For a long time, I wanted to be Jane.
Jane was my ideal of the perfect Christian woman. She was the roommate of a friend I’ll call Sarah, and when I saw Jane, I felt as if I were observing a foreign creature in the wild. She wasn’t on social media. She woke up hours before work to enjoy a tranquil time reading Scripture and praying while drinking her steaming coffee in full view of the sunrise—and she didn’t Instagram it!
Jane’s room was always immaculate. Her workout routine exactly matched the advice of the latest fitness magazine. She wrote Bible verses on beautiful chalkboards throughout their home. She took a low-paying job so that she could spend more time helping refugee women create businesses. She was gorgeous. And I am pretty sure her hunky boyfriend had a British accent. Jane made me think of white wine, clean linens, and a house that smells of citrus and is filled with the Holy Spirit.
A Lesson in Grace
I have no chance of ever becoming Jane. I am currently doing nothing to help refugees. I have the attention span of a very small child. And I am always running late. My quiet time consists mostly of anxious prayers hurled up to God on my way into a meeting or when I’m trying to fall asleep.
For a long time I saw my inability to be like Jane as a spiritual defect, and I often tried to rehabilitate my weaknesses to create a better version of myself. But by trying to walk against the wind of my personality, I succeeded only in feeling like a failure.1