While at home for Christmas my husband dug around in old photo albums, finding a picture of me, threeish years old in a pageant dress.
Many little girls raised in the South find themselves on a pageant stage at least once. And usually, these little girls learn early on if the stage is for them.
It always felt like home to me.
A few years ago my comfort for the stage and love for performing distorted itself and became a characteristic I despised-and set out to change. I had somehow warped my thinking to believe that being loud, dramatic and comfortable in front of an audience was not a characteristic that a life belonging to Jesus would display.
So I adjusted my thinking. “It isn’t always about you Courtney, you shouldn’t like the limelight Courtney, you need to humble yourself Courtney.” On and on that storyline went. On and on I drifted away from the one who created me in an attempt to be found favorable before him. It was an exhausting dance.
But you know what? I was wrong.
When God created this girl He gave me a knack for communicating, a boldness to speak in front of crowds, an ability to make people comfortable, and an A+ goofball personality. He also layered in a curious heart, and mind, and a wanderlust for adventure and newness. As the cherry on top, he gave me rhythm, so I could tear up any dance floor.
He created a special, and unique, piece of work, and because of this, I will no longer apologize for HIS work. And I sure won’t try to change it. Because that other girl-that’s not me. That wasn’t me. That was a gross misrepresentation of the character of God, which is truth. Besides, being ME is way more fun. And easier.
These first days of the New Year no more apologizing for your personality-for your uniqueness! You are a wonder to behold, but first to yourself! Knowing God freely requires us to honestly and vulnerably follow Him as His original design, not as someone we are pretending He designed. Or, wished He would have designed differently. YOU ARE A PIECE OF WORK. It is okay to be excited about that.
And let’s set 2017 as the year that being ourselves is ENOUGH. Without self-loathing and doubt. While we are being ourselves, we will open up a buddy bench for people to breathe and stretch in their own personalities. It gets stuffy playing pretend. Let’s open some windows!!
Welcome 2017! I love that little girl in the pageant dress. I love even more the woman she was, and the woman she is becoming. A woman whose heart is full of hope, thankfulness, and unapologetic love for who she is.