Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin? Perhaps it was just for a fleeting moment because of something you said or because of an embarrassing situation that happened. I remember one time thinking I knew someone and calling out their name, waving to them. When I got a better look at their face I realized it wasn’t who I thought it was. I wanted to crawl out of my skin as they looked at me like I was half-baked.
Sometimes that feeling of being uncomfortable in your own skin lasts more than a moment. It could be something that you struggle with on a daily basis. It could be for a number of reasons…you don’t like your outer shell or perhaps you wish you had a differently personality.
I used to struggle with the whole wanting a different personality thing. I used to read that part of I Peter 3:4 about how women should have a gentle and quiet spirit, feeling like I could never attain that. It isn’t natural for me to be “gentle” or “quiet.” I could name a dozen other women that were more fitting and I began to wish that God would make me more like them.
However over the years I began to discover that God didn’t want me to be just like them…He wanted me to be me. He made me the way I am, personality and all. Sure, I come with a few (okay, maybe more than a few) rough edges but that is what reading and living out the Word was about, smoothing out those rough edges. It wasn’t about being someone else.
What I greatly appreciate about the church I attend is the massive amount of talent there. I don’t look at the worship team and wish I could sing like them. Instead, I embrace and enjoy their talent. I don’t look at the dancers in some of our musicals and wish I was graceful like that. Instead, I appreciate the way they make everything so much more beautiful.
Learning to become comfortable in my own skin has taken many years. There are still some things about my skin I would like to shed, such as a few pounds. But God reminds us in Jeremiah 18:3-4 that we each start out as being marred.
We are imperfect in the hands of Jesus. So what does He do? Thankfully He doesn’t just leave us as we are. He makes us into another vessel. When once we were nothing more than a piece of clay, we become a vessel. That is powerful! Vessel sounds so much nicer than clay, doesn’t it?
But here is the key…we are made “as seemed good to the potter to make it.” He has free will to do with us as He desires. So who you are is who He has desired you to be, flaws and all.
Instead of complaining or pouting about those things you don’t care for when it comes to your “skin,” appreciate them and value them for how God wants to use them. Going back to the whole gentle thing…one of the things I have come to discover is that for the tasks God has give me, gentleness (at least in the way I was envisioning gentleness) wouldn’t work for me.
You see I had this skewed idea of what gentleness is about. I took it to mean that I had to speak quieter; I had to be meek and just let life happen around me. If I didn’t have the personality God has given me I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the things I have been able to.
I am learning to appreciate some of those very qualities about myself that I used to disdain. It doesn’t mean I don’t work on those things that need work. It just means I am learning more and more to be comfortable in my own skin. What about you? Are you comfortable in your own skin?
Here are some snapshots from Psalm 139 of what God has to say about this:
• You are familiar with all my ways
• For You created my inmost being
• You knit me together in my mother’s womb
• I am fearfully and wonderfully made
• All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
Love the skin you’re in!