Recently I was lucky enough to spend some time alone in the car with the middle daughter. She’s so much quieter that the other two, there’s definitely no incessant talking from her, however, texting, now that’s another story. Those fingers travel on the phone as fast as lightning, she can even talk and text! Not something I can even dream about, let alone do effectively.
As we got out of the car, she stated, “I don’t like driving with you….people probably think I don’t have my license”. I looked at her with one of those, “are you crazy looks?” and asked “do you think people contemplate whether I have my driver’s license when I drive with you?” Ideally, I hoped that she would realize on her own what a crazy statement that was. I actually had to stop myself from talking, but I really wanted to continue to grumble about how “stupid” the comment was.
Now it was I, who was silent, or at least I wasn’t speaking; the thoughts were definitely running through my head. One in particular stuck, “Why does she care if people think she doesn’t have a license yet?” Hmmm, maybe there was a boy nearby and she felt a need to be a certain age, I glanced around….nope, no evidence that I could see.
Oops! I couldn’t control it… I said something, “you know, you shouldnt be concerned with what other’s think, because that is just an insecurity”. To that, she claimed she wasn’t insecure. I quietly laughed , this was humorous, as everybody is insecure in one way or another. Thinking back, way back, I know I was a complete wreck of insecurities when I was 17. I truly think I had no self-esteem, and here was my child showing evidence of that same fault. I wondered “how do I fix that?” I wish someone had tried to correct my thinking way back when.
Then I realized, there is no “fixing that”. It’s a matter of growing, but not a matter of growing up. As adults some of us have learned to mask and hide our insecurities, to be the people who we think other’s will accept, it’s a matter of growing to accept our faults and defects, as who we are.
For me this process started when I realized that God, who is perfect in all ways, loved me just the way I was! I didn’t have to pretend, in fact I couldn’t because He knew me, the real me. He knew everything that had happened to me and everything I did, but His love wasn’t based on who I was, it was based on who He was. If He could love me, exactly as I was, with all my flaws, all my shame and all my sin, I must be worth loving. Being worth loving is in the recesses of all our thinking. When you can accepted that you’re worth it, just as you are….now that’s life changing. You start to realize that you’re created to be you, and you have worth and value, as you.
Today, I do my best to be secure in the fact that I’m perfectly imperfect. Yes I’m imperfect but I’m learning, still learning, to accept myself and be me, the real me. Here I was wanting to “fix” that thinking for my child, I need to just encourage her to know God, and He will heal that thinking. No lectures from mom can do the work of a loving God who accepts her just as she is. Really, she’s ahead of the game compared to where I was at 17, so I’ll just have faith that she’ll get it….one day. Until then, I’ll love her and she’ll grow.