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Accepting who we are

By Jo McCormick
Park Ridge resident

Proverbs 11:28 A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump: a God shaped life is a flourishing tree.
All the advertising that touts, “Live Life to the Fullest” by using or having this or that product or “thing” really means nothing. It is a come-on.
God created me, those highly touted products and things are world created. They may seem to be necessary for a “good” life, but many of them are not necessary to live the life God wants me to love. He created me to live my life in Him and for Him.
God offers the “best deal” out there in his advertisement (book of directions) called the Bible. Daily study from the Bible, God’s word, is the most powerful product for a meaningful, purposeful life here on earth and beyond.
I should have taken time daily to think about God, study His word, talk to Him and let him be my guide. Well, back there in 2002, that small group Bible study showed me my life. My life did have meaning and God was not done with me yet.
Remember the saying “PBPGINDWMY.” Please be patient God is not done with me yet. God is such a patient God; even though I seldom gave Him the praise and recognition He deserved, He was always close by to direct me.
I am in no way being accusatory of my parents but God was not the support beam in our home. Nor was our home build on the rock Jesus Christ.
Hey, we went to church, Sunday School and youth group, but there was no daily involvement directed heavenward. Monkey see, monkey do. My family was raised that way too. Unfortunately to even a lesser degree as time and the years wore one.  
From my present vantage point I do regret that so much. I know God has forgiven me, but it has taken me longer to forgive myself. It was a brief, in terms of a lifetime, detour from the morality that I still struggle with.
I’m thinking it was all a part of that “need to be noticed” trait that I carried. I wish that I hadn’t transgressed, but I surely did. Each of us is put together by God with due diligence; our freedom of choice is not always approached with due diligence.
Our next topic of study reminded me I was not a happenstance because God does not create accidentally and never makes “mistakes.” Furthermore, I am not a robotic product off an assembly line.
I am uniquely “me.” I am given the ability to make choices—be they good or not so good. He will erase the “not so goods,” if I own up to them and ask for His forgiveness.
The physical stature and appearance He blessed me with were not always to my liking. Six foot tall, big boned, well padded girls were much more rare when I was young; but then again I was kind of unique. I turned that into attracting attention, albeit not always wisely, as I became a teenager.
I have already opined my morality issues. I somehow seemed to link my physical and personal appearance with how productive and useful I felt. Early on it seemed to be quite important. Then when I felt less productive and useful  I became quite complacent about “looking good.”
When I really delve deep I got so I equated “looking good” with attracting bad circumstances to tempt me. So I got dumpy and frumpy so as not to attract tempters.
WOW! Is that sick or what? Well, buck it up Jo, shape it up Jo, those types of temptations are long gone,  but you still need to be presentable to the public.
In my file of favorites is this poem by Russell Kelfer:
You are who you are for a reason,
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.
You look like you look for a reason,
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You’re just what he wanted to make.
The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you feel,
They are custom designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.
No the trauma you faced was not easy,
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you’d grow.
You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are beloved,
Because there is a God.