For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
Halloween is fast approaching and children are choosing their Halloween costumes so they can pretend to be someone or something other than the person they really are. It sure seems like a lot of work just to get a bag full of candy! My cute grandchildren picked their costumes out months ago.
They are so cute and are so excited to be all dressed up even though they are often too scared to walk up to the neighbor’s house. Pretending to be something or someone you are not in order to get what you want is not limited to a night called Halloween. I’m afraid it is very easy to become so comfortable in our pretending that we find ourselves believing we are that person.
For years, I was not comfortable being myself because I was afraid when others got to know me they would not like me. On the outside, I looked confident but on the inside I could not face the real me. I began to believe I was who I was pretending to be. I often say, “I’m not sure if you have to go through menopause before you don’t care what others think” but there is something about getting older that caused me to accept “I am who I am and I cannot make anyone accept or like me.” Even blaming menopause is a cover up because I really do want people to accept me. It is hard to not try to be who we believe others want us to be.
I believe we often pray to God speaking as the person we believe He wants us to be rather than going before Him as we really are. It is not uncommon for me to talk with a woman who struggles with the desire to be accepted by others while at the same time she is rejecting the person she is herself.
This is quite obvious on Facebook and Twitter ... Have you noticed how happy everyone appears on social media? Everyone has great quotes and opinions about something of value even if they don’t live true to those values. The need to be accepted is so deep within us that we will go to great depths to find acceptance and the fear of rejection is just as great as the need to be loved and accepted.
When I worked with young people many years ago, I saw many teens get involved with groups they would never have sought out because those groups were the ones who did not reject them. I have seen single women get involved with men they would have never dreamed they would be involved with only to find later the guy was not interested in her but what she could give to him.
My heart has been broken over the shattered lives that have been devastated from the desire to be accepted ... including my own. I did not realize until later what I really wanted was to be loved and accepted and I chased after the very thing that later rejected me. So many hearts and lives have been broken over the strong desire to be accepted.
I will never forget the moment I realized the only One Who will ever love and accept me is Jesus. King David wrote an amazing Psalm that shares the following: God created us, God knows when we sit or rise, God knows our thoughts before we even speak, and God created our inmost being. God knitted us together in our mother’s womb and it is God who says we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Why do we seek after the approval of others when a Holy God has accepted us as we truly are? We do not need to pretend to be someone we are not. We were created to be the person we are!
God the Great Creator has not created any two things the same. Everyone and everything He has created is unique and beautiful in its own perfect design. I will never enjoy the woman God knitted together in my mother’s womb if I try to be the person I believe others will accept. You cannot make other people love or accept you.
God our Creator gave us a choice to love or accept Him. He does not make us love and accept Him -- so why do we try to make others love and accept us? It is time to put away our childish costumes and enjoy the man or woman God created us to be.
This Halloween try something new and enjoy the sweetness of knowing that a Holy God accepts and loves you just as you are -- not as who you think you should be. We should have as much respect for ourselves as our Maker has for us!