When I was a little girl, I always asked this question: “What is it like to be you?”
Somewhere, early in my journey on this spiraling, dancing, globe of a planet, I realized my life was mine alone. And yours is yours. Somehow I understood each life — yours and mine — is a note in the music of God’s creation. We need each other. I think that’s what I was realizing, very early on.
And so, I wanted to know, “What is it like to be you?”
I wanted to know, right in that instant, exactly what it felt like to be living your life in your skin from the seat where you planted the pockets of your Levi’s 501 jeans. I remember asking my mom, over and over again, “Mom, what is it like to be you? No. Really, really you. What is it like?” One day, worn out by my tireless inquisition, my mom said to me, “You know, you should ask your teacher that question.”
So, the very next day, I waited until all my classmates filed out of the classroom and onto the playground for recess, and I stood next to my teacher’s desk at the front of the classroom and in front of the chalkboard covering the front wall of our room and I asked my teacher, “What is it like to be you?”
I remember my teacher doing her best to answer. Teachers are beautiful people, walking around with an incredible desire to help — to provide the answer. My fourth grade teacher was no different. I can’t tell you what she said, because, quite honestly, what she said wasn’t scratching where I was itching. What I can tell you is that’s the precise moment — my teacher struggling to answer a question for which there really is no answer — I realized no one can fully articulate their existence in a moment-by-moment, blow-by-blow running account like the ticker at the bottom of a television screen.
Our lives are so much more than that. Your life is spectacular. Don’t miss it, wishing you had someone else’s. And don’t miss the beauty of playing your one note in the symphony of God’s creation.
No one will ever be able to articulate your presence here the way you can. God isn’t into mass production. You are a treasure — the only you there will ever be. We need each other, just the way God made us.
Play your note. Tell your story. Dance your dance. Paint your canvas. Unlock scientific mysteries. Get dinner on the table. Tuck the children in bed. Run a mile on the treadmill or along the beach. Create beautiful code. Build a kitchen table. Paint a wall. Plant the pockets of your Levi’s 501 jeans in a deck chair or at the meeting in the corporate board room. Only you will ever do it the way you do it.
And the way you do it is magnificent.
It’s amazing how God brings a message He wants to share with you over and over and over again. He is truly amazing. Thank you for this post.
Ah, I’m glad these words mean something to you today. So glad God created you just the way you are!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
I used to think that anyone else could do my life better than me – be a wife, raise my kids, face my trials, etc. That was the enemy talking. I’ve since learned that no one else can do MY life better than me…that God especially chose me to be the very best mother for my particular kids. I am blessed to have a husband who encourages me to “just be Bev”. It’s taken many years, but for the most part, I am pretty comfortable being me. When in doubt I read over Psalm 139 that reminds me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. And, I read posts like yours that remind me that I am God’s magnificent workmanship. Thank you for a much needed reminder!!
My husband tells me same thing (except he says, “Just be D,” instead of Bev). God bless you today as you do your life!
A good message! Thank you! I would add (if I may): Since it’s so hard to know exactly how life feels in someone else’s shoes, let’s try to show a bit more understanding, more gentleness… and let’s learn to feel for others.
Shirley Schilder says
Such beautiful and inspiring words! Thank you for sharing.
Blessings from Australia 🙂
Thank you for this message! Just what I needed to read today. 🙂
This is such a beautiful post. So magical and true and soo what I needed to read. I need to really remind myself daily of this. Thank you!
Words so beautifully spoken thanks for sharing them.
Oh my… 🙂 God gives us like thoughts years apart, we are unique unto His Hand. Amazing Love and Grace formed us long before and knows us intimately.
ro elliott says
Deidra… great words here…we all need to be reminded!!! oh, it took me far to long to “get” this… but I am so thankful I live more in this space now!!!
THANK YOU for the post. It came at a VERY timely manner..we(DH and I) are struggling ALOT with our oldest daughter who has been diagnosed with depression. I am struggling so much with trying to connect with her and make her see how much we love her…that God loves her and she should love herself.
I am printing this off and putting into a scrapbook of sayings and mementos i am making as a graduation gift for her.
Lynn Morrissey says
At first I thought . . . I, disagree with Deidra? Oh no. I always agree with what you write. =] At first I thought . . . my life, mine alone? Don’t we need each other? And then, I read on . . . yes, we are individual notes, but we resound together in a great song orchestrated by the Great Composer and Conductor, and He needs each note to sound so that His great song can be sung in all its beauty. We join in chorus to bring glory to our Composer, but we will sound each note differently. I am literally a soprano, and I do sing solos, but how much richer will be my sound if sung in chorus with altos, tenors, and basses? I think we sing best when we sing the part God created us to sing, but blended with other voices, and all singing to His glory. And of course the metaphor extends to any God-given gift. When we live in the way God created us to, we bring Him glory. And I love your question, Deidra: What is is like to really be you? I think if people asked that question seriously and humbly, our world would be a far more compassionate and understanding place. We would get inside people’s shoes and skin and be a lot less judgmental and far more understanding. I watched (with great sadness and deepening horror) the movie, Twelve Years a Slave, last night, and found myself asking (maybe in different words), “What was it like to be you–a slave?” and my soul wept at the recognition and horror of what that would have been like. I’ts a good and challenging question to ask, and it can be a revealing and very sad one, but one that needs to be asked . . . and answered. Thank you for all you do to help us think deeply and live wisely for His Kingdom and His glory!
Haha! Feel free to disagree anytime, Lynn! And thank you for the encouragement you always extend my way.
Candi Dickerson says
Oh.My.Goodness. This Word is for me, right here, right now in my life. I’ve been pondering just this morning what eternal life looks like here in this not-our-home place.
This is a grand place to start. Thank you!
Jeanne Takenaka says
Yeah, I needed this one this morning. I know I am cherished by my heavenly Father, but it’s in the moments when the kids are battling with me (like this morning) when I begin to forget my note in the symphony. Thanks for the reminder, Deidre. It’s just what I needed to put my mommy hat back on and work on training my littles to discover their own notes in God’s symphony.
Deidra, God has been teaching me this very thing. We all have so much to offer. I can just envision your four-year old self asking this question. Thanks!
Absolutely, I loved your post. I think a key
to “being Who God created each of us to be, create who you are, it may smack upside others, genuinely, that’s a clue
we are right where we are suppose to be.
I asked the same question all the time as a kid, only I didn’t have the nerve to ask it out loud. I spent most of my childhood asking “What’s it like to be you?” to the characters in every book I read. Sometimes they answered:) That’s the power of the written word, which you’ve shown so beautifully in this post. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed to read this today.
I always wondered if there was anyone else, walking around asking that same question. It makes me smile to know you and I were up to the same thing, back in the day.
Joanne Viola says
Love this! So grateful we are all different & we fit together like pieces in a puzzle. Great word here!
I love this! I kept hearing what the kids these days are saying… Yes, I’m an Empty Nester now so I can talk like that… They say, over and over, “You be You boo!”
When we shy away from who we are and the life we are living, we hold back from the table the blessing He intends for us to be! I love that this is being released over an entire generation… let’s continue to sing it out loud! We have been formed and created with purpose for a purpose by a God who is oh so intimate and passionate about us – individually, as well as all together (lovely!)
Sarah S says
Thank you so much. I really needed to hear this today. It brought tears to my eyes. I spent too many years trying to be something I wasn’t. Whatever everyone else thought I should be. It doesn’t work you know. I’ve been being me for the past five years. They have been the best years of my life. Equal to the goodness of those of my childhood before I started trying to fit in. But, earlier this spring it came to my attention that being me…wasn’t going to work for a certain organization. I got very sick…which became as good a reason as any not to return. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement that being me is exactly what God desires me to be. Right where I am. Blessings.
oh so true..i finally got that after many many years in my own life chasing after holding friendships together (always the one who called to see how other friends are) holding a marriage together that failed and then when it all fell apart..i got to be me !!! God has to shake some of us to get us to be true to ourselves and get real,to enjoy ourselves and really know who we are so we don’t wander around doing all that we should be..and never knowing who we are..i now live each day in honoring God,and just have such a wonderful peace in actually knowing who I am.im not the perfect friend who always calls everyone,im not the fake woman who needs fashion to feel complete but since I let so much go im more put together then ever..more composed,more caring and even in style !! ha ha. im me and just happy to be !!
Loved this. Such sweet encouragement from you, Deidra.
Ruthie Lewis says
Deidra, I love this! It’s the theme of what I do – LET YOUR GLOW SHOW. Just yesterday, I posted a thought on my facebook page about how flowers and all of nature inherently know what they are to become, but somehow, we become trapped in what others say we should be and the mindset that we don’t measure up and have nothing to give and don’t deserve to receive and enjoy all the gifts God meant for us.
The truth is, The Glory of God is a Soul Abundantly Alive!!!!
This was a quote from my pastor about a month ago and I have it taped to my fridge as a constant reminder of the “sound” I am making.
“If the meditation of my heart is the ‘musical soliloquy’ sung in my heart and we are God’s orchestra, What song am I singing right now?”
Makes me get it together and calm down, take a breath and pray about my response in every way.
Thank you D for your beautiful post.
Barbara Waldron says
The Lord makes sure His message gets through! Thank you.
Diana Trautwein says
Thanks for this, Deidra. It’s lovely to see you here as I’ve been missing you almost everywhere else of late. Hope all is well with you. . .
Beth WIlliams says
God’s timing could not be more perfect! Just what I needed to hear on a day when I felt like giving up!!
We are all uniquely made and must use our talents and be the person God made us to be. That way His song will be played out in the great orchestra down here. Also since we can’t be someone else–then we need to be more compassionate & caring of others! We need to lift others up in prayer!!
“Only you will ever do it the way you do it. And the way you do it is magnificent” I loved this message. We don’t often hear that, nor is that the message we tend to give ourselves. Thank you.
Alysa @ Kitchen Fellowship says
Lovely words Deidra! I’ve been pondering a similar question but haven’t yet asked anyone yet: ‘How to experience God? Your faith?’ I’m just fascinated to know how others see, feel, hear from God because I’m betting it’s vastly unique.
Your encouragement here also reminds me of this quote: “Your vocation is more than doing. It is more than your occupation. Our calling is the face of Christ we are called from eternity to show the world.” – David G. Benner
I’m so thankful for beautiful you and your gift of empathy and encouragement 🙂
Deidra (had to correct the spelling),
I’m so thankful for beautiful you and your gift of empathy and encouragement 🙂
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to
bee actually something which I think I would never understand.
It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I will ttry tto get the hang off