"So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts of Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't. (Romans 12:8ish, The Message)
Okay, so I realize that I don't write exclusively to a Christian audience on here, but I think everyone can glean something important from the above verses, don't you? Especially the italicized part (that's why they make italics... to emphasize or drawn attention to a certain word or phrase, eh?).
Now that I'm done cracking myself up (and I'm doubting anyone else thought it was funny)... I can hear your head, saying, "Lydia, make your point already!"
I'm Lydia. I'm not Mom, I'm not Sister, I'm not Leigh, and sadly, I'm not Elsie. That means that I can only be what I was created to be and glorify God the way that He intended for me to do so. I can't try to grow flowers like Mom and wonder when I come up failing. I can't try to live my life like Sister, with her NYC clothes and money, and wonder why I fall short. I can't try to relate to people like Leigh and then wonder why it doesn't work.
Perhaps closer to home, this also means that I can't try to have boyfriends like seemingly 98% of my peers, can't try to work full time like most people and earn lots of money, and can't try to take jobs any number of miles from home, like a lot of people I know have done in the year or two after college graduation. I can't try to get married, have babies, get a dog, teach... the list goes on.
But here's the thing (isn't there always a thing? I seem to say that a lot...).
I can help mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and teachers reach seemingly unreachable children. None of my friends do that.
I can comfort a cat whose only comfort is the fact that, wherever it goes, it still has a litter box (and will even sleep in it for security). I can love each and every cat at work as an individual, in a place where as one in a hundred, they have lost all individuality. No one else at work does that.
I can write, publish, and sell my own book. First time in my family anyone's done that.
Forgive me for stopping in what feels like the middle of a train of thought, but let me explain. As I was telling Leigh tonight via Skype chat, I don't always know a lot about myself. I don't know if I'm quiet or loud, thoughtful or inconsiderate, patient or impatient. Most aspects of personality and character, especially when it comes to myself, completelye evade me. This holds true for others, too... I couldn't tell you much about Leigh, either, other than the fact that she's Leigh and I don't want her any differently. But outstanding qualities and characteristics? Uh...
I'd like to add to this list that I have this outstanding character quality or that fruit of the Spirit, but the fact of the matter is, I don't rightly know what I am or what I have. The note to self has been made to work on figuring that out.
So I pick up where I left off. In Romans 12, Paul says that we are all part of Christ's body (which leads me to wonder if I'm a toe, or an eye, or a liver, but then I might be thinking too literally). Elsewhere, he questions us thusly: wouldn't it be ridiculous for the toe to fuss that it's not a hand, or the heart to complain that it's not the stomach? I don't want to be kind, talkative, social, and a good singer... why can't I be like her, instead?
Isn't that exactly what I'm doing in all my fussing? I don't want to be autistic, a writer, a blogger, and a cat-lover... why can't I be like Mom/Sister/Leigh, instead?
I can't have what they have for a simple reason: I have what I have, and that is no less wonderful, providential, and intentional.
It is just thus for you, and you, and you. You have a purpose that only you can fulfill. You were perfectly created with just the gifts, talents, and abilities to fulfill that purpose. God ordained it before time began... when it comes to your purpose, you cannot fail.
Isn't that a comforting thought? Let me say it again: You can't fail to fulfill your purpose in life. You don't even have to know what it is in order to accomplish it! Oh, sure, you might end up doing a lot more good along the way if you sort of take inventory of your qualities and capitalize on the best ones, but you can't fail to bring to fruition the very reason that God created you.
So rest easy, my friend. Take heart in the part of the body in which you reside; we would not be a complete body without you. You are not more or less than the toe, the hand, the heart, or the liver. You are you.
So let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be.