Friday, March 23, 2012

Just me {raw, honest, and real}

Growing up, I was always the girl who was just a bit different than the other girls. When the girls around me in Elementary school were chasing boys or swinging from the monkey bars on the playground, I was swinging on the swing and singing at the top of my lungs the hit Amy Grant song. I literally sang, and did so loudly, wherever I went. I had a few close friends and that was that. I didn't really care that I was different.

Come middle school, I was still singing wherever I went, and I still only had a few close friends. I asked a lot of questions and worked hard for my A+ grades. Junior high brought about a love of boys, but I was still strong willed and still just a bit different because I didn't go through a real questioning stage of my life. When the majority of girls around me were struggling to fit in and feeling awkward, I was proud of who I was and not really ashamed to let others know.

In high school, I hung out with a group of friends from church and my best friend. I became so convinced that my way was the only way of thinking. I also desired to be the best in everything. I remember taking a test in Bible class and being devastated because I got one wrong, and a simple one at that: Who sold Jesus to be killed? I had studied and studied for that test and I loved my teacher. I wanted to be the first person to ever get 100% on his test. When I got such an easy question wrong, I beat myself up over it!

I was a perfectionist and I longed to please others. It has taken me many, many years to admit that the majority of the reason I never rebelled wasn't out of a heart felt conviction, but rather to please people. My parents, my teacher, my name them and I wanted to please them.

Legalism at it's finest.

Image Via Pinterest

This leads up to me becoming a mom. Becoming a mama has been one of the most joyful and amazing experiences of my life. It also has left me feeling alone and the odd man out. For you see, sometime in the last few years I started to find out what I really believed about God, politics, drinking, parenting, tattoos, homosexuality, and a whole host of hot button topics. I searched God's heart on these matters and followed Him truly for the first time in my whole life without the desire to please others. I didn't follow blindly because someone told me to, rather I searched out the truth and asked questions.

But old habits die hard. There are times still in my life at almost 30 years old that I so long to be a part of the crowd. That I feel so incredibly alone and lost that I just want to agree to the parenting beliefs of those around me, or just vote Republican because that is what Christians should do, or act a certain way just to fit in with those around me.

And I hate that about me.

Slowly though, I realize that parenting brought me to a lifelong journey of resting in the God who created me as I am. That my worth is not in pleasing others or in being a good enough Christian. Instead, my worth has already been completed through Christ. That He sees me as a daughter of His despite being different. That I don't have to please Him or others by conforming to a certain box.

I'm not always perfect in believing this and sometimes I struggle with it, but I'm trying to rest in His grace and His love so that I can pass it on to those around me.

I'm not sure why today I decided to go ahead and click the orange publish button. After all, it leaves me so exposed and open, which does scare me. But perhaps one of you needs to hear that you are already perfect and being who you are makes you real and genuine despite what others think. It's the lesson I've had to learn and while hard, it has brought about so much freedom which is truly what God wants.


  1. The only time I was a perfect parent was before I had kids hahaha!
    I understand you having this urge to change your convictions just to "fit in" at times I feel different that I limit my kids intake of music, TV, etc...and others think it may be too excessive...but in the end I Always remind myself that when I stand before god I will be accountable for my time over them.

    Man our job is hard!! Keep up the good work!

    1. Hahaha!! You always make me laugh! ;) I understand where you are coming from too! Being a mama is hard in every aspect, but oh so worth it!!

  2. I do so love and admire your brave, honest heart, Vanessa.

  3. Love this! Especially the part of Christians "needing" to vote Republican. Yah right! :) BTW sometime I'd love to "hear" your thoughts on some of the other issues you've listed. Also, K and I loved having you guys over for supper a couple of weeks ago. Take care!

    1. We loved going over too (I meant to leave a message on your fb, but I kept forgetting). I'd love to talk to you about some of those thoughts of mine and I'd love to hear yours as well!! :) Let's plan on it!


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