As I entered the three-tiered classroom and scanned the sea of faces, I realized that most of the seats were taken. One glance provided a picture of familiar and sameness-a view of green and blue plaid skirts, knee socks, loafers and white blouses. My stomach churned wildly as I moved toward the first empty seat I could find. Today was the day- a pivotal moment in how I viewed myself and my ranking among the girls who filled the room.
I was a Senior in high school and the events on this day reminded me that in this world pre approval reigned. There was a clear order in this all girls high school and my ranking was a measure against where I stood in comparison to my peers. The lesson I learned on this day was my first vivid memory of the need for pre approval. My heart ached with the inequity of life and I yearned for something bigger to replace this need to measure up.
Ever since I was young, I have had the pre approval record playing in mind and many times it repeats without warning like a vinyl record that is stuck in a worn out groove.
You are not enough!
You will never be the best!
Your singing is second best!
Your A’s in school are not enough compared to the A’s of the honor students… And the list goes on without end.
But I perform for an audience of one and when I walked into the high school Glee Club room so many years ago, I wish with all I am that I had mastered this lesson. When it was between myself and one other girl to become the President and secure the best solo for the Christmas performance, I would have been on top if I knew that the One in my life is God who knows without a doubt that I am His best. Being second was devastating as a high school senior because the people around me bought into the pecking order of who is on top and who is not in this world of 14-18 year olds.
God has spent many years teaching me that I am His best! He reassures me daily that “I am enough”.
He gently cradles me and whispers “You are my best”.
He gazes lovingly at me and shows me that I am beautiful and loved.
He reminds me that: [Tweet “”Pre approval is the heartbeat of the world but God is the blood that pulses through us and keeps it beating.””]
God’s word is the truth we need and Galatians provides this truth so clearly:
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Do you believe you are God’s best today? Will you lean into God and remember that He is all you need in this world of pre approval and ranking that is manmade not God ordained?
This summer I was blessed by reading Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her words reassured, encouraged and embraced me in the process of knowing without a doubt that there is no pre approval needed with God. Each page resonated with my high school heart and as I finished the book, I was convicted that God chose me to be who I am and where I am in this time and place to make a difference for Him. I am His Best!
I was humbled to meet Jennifer Lee two weeks ago at Allume and knew I had met a kindred spirit that is doing life better because of a deep relationship with God. She writes beautiful words at Jennifer Dukes Lee-Dispatches From a Good News Girl and I know you will be blessed by visiting her and soaking in the goodness of God’s words in her space.
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I’ve heard about this book, Mary, but haven’t checked it out or known about Jennifer’s site. I’ll have to take a “gander” over “yander?” Sorry! I couldn’t resist–a poet I am not! And, girlfriend! I was in Glee Club as a senior and we would have become fast friends–although I was never “solo material.” 😉 I’m so glad that you are vulnerable enough to admit and deal with the wounds of your past, sweet Mary. Isn’t it amazing how long an experience like that can haunt us? I’m praying that you continue to know how very deep and wide God’s love is for you–solo or no solo!
Liste to jesus voice: My grace is enough for you. You are my sweet daughter through Jesus Christ.
I love your post. Regnognize it.
I can just feel your pain, Mary! That was always me on the playground when they picked kick ball teams (or any sort of team–I’m the queen of uncoordinated). I think it took until college for me to deepen my relationship with God and understand that my coordination didn’t matter. What mattered was that God had made me HIS way and for HIS purpose. What a life-changing realization!
The lessons of humility and shame we feel along the way are nothing in comparison to how God feels about us always. His unfailing love and devotion for each of us should be what drives us as we carry on in our daily lives. Thank you for sharing your story too. Blessings!
I could totally relate to your Senior year and the old feelings following us even though we are grown. Even now God has to minister to my heart and say, “You’ve got this!” Great post!
Loved this book!!! It was so fun to meet Jennifer at Allume. She is precious! Thanks for linking up today. xoxo
I feel so blessed that I was able to meet Jennifer and especially to read her book. Her words made such an impact on me. Love seeing your beautiful face my friend!
You will hear many voices but only two really matters. Yours and God’s. Everything else is just noise. Thanks for bravely sharing this story. 🙂
Blessed you stopped by! I love when God teaches us through the experiences of our lives and as for sharing-He provides the strength I need.
how wonderful that you were that confident and secure in Christ in high school. Mine didn’t come until many years later (my “story” behind a song I wrote is tomorrow’s blog-11/12). I love that translation of Galatians that you used. Visiting from Testimony Tuesday
Well actually I was not secure in who I was in high school but it was a time of awareness that we all were not on an even playing field. So blessed you stopped by from Holly’s and I look forward to reading your story. Blessings!
Beautiful words…and a MUCH needed message! In God’s eyes, we’re all approved, just because He loves us!
Also, I really need to read that book. 🙂
Yes you need to read this book! 🙂 I personally need to hear this message often-it’s easy to understand but much harder to apply to your own life. Blessed you stopped by, Jen!
Love Idol is on my “to read” list. Sounds like it needs to move closer to the top!
You must read this book! I loved it and it made a huge impact on me. Sure is good to see your smiling face here!! Hope you are well!