Nobody’s Shadow

I’m one of them. One of those girls who sometimes doesn’t make plans on a Friday night so she can stay home and watch Netflix. I am the girl who would wear t-shirts to every life function if it was acceptable, because they are so gosh-darn comfortable and who wouldn’t want to be wearing a soft and breathable cotton/polyester blend on their wedding? Ok, maybe I would make an exception, but you get the idea…

In one sense, I don’t mind being that girl. I would rather sleep an extra half hour and wear my hair in a ponytail than get up with the sun to straighten it. But another part of me is ashamed-that girl with the bedhead and the crooked retainer sure isn’t going to be the poster child for any organizations, the trend-setter, or the heart-throb.
As that girl, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking. Why are people made to feel more or less valuable based on things they can’t control?
Who sets the bar, and why I am straining to live up to it?
It’s funny, because once I stop trying to fit into the mold made by some fashion industry or beauty expert, I am so free. I am free to be the kind of lovely that God created me to be, fitting perfectly into His one-of-a-kind Abby cookie cutter that really isn’t “cookie cutter” at all.
The same kind of freedom I feel when I let my hair stop pretending to be neat and tidy is the kind of freedom that we ALWAYS have in Christ.
At His feet, there is no shame or vanity. There are no bad hair days or awkward conversations. The One who sees the dirtiest and darkest parts of my heart loves me infinitely more completely and truly than the people who see me made-up and dressed to impress.
The judgmental looks and smirks that we have come to dread in this world do not even exist in the throne room. When I realize how temporary the satisfaction of worldly approval is, I feel like doing a celebration dance, and saying:
PRAISE THE LORD that I do not meet the standards of the world, because they only grow more distant when I try to reach them.
PRAISE THE LORD that my true value does not lie in my ability to craft the perfect sock bun or look good in a bikini, because no one gets to the end of their life and regrets only their lack of six pack abs.
PRAISE THE LORD that I am bought at a price, redeemed and re-purposed, and made by a flawless Creator who doesn’t demand change, but surrender.
PRAISE THE LORD for making me a new and vibrant creation, not the dull shadow of another.

And yeah, praise the Lord for t-shirts.



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