We abandoned you, and we are sorry. It’s been awhile since we’ve written, and it may seem that you’ve been tossed aside like the fruitcake of yesteryear, but you have not been forgotten. Honestly, we just kind of got overwhelmed trying to post consistently, and then, I moved back to Chattown(woo-hoo!), and before we knew it, the months slipped by.
Try to forgive us, if you will. Consider our bursts of enthusiasm and then burn-out a flaw of ours…or one of ours…ahem…
Anyway, Mytra and I have been talking a lot about our flaws lately, because we’re just both so analytical and all that fun stuff. It’s a blessing and a curse, a lot of things are. You know how we all wish we could change something about our personalities? You wish you were less sensitive or more sensitive. You wish you could be more spontaneous or liked hugs or were maybe a little less assertive or sure of yourself, but you just are those things and no amount of praying for them to go away or effort to change will make them disappear. They’re just a part of who you are.
Here’s the thing: maybe, we don’t really need to change those things. Maybe, we just need to change our perspective of those things within ourselves. You see, we can either allow our flaws to cause harm, or we can allow God to use them for good. Arrogance can become the confidence to hear God speak and give someone a timely word. Sensitivity becomes the compassion needed to love others with God’s heart. Being assertive can make you a good, godly leader. Worrying can make you the most empathetic prayer warrior if you cast those cares upon Him who can resolve them. Each one of our flaws, the traits we hate about ourselves and wish so badly to erase, can become something worthwhile if we don’t allow them to control us. They can be our greatest assets to the Kingdom, though they are also the areas that are most often internally attacked and the areas we wish for the greatest change.
I remember being in youth group and being told we were going on a trip called an “Encounter”, which was a weekend conference, and I remember being told about how great it would be and how God was going to do amazing things in us. I so desperately wanted that, and it’s okay to want that, but what I spent the whole weekend asking God to do was change who I am, to make me a different person, as if who I was already wasn’t good enough.
I wasn’t the person with what people deem the “powerful” testimony since I had never had some life altering experience, and I had never lived away from God at all. Sure, I had gone through plenty of potentially damaging circumstances and hurtful experiences, but it never made me immoral. I prayed that prayer, because I wanted to erase “me”, so I could be used to do anything and everything God could possibly need and so I could “win the lost”, because “me” as “me” was not good enough. I expected to be flipped from myself to someone more confident, more “whatever” that could be used, because I didn’t think I could be used as I already was.
That’s of course what comes when you measure yourself by man’s standard, and needless to say, God did not suddenly change who I was. I was devastated. Attempting to look within and find my flaws and eliminate them, my tendency to analyze did not aid me then. It wasn’t until later that I learned that God doesn’t want merely vessels to be used, that He loves us as we are and that our flaws are simply the marks upon our clay that God fully intends to use to bring beauty to our lives and His love to the earth.
If you look at scripture, it’s often painfully obvious that God does not take who we are away. He uses the flawed to bring about His glory over and over. Each and every person depicted in the Bible remains themselves, even if their name changes, their flaws remain, and they are given the choice repeatedly to obey and see their flaws be used for good. Take Saul’s extreme allegiance against the Christians of his time. Though, his name would change to Paul, his fire did not change, and neither did his extreme adherence to what he believed was right. He merely changed from one side to the other. Who he was remained the same. The same can be said of David who was passionate about just about everything. When unchecked, he would commit murder, but when he would obey, he would connect with the Heart of God and reveal to us all what it means to truly worship.
Analysis is great, and I would never want to be different, because with my tendency to do so, I am able to put myself in other people’s shoes and consider how I might think or feel in their situations. It grants mercy. It also gives me a tendency to think I may be a horrible person that no one likes and leads me to isolate myself or deem myself unusable. The flip side sucks. It’s a side we’ll always deal with, a thorn that will not leave, but if we give our flaws to God, they will transform into a gift that can benefit everyone. We are a product of the experiences of our lives, and while we might wish to forget them and become someone else, we are who we are, and that’s the greatest thing we can be.