Every time I think about writing, I change my mind. I don’t want to sound like someone else when I write. I don’t want to copy or steal someone else’s voice and, to me, I always hear someone else’s influence in everything I post. Maybe it is because I want other people to actually want to read my words and I know what I like to read and assume that I need to “fit a mold” to attract a base of readers… to ultimately make friends… to have someone care about what is on my heart. To have a purpose outside of simply being who God made me because I am convinced that that in and of itself is not truly enough. It’s basically the same as comparing myself to the prettier girl in the room: if I were only more like her. If my teeth were perfectly bleached and my hair perfectly dyed and cut. Oh, and if my skin were always remarkably smooth and clear. Hahahahahaha! It’s not in my genes.
Why am I so discontent with who God made me to be? He says that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that should be enough but it isn’t. Deep down, I guess I don’t believe it. Every single thing I do is for affirmation… so someone will justify my existence with a complement. I sing, “Jesus loves me this I know” with my 5 year old class and I am amazed that I still do not “know” it. Those confident little hooligans know it! (I hope they know it forever and ever and remain confident always.)
I think I was 5 years old when I wrote my own verse to “Jesus Loves Me” while waiting for my mom to come tuck me into bed. I remember the creative process of putting rhyming words together and being a little bit nervous to share it with my mom. She affirmed me so well and we used to sing my verse along with the rest of the song as if they really went together. My verse goes:
“Jesus is the King of All, He will help you when you call, if you take the time to pray, He will help you in the day.” (I remember changing the words to “every day” because my 5 year old thought process led me to realize that, if He is King of All, he can help out at night too…)
I know now that the theology of “if you take the time to pray -THEN- He will help you” is not exactly the best, most grace-based theology, but it makes sense to a kid and it isn’t exactly inaccurate either. I shared this verse with my 5 year olds on Monday at class and one of the girls who insists she knows all the verses said, “Did you make that up?” with a load of suspicion in her voice. I told her that I did when I was her age. Oh my word, that confident (and yes, a bit rude) little girl said, “You did not make that up.” As in, I knew that a long time ago and you didn’t and you’re wrong and I know better than you. You want to know something silly? She hurt my feelings. A 5 year old kid hurt my feelings. This really, really is a deep heart issue for me! Out of the mouths of babes… Man, I learn things from my kids.
I am so grateful that I am a teacher. Sometimes it takes these whaps upside the head to remind me that I am in a very edifying place. Oh, and Jesus loves me.