite store who has been processing my returns will tell you, it didn't go well. Turns out I'm not trendy.
Then I got it in my head that I'd try to be more interesting and add a little more zip to my video presentations. (That's hip and modern right?). After studying videos with loads of likes on social media, I gave it a try.
Well, it was a disastrous morning filled with outtakes and blooper footage of me trying to be someone I wasn't and failing miserably.
Then finally my brother and cameraman made an observation and said, “This isn't working. Walk away, comb your hair and come back and be yourself.”
That's when I had to accept that I can't be anyone else.
I'm not super trendy girl (not that there's anything wrong with you if you are. I really wish I was and if you'd like to go shopping and help me update my look, we should talk).
I'm also not the clever, trendy, video superstar that I was trying to imitate.
I'm just me—a middle aged (gulp!) woman who shares openly and honestly about her love for Jesus and what he can do with a ridiculously flawed vessel (who couldn't wear skinny jeans if her life depended on it.).
And that's all God wants me to be.
The truth is that He's okay with it. Actually God is more than okay with it—He created me the way I am. Even though there's always room for improvement, when it comes to the fundamentals I am what I am because that's the way He designed me.
Two of my favorite verses are:
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Why do I love these verses?
Because they remind me that it's ok to be who I am.
Actually they show that it's wrong to be anything else.
I mean if God went through all the trouble to make me one way, why am I trying to alter it? Do I actually think I have a better plan than God?
The Corinthians verse reminds me that God calls and uses people who don't have it all together. People who may not be the perfect package or fit the ideal image. God chooses people who come to Him as they are and say, “Whatever I can do to bring glory and honor to you, I am willing to do.”
Often that message comes in the most awkward, unexpected, imperfect packages that simply allow the light of Jesus to shine through.
So that's my story. And the crisis is over.
I'm going to accept my age, try a little harder to update my style (although I'm sure it will still be pretty conservative) take a deep breath and just be myself allowing God to use me.
And I hope that in some small way my brief excursion into a mid-life crisis will inspire you to do the same. Accept who you are—-actually enjoy it —-and allow God to use you to your fullest potential.
Remember you are His design—even if your life doesn't fit the standard mold—-as long as you are following the Designer’s plan for your life you're on the right path.
So be who you are and love it!
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