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All I Ever Have to Be is What You Made Me

Today I missed church! It might seem like a small thing to most people, but to a preacher’s daughter it comes with a bundle of guilt especially when you are responsible for playing the piano, singing, and generally just being present. I had surgery to remove a tooth that infected some nerves in my mouth on Friday, so I am still in some pain and just needed some rest as I also had my first week of school. As I lay in bed writing this post, I am reflecting on the way I feel when I miss church and it is deeply rooted in the multiple identities I have as a woman. I know so many of you can identify with this!

Obviously I am the preacher’s daughter, but hey I am 30 now with a family of my own, so I should be past the “aiming to please” stage, but really I am not. My parents were never the kind that asked any more of me than what I genuinely was, but somewhere I got in my head that I needed to be golden and perfect almost. This notion was both a blessing and a curse! There was this thought process inside me that believed I had to be perceived as perfect to the outside world, but this was just the beginning of a lifelong battle of never being satisfied, or good enough, and a perfection that is unattainable.

I spent so many years trying to be perfect and hiding my secrets, my emotions, my depression, my broken marriage, that I missed out on living life. Here I am 30 years old, and I feel like I don’t know how to cope sometimes with the arrows that come my way. The thing is that I don’t have to please anyone! I know that, and I believe that, but living that is a different story! Can I get an Amen?

There is an Amy Grant song that my mom still sings and reminds us of when we feel like we are trying to hard to be what the world wants us to be. It simply says, “All I ever have to be is what you made me.”

The steeple is outside the church, lifting itself to God…maybe sometimes we should do the same!

I have made so many mistakes and I am not the perfect preacher’s daughter, but who asked me to be? My parents certainly never did! I put it upon myself to think that I was meant to be perfect or golden and let me tell you…it was exhausting! I am so broken from the chapters of life: bad boyfriends, bad break-ups, feeling inadequate when it came to brains, talents, or beauty, comparing myself to others, depression, secrets, infertility, anxiety, a broken marriage, broken dreams, and a lost identity.

What I am realizing over time is that women have so many identities to uphold: the woman, the wife, the mom, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the career, and so much more. It can be exhausting! Some days, you just need to lay in bed, and think about who you are and whose you are! Don’t compare yourself to others because they are not walking in your flip flops or heels or boots! I am not saying lay around in bed all day or never go to church because I believe in community, but realize that your identity as a woman is your voice and what a story we all have to share! Share it when you are ready and when it feels genuine.

I missed church today and you know what, I am okay with that because my God is big enough to hear my heart  from wherever I am, and my life is not measured by how many Sundays I play on that piano. Slowly, but surely, I am learning that lesson. I am so thankful that he opened my heart to sharing my story on this blog. I am really a very private person, but I just hope that through the posts and pages on this website, you will find that being a woman, with all the identities we take on, is an adventure. Our journey should not expect perfection, but rather bask in the the glory of the unknown…don’t worry about what others think, don’t live in the future, don’t live in the past. Just LIVE the LIFE God has given you! Enjoy every moment! I am learning this very tough lesson right there with you!

If you are struggling to find the balance in all the identities God has placed in your life as a wife, mom, working woman, friend, caregiver, etc., I would love to hear from you, or if you have inspiration for our readers on how to balance all those roles, we would love to hear from you. Either way…it important for us to support each other!

Blessings on this Sunday!

∼Val

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1 Comment

  • Reply Renee Work

    Valerie,
    You are a true inspiration to others. You have blessed so many with your sweet spirit and your musical talents. I am enjoying reading your blogs. Keep it up. I am sure there are young ladies who are getting blessed by your not so perfect life and can get peace in their own life.

    September 3, 2017 at 11:31 pm
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