I never learned how to sew, and while I have a pretty extensive shoe collection, a pair of Chacos are not part of it. My first experience with Tolkien was joining some college friends for the midnight showing of the first installment of The Lord of the Rings series, and my idea of “dressing up” for the movie was wearing a cardigan and pearls. (Although, those elf gowns were pretty chic.) Whats more, I will never forget the reaction an acquaintance had when I asked, “Who is Beth Moore?” Had I committed some sort of blasphemy? Clearly, if there was a code for doing “Christian single female” well, I had not cracked it.
That is not to say that I did not try. It’s just I could never quite reconcile the obvious fashion friction between my Jack Rogers sandals and a Patagonia jacket clearly meant for protection from more inclement weather than the wind blowing in the upper deck of Death Valley. Thankfully, I didn’t put up that fight long, and embraced the truth that my Nalgene bottle would more likely be filled with Diet Coke rather than electrolyte enhanced water.
While I had come to terms with the fact that I may not have a future in camp counseling and repelling off rocks, I still was striving for something. Striving for the approval of others: friends, parents, boys, and pastors. Even more deeply, I was striving for the approval of God. I believed if I could mold myself into what I thought it looked like to be a “good” follower of Christ, He would accept me more. Yes, He saved me and I believed He loved me, but I definitely had fallen into the trap of believing God did not particularly like me. I thought, God must think I am a silly girl. I am equally stimulated in theological discussions as I am E!’s Live Coverage of the Red Carpet. I absolutely LOVE good conversation and good coffee, but I am perfectly content to do that downtown….on a patio…in the city. I also believed God must have been real annoyed with me because I continued “messing up.” Like He must be thinking, “Seriously, Dorothy, here we are again?!” I kept trying to carry the shame of my sin He took from me on the cross. For sometime, I believed the lies that I had to “work my way up” to God liking me. And I believed working my way up to this approval required meeting some criteria of a checklist I had created in my mind. What I learned though, is that this confusion and insecurity was not at all from God. When I began to let go of striving to be something other than the daughter He created, I was able to begin abiding in His love.
God is just as interested in me, the girl who loves to paint her nails hot pink and flip through as fashion magazine as he my dear sister in Christ who makes her own laundry detergent and goes on an overseas mission trips every other month (Seriously, Facebook would lead one to believe this.)
What God is getting at is my heart. He created me, He created you, dear friends, in His image. There is a freedom in that! Gosh, He MUST like us. Knowing and believing how much I am truly loved in turn creates a deeper desire to obey Him and seek Him in my life. Security in Him is the best confidence booster, ladies. I am still learning to let Him mold me, even though I still often want to take on the potter role myself. I find, though, when I let Him take control of reshaping me, I am left feeling much more whole and accepted than I could ever achieve on my own.