Sometimes rivals are represented by teams we compete against or a person we hope to outdo. A coworker can be a rival, a prettier or more athletic girl. But perhaps the greatest battle—the greatest rival—is the one we create in our minds. The person we think everyone wants us to be. We create a false rival inside our heads, pretending to be someone else so that others will notice us. So that we feel proud of who we are. But you can’t be anything but YOU.
We imagine someone perfect, without any flaws. The person we can’t ever be. We look around and collect the greatest attributes from others and put that expectation on ourselves. Similar to Laura wanting to be pretty like her sister Mary.
To be completely honest—I haven’t watched a single minute of March Madness this year. But I have been lost in thought about the rivals in my life. I couldn’t help myself… I had to re-watch The Rivals episode from season four. Watch it and see if you identify with Charles and Laura the way I did.
For Charles, he wanted to be successful to provide for his family. Being a farmer didn’t seem like enough, he imagined becoming something more. The freighting contract sounded like success until he found himself never with the family he loved. His rival was the lie that he needed to be something other than what he truly was. Charles returns home, disappointed that he couldn’t be more than a simple farmer. But that’s all Caroline ever wanted him to be.
Laura sought after the attention of Jimmy Hill, but deep down it wasn’t about Jimmy at all. It was about liking herself. All the comparing and striving to be someone she wasn’t didn’t make anyone like her more, she was left with a few bruised apples and feeling downright foolish.
God must like Laura Ingalls a lot, and so should you… I expect you to conduct yourself like Laura Ingalls, not some poor imitation of someone else.–Caroline Ingalls “The Rivals” Season Four
I’ve had my share of foolish moments. Times when I wanted to be anything other than who I was created to be. Even now I imagine being a better wife and mother. A more accomplished writer. A more engaging speaker. A better friend. The truth is—I can only be who I am. And when I’m fully experiencing that reality, true joy zings through me … like Laura hitting a home-run in the schoolyard.
God made each of us on purpose, the exact masterpiece He imagined. God looks at you and at me and says, “She’s perfect… He’s just what I wanted to create.”
You saw who you created me to be before I became me!Psalms 139:16 TPT
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.
Let’s be who God created us to be. You be YOU and I’ll be me.
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