Recently, a friend asked me to speak to her teen girls class at church. I gladly agreed, then panicked over whether or not I had anything relevant to say to them! But as I started pray, I knew I wanted to talk about an issue that it took me too long to come to grips with–being the person God created you to be.
For many, many, many years I tried to deny my introvert self. I wanted to be and act like my extrovert friends. Most of the time I failed miserably. Even when I managed to act as they did, the moment didn’t bring any fulfillment. So I’d revert back to a quiet, unnoticeable girl, feeling very much the failure. Only in my 30s did I begin to realize that God created me for quiet things. Quiet relationships. Behind-the-scenes actions. Now in my 40s, I have began to embrace that internal wiring rather than just accept it. And suddenly I feel free. And more fulfilled. And less of a failure. All because I let myself rest in being who God created me to be.
So that’s what I wanted to tell these girls, in hopes that they will realize their God-given natures much earlier than I did and spend less time frustrated and fretting and frantic. But I didn’t want to base my words on my experience alone. I wanted to back it up by the Word of God. And while I have felt the combination of scripture to support my experience, I wanted a concrete example both to make sure I was on the right track and to give the girls a visual they would remember. God is so good to answer such prayers!
In the course of planning the talk, I was reading through the gospels. I read again the story of Jesus at the wedding in Cana:
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew) John 2:5-9
Did you catch the transformation? Jesus told the servants to fill the pots with water–a liquid with potential drinkability. He changed it to wine–still a drinkable liquid, but one richer, sweeter, more satisfying to the one who consumes it. I realized that Jesus could have had them fill those pots with rocks and then change it to wine. It was within His power. But He didn’t. He changed the substance but kept the form.
I think Jesus does that with us, too. He created us with specific personalities, specific gifts, specific bents, all of which have been stripped of their richness by sin. So when we are touched by the power of HIs love and surrender to His grace, our sanctification process involves becoming again that person He created us to be–a rich, sweet creation that satisfies the thirst of others. In other words, Jesus makes us better versions of ourselves so that we can fulfill the role He created us to fill in the lives of those around us.
God wired me this way. And it is good and right and worthy. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t call me step outside of myself and act in His strength. He does. But I’m learning that rarely are those calls prolonged. After a time–short or long–He lets us rest in ourselves again, finding joy in who He created us to be. I find such comfort in that. I hope you do, too.