We are in part six—our final installment—of the series, Chosen and Approved: Untangling Our Identities from People and Perfection. Emily Conrad, Mary Geisen, and I are still works-in-progress, learning to find our identities and value in Jesus alone.
We’ve so enjoyed walking this journey with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories with us!
If you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can find them all here: Chosen and Approved.
This week, Emily Conrad writes:
“My sister and I took stock of the inventory, and my sister made her choice: a mechanical dog about ten inches tall with soft white fur. It walked on a leash, barked, and did backflips.
When I declared that I wanted the same thing, my aunt tried to gently talk me out of it. Wouldn’t I prefer a horse? Because, after all, I loved everything to do with horses. I read books about them, collected Breyer horses, drew them, used them in imaginary play. Everything was about horses.
But I passed up all the pretty horses in that store to get what my sister was getting.”
As I read Emily’s story from her girlhood, I thought back to how many times I’ve chosen others’ preferences over mine . . . all in the name of being accepted. It’s taken me decades to realize that what I like—my preferences—have value because I am valued. By God and others.
When my hubs and I began dating, I had this “ability” to select whatever he was picking to eat for dinner at restaurants. He finally called me on it and assured me that I could—and should—pick what I wanted to eat. It was such a small thing, but it took me a while to become comfortable with selecting the entree that sounded the tastiest to me.
I’ve also found myself picking what the other person picks because I didn’t want to feel left out, or I didn’t want to be thought of as lacking in some way. I didn’t want what I desired to be thought of as “not as good as” another person’s. Crazy, I know.
When we can find the confidence to embrace the unique preferences God has given us, we can live in freedom. We are no longer tied down by trying to fit in or trying to not stand out.
Please join me over at Emily’s site today to read the rest of her story and her beautiful takeaways.
Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup.
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Jeanne, that reminds me of the movie Runaway Bride … she didn’t know how she liked her eggs. She always had them made the way any significant person in her life had them made. She had discover who she was, what she liked. When it comes to food especially, I know what I like. 🙂 But it’s good to accept that God made us unique, with different tastes. I copied everything my sister did when I was young … it’s freeing to know you can be you. 🙂
Oh, you’re right! I forgot about how she didn’t know how she liked her eggs. I think we all have to discover who God created us to be, and what we like. I agree, Shelli. It’s very freeing to know we can be ourselves. 🙂
Jeanne, I love the link you’ve made between confidence and freedom. God wants us to live in freedom, but many time we have to choose confidence to be free. Great series!
Thank you, Christa. You are so right! I’m glad you added your thoughts to this conversation! Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂
Exactly this, Jeanne: “When we can find the confidence to embrace the unique preferences God has given us, we can live in freedom.” I’ve experienced this in my own life, and you’re right … it is so freeing. It didn’t happen for me until I was well into adulthood, though, so I’m doing all I can to help my girls figure it out sooner than that! As we like to say around our house, “You be you.” 🙂
Lois, I love that “You be you,” saying you guys have. I may have to adopt it. Our boys are both in the stage where what friends do, say, and think are becoming more important to them. I don’t want my guys to make all the mistakes I did at their ages.
Continuing to love the authenticity and wisdom of this series. As I shared at Emily’s – I think age and experience nudge us toward the freedom to be who God created us to be – and love that person too! Hugs, friend.
I agree, Tiffany! Can’t wait to read your comment over at Emily’s. Thanks so much for stopping by here!
Our preferences have value because God values us. So much encouragement in this, Jeanne. Thank you for this series! Blessings and hugs to you!
Trudy, when we can grasp that, it kind of opens up some doors to freedom, doesn’t it? I’m so glad you’ve joined us for this series. I’m enjoying getting to know you!
“When we can find the confidence to embrace the unique preferences God has given us, we can live in freedom.” Amen! Thank you so much for this intro, Jeanne, and for walking the journey of this series with me! It’s been an honor and a joy!
Emily, thanks for sharing such an insightful post! Your words made me think, which is a good thing. 🙂 This has been such a fun series to write with you and Mary, Emily!
This post was an eye opener to me. Thanks for pointing out the “hiding” that I do when I make safe choices and squelch my own preferences rather than delighting in the uniqueness that God has built into me (and everyone!).
Michele, I’ve lived too much of my life squelching my own preferences for the reasons I’ve mentioned. As I grow more comfortable with who I am, I am learning to relish the preferences that are uniquely mine. 🙂
Fully accepting ourselves as we are is a journey I’ve known to take a lot of wrong turns! It’s interesting though, how much I like seeing others people’s preferences that are different than mine as it makes life so interesting. Maybe just need to accept my preferences just might be interesting too! It’s been a great series thus far. Thank you.
Lynn, I’ve taken a lot of wrong turns too. One thing I’ve learned in being married to my husband is that having different preferences adds depth to relationships. Usually in good ways. It seems like it takes time to truly accept our own preferences and to be okay with them, doesn’t it? I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the series! You’ve added great insights! Thank you for that.
Wonderful post. I am not sure how I missed seeing this series. I was so glad that Mary mentioned it in Holly’s podcast. Going to need to catch up for sure 🙂
I’m glad you’re here now, Joanne. It’s good to see you. Thanks so much for stopping in!
Great post, Jeanne, and it gave me a laugh as I recalled the look of horror on barb’s face when she realized that I would (when I was well) eat anything remotely edible. Working in the ‘developing world’ you can’t afford to be fussy.
On my way to Emily’s now.
Andrew, as I sometimes say to my boys, “You are such a guy.” Your comment made me grin. I imagine you have eaten a number of “delicacies” in your adventures . . . 🙂