I’m watching Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel (and no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I love it), and Lizzie’s trying to be in a bunch of different clubs so she can have good yearbook pictures. I remember those days. I was always afraid of how I would look in my yearbook pictures, and I always spent a lot of time figuring out what outfit I would wear, how I would fix my hair, and just how big my smile would be. And for what? For some picture that’s sitting in a yearbook that’s sitting in my closet collecting dust. I wanted so much to capture the best part of me in that picture, so everyone could look at my picture and say, “Oh, there’s Erin. She was so (fill in adjective of choice here).”
I’d like to say that I’m past that sort of vanity, but if I’m honest with myself, I’m not. I still care way too much about how I look and what people think about me. I still worry about people’s impressions of me and whether or not I am measuring up to someone’s expectations of me, and if I’m not, what I can do to change it. I still get worked up about my grades because I need something to feel good about, and even having a boyfriend doesn’t make me believe that in the end I’m okay just the way I am, no matter how many times he’s told me it’s true. And you know what? All of this is really exhausting. It’s emotionally draining, and it can make for a person who is not all that fun to be around. No one wants to be around someone who is so worried about what other people will think that she can’t just relax and have fun and be herself. I don’t want to be around that girl, and I don’t want to be that girl. In the end, the change has to start with me. My friends and my boyfriend can tell me all day long that I’m wonderful, but until I realize it myself, it doesn’t matter. But more importantly, I can tell myself all day long that I’m wonderful, but until I realize that whether or not I believe I’m wonderful is secondary to what I believe about God, it doesn’t matter. C. S. Lewis said the measure of a humble person is the ability to forget about oneself altogether, and really, when we learn the secret of gazing into the face of God in worship, we won’t be able to see ourselves at all. What’s a better way for me to spend my time: thinking about myself or thinking about God? That one’s sort of a no-brainer, don’t you think?