The Spin Cycle

No kids or washing machines were harmed in the making of this photo ... but Tiffany wishes no one had had a camera when she chose this particular stunt.

Once there was a young girl and all she wanted was to be perfect. There was a photo of her as a small child climbing into the washing machine because her shirt got dirty. It was no longer perfect and she was going to wash it. The problem was that she, being two years old, had forgotten to take herself out of it first.

As she grew older she learned that clothes, not people, went into the washing machine. Some 12 years later that same girl found herself with the daunting task of being a high school freshman. After less than a week she wasn’t perfect anymore. This honor roll, volleyball girl with close friends and was a loner who apparently could not comprehend the concept of the poem and was facing a schedule that barely left her time to sleep let alone play a sport. So, she did what she had learned and cleaned up the mess.

Her mistake this time was that she did take herself out of it first.

A shy, but mostly confident young girl became an outwardly extroverted girl with confidence, sarcasm, and academic focus like no other. On the inside the real girl was drowning. She started noticing every flaw. Every physical imperfection she had stood out to her. A small tummy that had never bothered her suddenly became a cover up buying spree. A sudden realization of a flatter chest meant she constantly crossed her arms and fuzzy hair led to never again sleeping in past 6:00 a.m.

For the next four years she would see a frumpy nerd who had friends who were boys but no boyfriends. She would walk around with a smile on her face all the while wishing that she could look a little different or be that size in the vain hope it would somehow make her perfect. That all those physical things would make someone notice that she was indeed the best. It never happened.

I wish I could tell you that if you are this girl that those things that we judge ourselves on, those flaws, will magically go away when you graduate and become an “adult,” but that isn’t true. They haven’t for her and she is twenty-two now. However, I can tell you that her mistake was taking herself, her real self, out of the equation in order to be perfect. The Bible tells you and me that God made us and loves us that way (Psalm 139, Isaiah 43). He doesn’t want you to change the person he made into something to fit the world’s expectations of us, but rather modify yourself, on the inside, to best follow Him so that you can truly be His follower. We have to trust God to have a plan for the person that He created and loves which works better than trying to make ourselves into a better version of who we are, especially if that version is a lie. By the way if you are wondering how I know so much about this girl, she is me. See, even Christian girls try to jump into life’s washing machine sometimes without God, and without God the end result is we are stuck on the spin cycle with the overwhelming smell of detergent and a purple sock slapping us in the face.

Think of some situations where you’ve taken yourself out. Ask God to help you put yourself back in. Send us an email under the Contact Us section, or give us a comment to let us know how it goes.

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