As I reflected on the past few years I’ve noticed a few things. 1.) my taste in men has changed for the better (HALLELUJAH). 2.) My ability to cook a meal has increased! 3.) My trust in people has become more cautious. 4.) I don’t necessarily care what people think about me as much as I did when I was a teenager. 5.) I have become much more critical of myself.
Now as those of us in our 20’s know these changes are normal. With your 20’s comes a sense of independence, freedom from others thoughts of you. It comes with a new found responsibility. Getting married isn’t just a fantasy, you realize it goes beyond a wedding day. And for some that’s scary to think you have to take care of a man for the rest of your life! But for others it’s a sweet thought to know that there will be someone who is stuck with your dry jokes and horrible cooking for the rest of their life! Now as much as I love all the good that has come with my 20’s there’s one part I wish didn’t make it’s way in.
I have never been one to be too critical. Ok yes, when I started wearing make-up I would sit at the mirror for awhile trying to get my eyeliner right. And yes I would spend an hour trying to figure out what to wear. But those are normal things (I think!). And might I add that both those scenarios have gotten worse as the years have gone by. But the criticism I’m referring to is of my talent.
There’s a standard put out there for singers and musicians. Some meet it and some don’t. I noticed this standard early on but promised myself I wouldn’t strive for that, I wanted to reach for God’s standard for my life. But as time went on and I pushed to this other standard I lost focus. I started focusing on the world standards and how I wasn’t meeting them. I felt wasn’t good enough in their eyes. People didn’t have to tell me, I felt it. I saw it in how they started treating me, or stopped talking to me. When you’re good, you’re used. When there’s nothing left to use, you’re thrown out. Now I could go on and on about this part but that’s not what I want to focus on. Here’s what really disappointed me. I began putting this standard on myself. I began criticizing myself, probably more than anyone ever has. I took words I heard and placed them on myself. I took lies I heard and placed them on myself. I truly believed I wasn’t good enough and that’s why I’m not making a name for myself. I took my eyes off the One who created me and gifted me with this talent. One glance away and it was all crumbling in front of my eyes. How could I become the captain of my ship? How could I make him or her hear what I can do? How can I change this or that so that I get noticed or appreciated by them? I began a slow downward spiral into deep criticism.
Well now I’m here. At the bottom looking up. I see the light of hope and it’s actually closer than I thought it was. I’m not who he or she says I am, I am who HE says I am. I am not who I think I should be, I am who HE says I am to be. This is not my life, this is not my gift. It all belongs to the Creator of heaven and earth. It belongs to the one who died on the cross so I didn’t have to. The one who speaks truth over the lies that I believed. If this is His anyways then who is He to not call it good? He is my standard! He is my teacher! He is who I am looking to for assurance, acceptance, love, and appreciation. People will fail you, but God will not!