Weird dream last night. I was photographing a PR event and ran into one of my PR/ Influencer friends who just happened to be there … representing Joanna Gaines. (If you know me, you know I’m sort of obsessed with Fixer Upper and the Gaines family. But not in a freaky fan kind-of-way. More like, I’m pretty sure Jo and I would be friends. Lol. )
Anyhoo, I asked Joanna if I could capture her photo with my PR friend. Then, I was hugging Jo and talking to her about her kids, and my PR friend asked, “Why don’t you let me take a photo of you two?” And I said what I always say when someone asks me if I want my photo taken, “No. That’s okay.”
I was recalling this dream as I was driving to work today. And I started thinking … why do I do that? Why do I always think of myself as a second-class citizen … not attractive enough to be photographed or not confident enough to take the lead? Why do I only focus on my flaws and how I’m not good enough? Why do I think that I’m somehow a child of a lesser God?
So, I asked God. Right at that moment.
And He answered me … in a way that only I would understand.
Now before I explain, I need to tell you another quick story. (Bear with me. This diversion thing is in my DNA. It might be related to the Irish-storytelling-gene.)
There is a holy place in Bosnia/ Herzegovina called Medjugorje. Millions of people from all over the world take pilgrimages to this Holy Place every year … to the spot where Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of teenagers on a small hill in June, 1981. It is difficult to explain how this is a place of healing and transformation—even today. They say that you are not meant to go “until she invites you.”
About 6 years ago, my Mom invited me and my sister to join her on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje with a group tour—that just happened to have had 2 cancellations. All my expenses would be covered. Yet, I wasn’t sure. To be honest, I was nervous about traveling overseas and leaving my family. And then there was that lack-of-worthiness thing that lives in my head.
With the registration window quickly closing, I had just 24 hours to decide. I’d cleared the time off at work (just in case). I’d received my family’s loving support, but I still wasn’t sure. So I slept on it. Still, I vacillated. I was driving into work that morning thinking to myself, “But I never received HER invitation.” Then, I saw it. An out-of-place dining room chair sitting by itself in a large stand of trees, with just one single sunbeam shining onto the seat. And I heard in my heart, “Here’s your invitation.”
So I said yes.
Flash forward to this morning, after that odd thought-provoking dream.
I was driving along asking God, “Why do I always consider myself unworthy? Why do I act like a second-class citizen? And there it was.
A dining room chair. By itself. In a field.
This time … He was asking me to STOP.
STOP the toxic thinking.
STOP mentally punishing myself for the things that I label as my flaws … my weight … the scar over my eye … being introverted … screwing up past relationships … etc.
STOP accepting man’s idea of “perfection” as what’s ultimately most important—and START seeing these things as battle wounds along MY path to the ONE True King.
START wearing those imperfections like a warrior.
And, then, just as I did with that first invitation …
I said yes.
How about you? Ready to give up that critic in your head and become a warrior against self-criticism? YOU are a child of the ONE True God. (For real.)