A+ Chameleon

A+ Chameleon

Growing up, I was such the chameleon. I could blend in at miraculous speed into any situation with any group of people. A people pleaser at my core, I wanted to belong more than anything. By belonging, I thought, I was enough. With my teachers who I respected more than life, I was an impeccable listener & avid note taker. With my sister, I listened to whatever music she was into, & ate her favorite candy while we watched her favorite shows because at the time, I thought they were all my favorites, too. If I was going to Starbucks, I tried to look artistic. (Was this the vibe at all Starbucks or just the one in Tyler circa 2006?) If the guy I had a crush on thought a movie was funny, I laughed at all the right times. When a guy told me he loved me after three weeks of dating just so I would make out with him, I told him I loved him too because in moments of frozen panic, we fall back on old habits– & my habit was to conform & blend & please.

standing next to a guy in high school

This is crush guy– not make-out guy. And it was snowing– we did not have premature dandruff.

Sure, these things may be common. But it was all I did. I was always looking for what the environment around me looked like so I could imitate it to the max. When I think back on who I was in high school & some college, all I see is other people.

It irritates me to the max to think of all the books I didn’t read & instead used Spark Notes for. Did I like to read back then? Yeah. When my fourth grade class got to choose someone to research for a book report, I chose Shirley Temple and read her 500+ page biography. But when high school hit & my friends didn’t read, I read enough to keep impressing my teachers & used Spark Notes enough to keep up with my friends.

Why did I get the idea I needed to be like other people to be enough? When did I buy into the lie that I needed to blend to be of value?

Feeling the need to conform & blend starts with thinking there’s a road map to life, & you’re the only one who didn’t get one. It’s seeing everyone else & thinking they have the answers so if you follow them, you’ll be safe. Even if we wouldn’t admit it because we don’t want to hurt God’s feelings, it’s seeing other personalities & thinking God created them better than he created you & if you work hard enough, you can be like them to fix the problem of being you.

It’s just not true.

So what is the truth? What do I need to hear even now at thirty years old? What do our daughters need to hear so they see their worth today?

looking over a canyon from a bridge in new mexico

2006 Class Senior Trip, New Mexico

The truth is you will never feel like you’re enough until you are comfortable with who you were created to be. Once you see the beauty & strengths in your personal arsenal, it is only then you can stop chasing the rabbit of conforming & blending & pleasing. Once you stop chasing the rabbit, you will see yourself in your reflection instead of broken shards of other people. Once you see your own reflection, you will see God created you as enough from day one, & that being enough actually has nothing to do with you & everything to do with your Creator. Once you see that, you can breathe. And once you start breathing without that impossible weight of comparison, you can look people in the eye & call out their strengths & beauty while holding onto your own. Your eyes will sparkle because you will gain a vision of why you were created, & maybe for the first time, you’ll believe you are enough exactly as you are.

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  1. Ginni on November 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I love seeing all of these old pictures!! You know this is right up my ally! It’s a daily reminder for me to not conform to this world but to be transformed by the renewal of my mind. Thanks for being vulnerable friend.

    • Jenna Winegeart on November 7, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      I thought about you when I was searching for them! We all need to search through our mom’s stashes of pictures & show each other.

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