Yesterday I took delivery of a new pair of shoes that I'd ordered online. Summer shoes for those wetter days when sandals don't quite work. Shoes that I can enjoy wearing both indoors and out. Great reasons, yet I felt miserable, for the shoes looked overly sensible and fuddy duddy. They made me feel a couple of decades older than my years and as someone who loves pretty, feminine things, I coveted dainty shoes with heels!
And yet when I tried them on, the shoes fitted me perfectly and were so comfortable that I could walk without fear of losing my balance. I have very poor balance because of being ill with Encephalitis as a child, so it was a joy to feel secure in these new shoes and to walk with ease. And yet....I was still hankering after heels! I wanted to look trendy! I wanted to be cool and look like a woman with clout. Why did I have to go the sensible route when my heart was set on being powerfully pretty?
As I complained thus, the realisation came that in a similar way, I often hanker to have a different writing or ministry style. I love exciting, humorous writing and speakers that make me laugh or cry or whose talks are dynamically life changing. I deeply admire people with practical gifts and long to be someone who can put up a shelf or know what to do in a crisis...I try so hard to take these gifts I admire in others and inject them into my own way of being, only to find that somehow I'm staggering around, unable to walk straight, if at all.
And then the Lord spoke in my heart - 'If I'd wanted you to be a Jane or Helen why did I make you Tracy? What's so wrong with the gifts I gave you? Don't they fit who you are? Who else can write, speak or be Tracy but you? Stop coveting others gifts and start cherishing what fits you.'
And with that I saw how silly I've been. My new shoes may not be trendy but they fit me and suit my uneven way of walking. In these shoes I can step out with confidence and know that I'll easily get from A to B; As I'm not worried about falling I can enjoy the walk which then becomes fun and joy giving.
And thus through this lesson from my shoes, I will accept that I am Tracy rather than hankering to be someone else and will nurture my gift rather than coveting theirs. And I'm sure I'll find then that I can walk, (write, speak or be) with real confidence and effectiveness. And it'll be fun cos I'll be sharing my true heart not someone else's and that brings the greatest joy, to me and also to those I share 'Tracy' with. Amazingly I may find at times I can even be humorous or dynamic...Not through me being Helen or Jane, but just through walking in my own shoes.
So now methinks, its time to get those shoes on, velcro the straps and walk..
Tracy Williamson is deaf and partially sighted following Encephalitis at 2 which also damaged her coordination. Tracy is an author and speaker working with the blind Gospel singer Marilyn Baker for MBM Trust, a music and teaching ministry. www.mbm-ministries.org Tracy shares a home in Kent with Marilyn and their two assistance dogs.