I would let God’s Spirit grow me into wellness in the areas where He saw fit. Has it worked? I guess my friends and my traveling companions would have to tell you for sure. But I know that in subsequent years I have traveled all over the country with a relatively cheerful attitude.
I’m still an orchid—always will be—and I’m learning to accept that fact, even cherish it. But I’m trying hard to be a portable, lower-maintenance one. It’s always a tricky thing, isn’t it, to find a balance between accepting who we are and opening ourselves to being better? The temptation is always to fall to one extreme or another.
One extreme is to give up all hope of improving, to allow our inevitable weaknesses to define us. And, at the other extreme, we may grow defensive, as I did at Liz’s lighthearted comment. We may even end up denying or denigrating ourselves.
As Nels F. S. Ferré puts it, “We hide from ourselves the parts which we do not like. We paint over such elements to make them seem strong and pretty; this we do with our eyes closed lest we should see ourselves as we are.”1
We make a terrible error when we think that to be human means to be perfect, some kind of unerring Christian model that cannot exist in reality. Only God is perfect. To be human is to be able to laugh, to cry, to live fully, to be aware of our lives as we are living them. (Madeleine L’Engle)