She was standing across the room but I recognized her right away.
Thankful for a familiar face in the crowd I made my way toward her to say hello. I was at a wedding and my husband was in the bridal party so that left me alone to mingle with strangers or acquaintances I hadn't seen in five years.
Relief flooded Marissa's face as she saw me. Turns out she was feeling just as uncomfortable as I was. We settled into a casual conversation right away, catching up on where life had taken each of us.
While I was listening to everything she said I remained completely distracted by one thing: her hair. It was short, sassy and bright. She'd always had great hair, but this new spiky style was a brave endeavor - even for her - and it paid off.
Finally, when I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer I said, "Marissa, I've got to be honest with you. I absolutely love you hair. It looks great on you. I could never pull something like that off."
"Thank you," she said. "It's new and I think I really like it. I wasted a lot of years thinking I could never pull something like this off too. But you know what? I'm finally comfortable in my own skin. It only took me thirty-two years."
And there it was. Hope.
At twenty-eight I care less about what others think of my hairstyle and my clothes than I did at eighteen. But I still flinch when it comes to taking risks that might get me talked about among my friends. Going from blonde to red is about as risky as I may ever get with my hair.
But what about my faith? Have I settled into a status quo Christianity that uses others around me as a gage for spiritual maturity and what God may or may not want for my life?
Instead of turning to the Bible and seeking God in prayer do I find myself asking for advice from those in my small group or looking for answers to life's biggest questions on Christian blogs or websites?
If God asked me to take a major risk for His glory would I jump in with both feet or would I pretend I didn't hear and just go about my Christian business like everyone else around me?
How comfortable am I in my own skin?
Psalms 139:13-16 tells me God created me and my skin. He formed me in the secret places and He knit together my personality, my passions and my body to make the one and only me.
He has plans and purposes for me. I was never intended to fit into a cookie cutter mold of Christianity. Instead, I was made to be unique. Risks are implied with individuality.
It's time I start getting comfortable in the skin that God gave me. That starts with figuring out what He hardwired me to do. My likes, dislikes, talents, passions and interests have all been weaved together to fulfill God's plan for me.
That means it's ok to start paying attention to those things and even specifically asking God about those things.
And when He speaks I need to move - even if that means moving into territory that is the spiritual equivalent of a bright, spiky hairdo that very few people can pull off.
Psalm 139:13-16 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
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Shannon Primicerio recently threw caution to the wind and traveled to Bogota, Colombia with Compassion International to love on some children and learn more about how she can help the impoverished. You can read about that adventure and others at: www.beingagirlbooks.com/blog
© 2010 by Shannon Primicerio. All rights reserved.