Megan Oaks | @megancoaks
Say what? That’s right! New year, same old me! After Christmas and with the approach of January 1st, every year we begin to reflect on our goals and ambitions. If you’re anything like me, these goals while well meaning, can sometimes lead to feelings of inadequacy. A laundry list of what we don’t like about ourselves, what we want to change and the person we do not want to be a year from now. Call me crazy, but when I think of our Heavenly Father listening to our inner most thoughts, I doubt it brings him joy to hear us list off one by one the things we feel make us less than the uniquely crafted design he created us to be.
New Years eve, as I was scrolling along through my news feed on Facebook, I was pleasantly surprised by a post from a young lady which read; “I’m really happy for everyone saying New Year, new me. I hope it works out. As for me: New Year, same me. I kinda like myself.” I was floored by her wisdom. Floored by her maturity. Floored by her positive attitude and self-image. These things are all too rare nowadays. (I say that like I am ancient and have experienced decades of change.) Truth is, with social media on a rise and reality television exploiting the lives of celebrities, and not to mention those pesky gossip columns peering at us from the grocery line, it has become all too easy to compare our lives to those around us and those that are beyond our reach. Comparing our lives to the lives of others is a slippery slope of destruction for our confidence -- a path of self-deprecation that will eat away at us until there is nothing left.
Time to get real for a minute. I am thirty. A mother to three amazing kids and wife to the most handsome man alive. I am a little heavier than I’d like to be, it took me longer than the average person to decide what I wanted to be when I “grow up” and those amazing kids I just referenced, well they make me want to scream most days and not for joy. I see the Mom in the grocery store with her children in tow. Children who seem well mannered, sweet, kind and are holding hands as they stroll through the aisles. I envy her. I see my friend who even after multiple pregnancies, one of which gave her twins, can still fit into her size 6 jeans and somehow has a tummy flatter than the pancakes I burnt for breakfast. I envy her as well. And lest I not forget the multitude of supermom’s who got their lives together before children and are rocking a career and motherhood all at the same time. How they do it, I don’t know but I envy them also. I envy them because at some point I’ve bought into the lie that their best is better than mine. I’ve sized up what I deem as the worst of me and pitted it against what I believe is their best.
What an injustice I’ve done for myself! What an awful trap I’ve fallen into. If I had to bet, I’d place a million on the truth that God looks down on me and adores the things I despise. He did not create us all equal or the same, but he did create us and everything He has made is GOOD! Let’s reflect on a couple truths-
We know full well the Lord is the creator of the universe. We know he has created us each purposefully and we know he loves us enough to send his son to pay the price for our sins, so that we can spend an eternity that we are undeserving of with Him. If we know these things, and know that all He has created is good; then how can we look as his creation, ourselves, with anything less than love?
Trust me, I’m pointing my own fingers (all ten of them) directly at myself as I type. Daily I fight the internal critic who whispers untruths in my ear. Daily I find myself trying to balance the desire to be healthy with the battle of comparing my size to those around me. It is a choice I have to commit to making not just once but repetitively as many times as necessary until the Lord’s truths sink into the depths of my innermost being.
Wednesday night, during our weekly prayer meeting, my Pastor (and fellow blogger Kevin Welborn) ended the meeting by saying “let’s commit to be more Christ like at the end of 2016”. If ever words hit me like a ton of bricks or my toes felt crushed by the delivery of sermon, it was then. How many years have come and gone, how many resolutions to lose weight, yell less, spend less money, read more books, make more friends have been uttered and mostly broken. Time and energy wasted, when the greatest resolution of all was pushed to the back burner. To become more Christ-like. After all, he created us in his image right? Not so that we can live in the world, like the world but so we can live in the world and shine his light in it.
Instead of my laundry list of changes I want to make in the year; the only thing I am committing to and encouraging you to commit with me, is to become more like our Savior. This year instead of desiring those jeans I’ve kept for longer than I care to admit, I desire his will in my life. Even if that means I remain the same size for another year. Even if that means, my children still act like banshees when we’re in public. And most certainly if that means my life gets flipped upside down, or rather right side up. In 2016 my only resolution is to accept myself just the way he created me, and focus my desires to have a life pleasing to him.
New year, same me… just more focused on the cross!
Megan Oaks is Maryland born, North Carolina raised, currently residing in New Mexico and looking forward to retirement in East Tennessee. Married to her Earthly hero, an Airman in the Air Force and mother to their three "acorns". Recently enrolled in her first college semester at 30 years old and striving toward a degree in Rad Tech. In her spare time, which is few and far between, Megan enjoys photography, reading, following the Baltimore Ravens and reality television. Air Force wife, mother to three, and daughter of the most high King. You can contact her via Twitter at @megancoaks.