“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”– Psalm 139:14
As the final days of July crept toward August, I saw my dreams of a beautiful yard slowly dying.
OK, that’s not exactly true. The dreams weren’t dying. They’re already dead. Fried. Toast.
Dried up, crispy, and brown, just like my flowers.
For Mother’s Day this year, we spent a lot of time and money buying flowers, and I was determined that this would be the year I would keep them alive. I told myself I would be diligent to water and nurture them, pinching back old blooms and giving them fertilizer when they needed a boost. And I believed what I told myself, too. I really did.
But, alas. I was wrong. Again. Just like every other year since moving out of my parents’ house in 2001. Sixteen years ago.
A green thumb? Not so much.
Every week, I run through a neighborhood filled with immaculate yards. The grass is lush and green, and gorgeous flowers spill from the window boxes. No weeds are ever in sight, and the “Yard of the Month” sign simply moves from house to house.
Every week, I have to rein in my envy, and every week I have to remind myself that these people likely pay professionals to maintain the beauty.
I want their immaculate yards.
As I was admiring them on this morning’s run, I had a simple thought: “A beautiful yard isn’t your thing. And that’s OK.”
Why is it so hard for us to admit that some things just aren’t our things? Why does it take us so long – as in 16 years?! – to acknowledge that we’re unique, and just not cut out to do or be what we imagine?
I think it’s because we convince ourselves that we really can do it all, be it all, have it all. We tell ourselves that with enough willpower and dedication, we can turn ourselves into the pictures we see in our minds. Maybe it’s also because we’re remarkably hesitant to evaluate ourselves objectively.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with having dreams and goals, and I’m certainly not saying we should give up if at first we don’t succeed. But there should absolutely come a point when we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and see things as they really are.
For every ounce of energy we waste on pursuing what we’re not meant to chase, we miss out on excelling in what God created us to do.
I have spent far too much time and energy wishing to be who I’m not. I’ve spent too many nights wiping away silent tears, wishing to do what I can’t. Instead of thanking God for my gifts and using them wholeheartedly, I’ve tried to change myself into an image I’ve created. I’ve held up a standard that isn’t from God.
In doing so, I’ve insinuated God made a mistake with me. I’ve silently suggested He didn’t do what He should have done, and I’ve let my own emotions supersede His sovereign plan.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” When God created each of us, He did so individually, with great attention and care to the good works He planned for us to do. Our design is directly related to our works, and when we resent our design, we often fail to accomplish our works.
I am not like you, and I am not meant to be.
My passions and desires are an important part of my purpose, and resenting who I am keeps me from walking into my destiny. I don’t often stop to analyze the intricacies of my personality, but maybe I should. Maybe then I would see the connections between who I am and what I’m meant to do. Maybe then I would understand the deliberate design with which I was made. Maybe then I would thank God instead of criticizing myself.
On my own, I’ll probably never have one of those immaculate yards. I’ll probably kill more flowers, and I’ll probably continue to envy the Yards of the Month. But that’s OK. A great yard doesn’t have to be my thing. Because God created me for more.
♡ Jennie Scott is a Christian author and writes for Proverbs 31 Woman.
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