Abiding with Jesus Exploring the Unknown

When You Wish You Were Somebody Else: Three Steps to Consider

I want to be somebody else…

Have you ever been plagued by this lurking wish-thought?

Oftentimes I can predict its unwelcome presence.

It normally appears when I’m disappointed with myself. When I’ve allowed anger, frustration, or sadness to get the best of me. When I’ve given wings to negative emotions and let them turn into harmful words.

It flares up after I’ve allowed my eyes to scan people’s lives without restraint, wrongly assuming they have it all- the happy marriage, polite children, charming house, and lively personality.

It sticks to my mind the more I dwell on all the things I am not.

I want to be somebody else…

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At the core of our request is a heartfelt desire to change.

However, here is where my desire to change turns catastrophic.   

I picture her. A woman I’ve never met of course.

She carries a permanent smile on her face and delight flickers from her eyes. She is laughs at the wind and lets it mess up her hair. She doesn’t worry about time’s passing, her new wrinkles, or the stain on her shirt. She awakens each day with an expectant heart and walks with purpose, on a treasure hunt for beauty. Her body is strong and she is well built. Her heart has learned to find its strength in Him. She grows secret gardens and cultivates her relationships with the water of encouragement. She is successful in her pursuits, in her presence you feel seen and loved.

Maybe you’ve imagined someone similar? 

She tempts us with her wild glow and radiant smile and welcoming heart, doesn’t she?

She is free and passionate and joyful- her life captivates us. We are drawn to her. We want to be her.

But most days, we are humbly and painfully aware of how far we have yet to go. Disappointment rolls in like a fog in the wee morning hours and by afternoon we’ve already given up hope of ever being able to change.

We know it in our bones, we will never be her or do what she does, for she is only a dream.

So now what?

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How do we deal with this nagging groan to be released into the newness of life, to be this someone else? Is it possible?

Firstly, we recognize it for what it is– a God-birthed dream to be fully ourselves.

This change we want so deeply is healthy and essential; it is not to be silenced, but sought after.

Although change is more mysterious than a snap-finger miracle or a quick-fix formula, it is uncomplicated. A step or two each day is actually all it takes to stoke the faith-fires within our heart, to become what we imagine we can be.

Author Bonnie Gray writes,

“Because when we actually step out to be who God’s created us to be, we become vulnerable to the critical voices that once kept us safe — but left us unchanged. To avoid hurt or uncertainty.

But, I’m learning to follow Jesus with my heart. And because this is a new journey, it’s okay to feel insecure and doubt because it only means we are taking our first steps to living in a new way.”

Don’t be surprised when the thought finds its way to you… I want to be somebody else.

Secondly, give it to Jesus and listen to how the phrase seeps with truth and hope of redemption. Your desire is valid and heard. We were created to be made new.

You were made to journey into the wild places of His heart, unafraid of change. The hopelessness that echoes out from the critical voices, you’ll always be stuck here, you’ll never be different, is held at bay by the Spirit of God moving gently and quietly within you.

He is making and re-making you each day.

Thirdly, move towards your desires for change, dear friend, it is from Him. Yes, Jesus is inviting you to explore more of Him, so you can be more of you. Be it in the thoughts, attitudes, actions, or words you choose today, He uses it all to draw us down the path of profound, inner change. The kind of change that when we look back over our lives, it will be as if we have become someone else entirely, not through self-help strategies but through His Spirit.

Verses to Ponder: 2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 3:20, 1 Cor. 13:3-8, 13, Gal. 5:22-23, 25, Phil. 4:8-9, Col. 3:12-16, 17

Also, I created a free, printable resource entitled, Hello Happy Change: Six Days of Delighting in Different, you can find it in the free resources section here! It’s a 28-page guide/devotional filled with creative challenges and prompts, and inspiration for you to step into the new + see change as a gift!

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