For as long as I can remember, I have prayed "Lord, make me into the woman that you want me to be."
And for as long as I can remember, I have tried to make myself into the woman that I thought the Lord wanted me to be.
And for as long as I can remember, I have felt like a failure at being the woman that He wants me to be.
And I have recently figured out why that is.
This "godly woman" image that I had in my head, wasn't based on the the Word of God as much as it was based on the women I saw around me. And what I saw around me were beautiful, classy, talented, Southern Christian women. And for as long as I can remember, I have felt like the ugly stepsister trying to fit my big toe in Cinderella's tiny glass slipper. And the shoe just never has fit.
Blame it on my Northern roots...I never have been able to perfect the sweet, Southern drawl.
I'm a low-maintenance, no-bling kind of a girl who prefers thrift stores over Macy's.
I do not sing solo's nor do I play the piano. (Major pastor's wife foul!)
I'm not really a fan of praise and worship music or women's devotionals. I like indie bands and books on theology.
I can't cook a casserole to save my life.
I hate to speak in front of crowds.
I really hate to pray out loud.
Please do not misunderstand me. I do not have a problem with women who are like this. I personally know and have been blessed by many of these women. I am just not one of them. And for a long time I thought that I needed to be.
There is this wall in the back of my kitchen dining area that was paneling that has been wallpapered and then painted over several times. I want to paint the kitchen, and Phillip has mentioned that we probably need to strip the paint and wallpaper off the paneling first. Ugh. That sounds like a miserable project to me. I would rather just slap on another coat of paint and call it a day. But there are seams in the wallpaper, and parts of it are bubbling. And no matter how much we paint over it, those imperfections will show through.
I feel like my image of a "godly woman" is kind of like that wall. It is layers upon layers of ideas and pictures that have been wallpapered and painted on by the culture around me - American, Christian, and Southern culture. Once again, not bad things, just not necessary things for me to emulate in order to be the woman that God wants me to be.
Over the last few years, I feel like God has patiently taken on the tedious task of stripping away those layers to reveal to me His image of a godly woman. And do you know who she looks like?
Not a woman in a dress suit and heels.
Not a woman who sings beautifully into a microphone.
Not a woman who prays eloquently in front of crowds.
Not the Proverbs 31 "Super Mom".
This woman that God is revealing to me...
She looks a lot like Jesus.
And I desperately want to look like Him.