Two weeks ago today (let’s pretend I did that on purpose), I started my series, Wisdom from a Life in Bloom – thoughts leaping off from a little quote book I got several years ago from Coldwater Creek and their new branding program.
The first one was so appropriate for me – learning to get out of your own way and knowing that you are the highest hurdle that you’ll ever have to leap. It made me think hard about what I want and what’s real and one of my favorite scriptures in Philippians. As I flipped the page open today (because I promised myself I’d just go straight through and not skip around), I found another gem.
Learning to color outside the lines …
Life isn’t about finding yourself
Life is about creating yourself
George Bernard Shaw
It’s taken me a long time to become comfortable with the person I am. I almost wrote “comfortable in my skin,” but quickly backspaced over that because I am nowhere near comfortable in my skin and I know it. There is too much in my physical person that I struggle with (daily – hourly?) for me to be able to own being comfortable with that. Some of it is manageable, and I’m working on that. Some of it is inevitable, and I’m accepting that. Some of it is unfortunate, and I’m learning to live with it. So maybe someday down the road you’ll see me write that I’m comfortable in my own skin. Just not today.
But comfortable with who I am – oh yes. I am.
But again, yes, it did take me a while to arrive. And while I’m still very much a work in progress, I’m comfortable with my path, my direction, and with the person I’m turning out to be. And while I am a wildly creative person, determined to create a wildly creative life, I know that none of this would happen without my Creator and what He has created in me.
But even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love He had for us, gave us life together with Christ—it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved—and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with Him in Christ in the Heavens. Thus He shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness He has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God. The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us. We are born afresh in Christ, and born to do those good deeds which God planned for us to do. (Ephesians 2:4-10, Phillips New Testament)
These days, it seems the being a woman of faith is coloring outside the lines. In a me-first, mine-next world, the idea that we would live to put Christ first and others next is a remote concept that many would sneer at and call weakness. Add to that a politically correct culture that strives to equalize and sterilize everyone into unopinionated blandness so that everything (well, almost everything – you know what I mean) can be tolerated and you have a recipe for “we like sheep have gone astray.”
I’m not interested in being terribly controversial, but I’m not interested in being a sheep either. So if following where God leads means I paint boldly outside the lines by pursuing service, kindness, grace, humility, mercy, and unconditional love, then that is the created life that I’m going to continue to pursue.