When I was growing up, my Mom could sew anything. Curtains. Bedspreads. Costumes. Furniture Covers. If we had it in our home…my mom made it. And made it well.
The best part was the clothes. They were amazing! Mom could copy any article of clothing that she saw in a store or on television. Because of her amazing taste, for years I was privileged to wear perfectly tailored copies of designer clothes. Again, that was one of the best parts—because everything was sewn for me, everything fit! I never had to worry about needed alterations. Pants were always just the right length—skirts and dresses, too. As a young girl, I had no idea how blessed I was! I was counting this blessing the other day when I had to PAY someone to hem a pair of pants for me. (Honestly, because I got the pants on sale, it cost almost as much to hem them as I paid for them.) Why didn’t I just hem them myself? Because I have absolutely, positively, no skill in this area. I mean NONE. I’ve tried to learn. Having a mother who was so skilled, she obviously tried to teach me. Still, no matter how hard I tried, there is something in my brain that simply cannot process this skill. It's really ridiculous! The few times I've determined I am going to do it, it has taken me hours to do a 15-20 minute task. Even after I've spent whole days trying, things still come out uneven or looking weird. I've destroyed pants, curtains, and even broken a sewing machine attempting to learn to sew. Finally, I've accepted that I just don't have this gift. Still, every time I have to pay to have my slacks hemmed, I find myself feeling inadequate because I can't do this simply task that came so naturally to my Mom. I wonder “What kind of a woman can't do simple sewing? What’s wrong with me?” Then one Saturday night I was watching a movie. (Okay, yes, it was a Hallmark movie) Anyway, the young woman in the movie was feeling inadequate because she didn't have the same skills as her highly successful mother/boss. She wasn't sure that she could fulfill her role in their food company because her skill set was so different. (She couldn't cook---how can you run a food company if you can't cook?) And yet, as the movie went on, our bumbling daughter learned that the needs of their company were changing. Their business didn't need a carbon copy of the mother, what they really needed was the different set of skills which the daughter possessed. As I watched this movie, it spoke to me on several levels. Once again I was reminded of Paul's words to the Corinthian church which said:
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.
And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?
If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.
The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1Corinthians 12:14-27)
Because, unfortunately, I don't just fall into the comparison trap when it comes to my Mom's ability to sew. Unfortunately, my personality can spend way too much time comparing myself to other women. Then I feel inadequate because…
…she’s prettier …she’s more skilled in an area …she's more successful …she seems like she has it all together.
Yet, what I'm learning is that God has given each of us unique gifts, abilities and talents.
My responsibility is not to wish I had the gifts and abilities of another, but to use the gifts and abilities God has given me to the fullest.
One of the lessons I am continually learning is that I was not created to be carbon copy of someone else. God designed me to be me.
He’s given me talents in some areas and allowed me to have weaknesses in others. And that's OK. In fact, it's exactly the way it is supposed to be.
Why? Because God doesn't need us all to be the same.
He needs us all to walk in our individual callings and use our unique abilities, talents, and gifts to advance His kingdom. We need to fill OUR role and let others fill THEIR role.
If this means someone else hems my pants, then I need to tell the lying voices in my head to be quiet!!!
Being different doesn't mean we are inadequate. It means we are filling the role God has for us as we encourage others to fill the role God has for them.
When we accept this we will not only find that the kingdom of God is progressing in the world, but we are happier, more at peace, and able to enjoy being who God created us to be.
So I can't sew--so what?