Growing up, I was the middle child of 3. I was shy, liked the color pink, and had a soft smile that didn’t show my teeth. I liked to bake, read, write stories in school, and excelled in English related subjects. Although shy, I enjoyed acting in my first play in 4-h where I played a wacky hairdresser. I had several close knit girlfriends and we enjoyed playing house, cops and robbers, putting on “swing shows” on the swing set, jumping rope, and playing “concentration.”
I was pretty nervous to talk to boys until about 8th grade. I got along with most everyone but was never truly in the popular crowd. I watched my sister and brother (we’re all about 2 years apart) excel in outwardly and seemingly more extroverted areas of creativity. My older sister was very skilled in creative design and artistic endeavors such as drawing, jewelry making, painting, and sewing/fashion design. Similarly, my younger brother was taking art classes in high school and producing captivating drawings, clay sculpting, and the like. He was also a great athlete, skilled hunter, and snow boarder/paint baller.
One day, one of my mom’s friends came over to our house and my sister and brother happened to be working on some creative projects and she turned to me and said, “Wow, and what do you do?!” I think she was expecting me to come up with something equally impressive but all I said was…” I scrapbook every 6 years.” It was basically true…that was the extent of my artistic abilities, at least that I had explored.
I was never in band but played piano for 3 years in middle/high school and sang in choir/show choir (8th grade) 6th grade through 12th grade. I’ve been told I have a beautiful voice, but most people don’t hear it because I usually only sing behind closed doors 😉
Anyway, you get the picture. My abilities are more “behind the scenes” or not as noticeable. I’m a good speller, ok? Sure, I can write. I can sing. I ran track as a sprinter in high school and some students believed it wasn’t a true sport. The thing is, I didn’t come to consistently and fully appreciate my gifts until my early/mid 20’s. It took some time. I was used to hearing my siblings get praise for their gifts and I didn’t notice all the wonderful gifts God had given to me, Anna Rose, even if they may not always be the most “flashy” of gifts.
I’m here to encourage you, dear reader, whoever you are, that your gifts matter. You may feel like they’re insignificant. You may feel like you’re standing in the shadows, while others shine, but you know what? The most important thing is to let Jesus shine through you! He is our ultimate gift and you know what? He made you on purpose, with a purpose and He can use your gifts for His glory if you let Him! He is the potter, we are the clay, and he is molding us into who He has created us to become uniquely and individually for Him!
Not only do we have gifts of skills such as in the arts or music, but if we are in Christ, He has given us spiritual gifts!
Romans 12:3-8 says: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
One thought on “Learning to Love the You God Made You to Be”
I, too, was a middle child in our family, and struggled terribly with insecurities in my life, until I surrendered my life to Jesus who rescued me.
I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. A very unhealthy practice. My ungrateful and rebellious heart said to God, “Why did you make me like this!” What followed was a very dark time in my life, a refining period, and I believe it was the Lord’s loving discipline.
Reading the Scriptures one day, the Lord spoke to me so clearly, and I never forgot it.
“But who are you, a human being to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, Why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”
He also said to me ” Who are you going to believe Julie? My Word, or the lies of the enemy?”
It wasnt until i repented, and turned to Him, that I was able to truly love myself, and others.
You are made in His image Anna, and very special, with gifts and talents unique to you. Glorify Him with your life as you are doing.