I envy the people who can run marathons. The people who can do a hundred pushups without thinking twice. The people who can load a moving van by themselves.
I also envy people who have a different kind of strength. The people who have big jobs and big money, who worked hard and fought for where they are now. The people who have lived through hard things but have their lives pulled together anyway.
That, that’s what I’m really envious of. That’s the strength I crave. Because it’s not just strength. It’s multifaceted: power. Control. Independence… Strength.
Most of the time, I don’t feel strong. I’m just myself after all, and there’s only so much strength one person can have. I’m not overly concerned with being strong on the inside, though.
I’m more concerned about appearances.
Being a theatre major in a secular college is a huge opportunity for a good Christian girl to look like a total failure.
I feel like everyone thinks my standards are limitations. And sure, turning down a role because of the language is limiting to my career. But it’s not suppressing my ability to act. And it’s not weak to refuse to do bad things.
But turning down elite roles and refusing to swear and not joining the late night theatre parties does not look like strength.
And that is an enormous punch in the stomach to my pride.
I hate it. I hate the idea that people think I’m weak. That I won’t do these things because I’m immature or naive. Maybe because I was homeschooled. No one has ever told me they think I’m weak, but they don’t have to. I don’t know if anyone thinks I’m weak, but that’s not the problem. I think I’m weak.
I’m starting to realize that I’m tempted to think that being a Christian and setting high standards are weaknesses. I’m tempted to rely on my own strength. I’m tempted to think I can do it myself.
Because, in a way, I kind of can. I’m a capable 18 year old girl with a head on her shoulders and a solid foundation. I have good family relationships and I eat pretty healthy. My emotions are more or less stable.
So of course, I tend to take my life into my own hands. I try to shape my future and make my own decisions and work problems out by myself because I’m pretty sure I can. And it’s my life- there’s no one better suited to carving this life than the one who’s living it!
Except maybe the God who created it.
I’m a sucker for strength, but the stronger I try to be, the weaker I am. There’s only one source of strength, and I have to surrender my selfish desire for control over to the only One who actually has control. And with His grace, I can do it.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.