Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Authentically Me

My church is currently conducting its yearly women's care group.  Each year a book on spiritual growth as it applies to women is chosen for study and self analysis.  Anyone interested signs up and buys the book.  The ladies are then broken into smaller groups for ease of conversation and fellowship.  The books are read and discussed in the small groups at a weekly gathering.  Last year the group read A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George.  (SO good.  If you haven't read it, you MUST do so!) This year the group is reading The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer.  The book is based on the men's Resolution from the movie Courageous.  Except of course, it addresses women's issues and concerns.

I can say that I am truly enjoying this book.  The group has read the first three sections and is reading the fourth for this week.  One of the sections, "Authentically Me," really hit home for me, especially after my last post.  When I published my post, I hadn't finished the section, but after reading through it and thinking about what I wrote, I realized a bit more about my identity crisis.

In the section titled Authentically Me, there is a chapter titled "Intelligent Design." In this chapter was a set of lines that sort of opened my eyes to my issue.  Shirer wrote "I've often based my self-worth on some second-rate, inconsequential detail or assumption--like the way I looked, or the clique I fit into, or the way I measured up to a culturally set standard--to determine the type of woman I should be, to dictate the kinds of things I spent most of my time thinking about and majoring on."  Wow.  How many of us have had that very same experience?

While that set of lines opened my eyes, the next set from the chapter "Supernatural Selection" really brought the picture into focus.  (You may want to sit down for this one.)  "Rather than seeking to impress and outperform others, and rather than feeling ashamed by what you don't have and can't do, relish the opportunity to stand as a living, walking, eating, breathing example of what God's grace can do with a woman He has set apart, weaknesses and all, to be a sacred vessel in His service.  You are a purposeful place setting.  A masterpiece worth celebrating."  Were you sitting down?  I hope so.

I've been thinking about these two sets of lines and how applicable they are to my current state of  mind.  I've been frustrated over not finding steady work as quickly as I would like.  And I realized that this frustration stems from the thought of how people view me now that I am not employed full time.  There are feelings of embarrassment and uncertainty.  But there shouldn't be.  Yet, there are. 

I  keep wondering if God wants me to discover more about myself and who I truly am before I can move on and impact someone else.  You know, a purposeful place setting.  A masterpiece worth celebrating.  Hmmm.

I've got some things to meditate on.

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