I’m crying my way through probably the biggest lesson plan God’s ever set on the table in front of me, and if you’ve ever been a grade school student with a homeschool parent or favorite teacher who handed you this year’s textbook in your nemesis subject, then you may understand why all I want to do is slam this thing down, wipe my nose on my sleeve, and walk away.
Just like any good homeschool parent or favorite teacher, walking away and pouting is not part of the lesson plan. Figures.
You know all those people who say that you are not your talents and gifts, not the food you eat, nor what people think of you? I’m one of them. I’m great a reminding girlfriends that one fellow’s opinion doesn’t make you what he said you were. Your skill or lack of skill at Tae Kwon Do or horseback riding or swing dancing doesn’t make you an amazing person, or a horrible one.
“You’re just you,” I say, “And we all love you!”
Yes, well. It appears I can recite the lesson word for word, tally up the addition and subtraction of it without a hitch. I get stuck on the word problems.
Solve: If Gianna writes two popular blog posts, one kinda popular blog post, reads 50 books in one year, and encourages 70% of the people around her, who is Gianna?
Answer: Mostly successful! Way go to!
Solve: If Gianna has a bad case of morning sickness, the bathroom doesn’t get cleaned, and there tissues on the floor, but she reads 55 books in one year and waters her daffodil regularly, who is Gianna?
Answer: Kinda failing at life in a big way- have you seen that bathroom?!
It’s true – my bathroom needs cleaning and there are tissues on the floor.
Yesterday, dozens of loving souls posted sweet and generous birthday wishes on my Facebook timeline. It’s usually one of my favorite parts of my birthday, getting to scroll through such kindness expressed from the most unexpected sources, and replying to them, thanking them. This year it just broke me.
“Thank you for filling my online reading time with such beauty” wrote one person, referring to my blog. “I’ve been thinking about you all day,” from somebody I’ve met in person only once, five years ago. I started to cry. Do they know I haven’t blogged at all lately? Do they know I have to rest so long and move so carefully that the bathroom kinda doesn’t matter? Do they realize I’ve barely been in touch with anybody? And when I am, I’m just griping about morning sickness! Do they know how hollow I am?
I couldn’t read anymore. And it was right as I closed the app and set down my phone that Grant began playing worship music. The pain of my realization – my own hollowness, the emptiness of my achievements – overwhelmed me. I couldn’t even face God feeling so naked and small.I curled up, leaned against my husband, and sobbed.
Songs played, one after another. All I have is Christ. Cecie’s Lullaby. Out of Hiding. Soft lyrics rolled over me, carrying whispers of God’s voice.
But that is how I made you, Gianna. Naked and small. You aren’t those things. You are you.
And I love you.
Those were the final words pressed on my heart the night of my twenty-third birthday.
You aren’t those things, you are you. Small, dependent on me, all those pursuits set aside; just Gianna.
I think maybe I get it better now.
If you struggle with insecurity like I have for years, I doubt my post alone is going to convince you otherwise. But there are books, other blogs, counselors, songs. Please, please don’t just walk away crying and wish you felt better, more secure in your identity, more confident in how you were created. Learn, grow, change. It’s hard – really hard. I’ve been thinking about and praying about this struggle for nearly a year.
But it is worth it.