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Not like you!

By April 19th, 2015Uncategorized12 min read
We sat in a group chit-chatting
about life in general. It was a lovely evening, a wonderful sense of
camaraderie in the air. We were a group of women in alignment of purpose, easing
off the strain of a busy academic day and getting to know each other a little
better in the process.  This was girl’s
time out, and it really didn’t matter that the ‘girls’ cut across almost three different
generations…. We were all girls and in that time we had each other’s backs. My exact
kind of space!
Inadvertently, at some point the
issues and vicissitudes of life become topical, different experiences were being
shared, opinions began to be heard and an avalanche of well-meaning advice
began to flow. One of the ladies sat quietly enough though clearly listening
intently, the occasional quiet smile playing across her lips. And of course,
you can be sure she had my attention particularly as she’s by no means a quiet
person. Curious me, I really needed to hear her thoughts on the subject matter.
I won’t go into the entire conversation, but suffice to say that she shared an experience
with me and then remarked that she had actually written an article to capture
her thoughts around this experience. I asked if she would share and she readily
emailed it to me. I was completely blown away as I read. I said to her that she
needed to write more often, and then asked if she would mind my featuring her
write-up on this forum. Bless her, she was happy to oblige, so today, I share
this platform with my Guest Blogger who at this time shall be called ‘Sandra’…
about as far away from her real name as I can get, lol. Here goes:
Yesterday was Mothering
The women turned out gaily
dressed to celebrate the good fortune of being a wife and a mother. But …….the definition of a woman is ‘A mature adult female’…. not all are wives
and for sure not all are mothers. 

I am not like you!
I may not be a wife, indeed I
may not be a mother but I’m no less a woman, fiercely and passionately loved by
the One who made me. I celebrate my life and His faithfulness to me. 
The message was about a mature
woman. She talked about a woman’s application of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I was properly impressed as I perhaps I should be.

I am not like you!

I barely get it. I believe in
God the Father; I believe in Jesus Christ; I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe He redeemed me unto Himself and He is my God, and I am a child dearly
beloved. He
is working His love into my heart, guiding me by His Wisdom along the road that
I am travelling. I am not like you. But I am
a child of faith.  I am confident in my daughtership!

She spoke of her reverence for her husband – her head. She would even kneel for
him when he gets back from work and his food and care is her preoccupation. I was well impressed – isn’t that as it should be?

But I am not like you.
life circumstances are different. I am the one who gets in after he does. I am
the one who can barely stand on my feet because I have logged a
13-hour day. I am a helpmate that walks alongside to make a living.  I am grateful for the life
I have. I am not like you! Do not offer me the pill that works for you.

Her household only eats home-cooked meals, which she sweats over the cooker to
make.  In one sweep, 3 pots of Ogbono, egusi and the third one I cannot

am not like you.  
My family is fed good wholesome food. Sometimes I make
it, sometimes it comes   from the freezer,
and sometimes it is bought. They are fed and it is healthy food. I can live
with that. My daughter cannot cook egusi or Ogbono even if her life
depended on it. But she is confident in the kitchen and turns out the meanest
liver & ham that you can imagine. Her sauces make you come back for more. Her chicken & steak can make you bite through your tongue. At
17, she had the run of the kitchen and had been the housekeeper for 2 years. Combine this with straight A grades and honor roll performance. I am not like you, but my life and my meals works for me.

She talked about her exercise regime and being the example of fitness and
goodness in her fifties. I was well impressed as I should be.

I am not like you.
I am overweight and do not exercise as much as I would like to. But I am
wonderfully and beautifully made. I will eat right and find a routine
that will work for me. I love my body as I am and will love me when I firm my
butt and my mid riff.

I may be well impressed by your life and your life story….. but it is not my
life, not my life story.

Talk to me about who He is and what He is doing and promised to do in my life.
Talk to me about God, His Christ and Spirit working in me, for me and through

I am not like you.

I am ME……. Much loved, pardoned
by grace, loved in mercy!

Sis, I know we all process
things very differently, but this speaks to me very deeply from many perspectives.
First of all, it is so
important that we know and understand ourselves, the way God has created us to
be, the way the unique sets of experiences, circumstances and challenges of
life have evolved us to be. Even while we are on a constant quest to become
better versions of self, the first step in this journey is – understanding who
we are and the things that frame us. That way, we are not working too hard to
fit into the mold that other people have or expect us to conform to. Understanding
ourselves leads us to self-acceptance, to an ability to be able to look our
strengths and weaknesses directly in the face and not be impressed or
confounded/intimidated by them. Knowing ourselves is about knowing the God we
serve and understanding that He sees, knows, and loves us simply because we are
His wonderful creation.
It is important that we
understand that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for any area of life
and so we need to stop bench-marking ourselves against others who we think have
it going on, and allow ourselves depressurize emotionally, mentally, and
spiritually. Out top concern should be how we appear in the eyes of God and the
only way to truly do this is to ensure we are constantly seeking His face and a
closer walk with Him. God’s ways are not man’s ways, and this is not a cliché. It
is His Word! Our God is too big to be stereotyped into any particular cast and
neither does He expect us to play out any man-engineered stereotypes. He is a
God of principles, yes… but we can never ascribe to ourselves any mastery of
just how He chooses to play out His principles in our lives, much less in the
lives of the next man or woman.
I say all the time that advice
is not meant to be taken. Each time I say this, I am met with a questioning
stare and I have to explain that the essence of seeking or receiving advice is
to help you look inwards, adequately frame the totality of the situation you
are facing, and then make your own decision which may or may not then take the
direction of any advice received. Ultimately, our play in life should always be
a function of us communing with the Holy Spirit and allowing Him be our guide. What
this means is that I cannot try to push my views of how you should handle any
situation on you, because quite simply…I am not you; I don’t have your
circumstances; I am not dealing with the same sets of people you are dealing
with; I don’t have the same assignment you have; and the directive I might have
received from God even if I had an exact situation as yours, is very likely to
be very different from mine…. Because His purpose for your life is different from
mine, and the things He might be trying to birth through you in that situation
might be very different from the things HE is trying to birth through me.
Sandra’s post also then
reminded me that we must not be too quick to form opinions, to assume we know,
to judge. We all have our struggles, and if I don’t struggle with what you
struggle with, I don’t have the right to color the lenses through which I look
at your life by the things I assume I see and know. And you cant give up on me because it seems my issues are bigger or more visible than yours. Oh, but that we would all
be required to open our closets at the same time….. who would dare point the
first finger? Enough said!
I’m not like you, sis…. And I’m
so glad I’m not. How boring an ‘i-robot’ type world would be! Our God is too
grand for that, and in the scheme of things His picture is too large, too beautiful
and too detailed for us to ever imagine more than a tiny piece of it at a time.
You and I are not here just for the period of our lives my friend. No, we are
here because our life adds up to a much greater part of the picture than we can
imagine. Our every experience is shaping generations that will flow from us, or
be touched by us in ways which we will never know. The impact I am created to
have is greatly different from the impact you were created to have, generationally so! The challenges
I will have to struggle with and grow because of, will build muscles in me that
are necessary for something in time that you will never be part of, and vice
If we can agree this, then it’s
absolutely wonderful that I am not like you, sis… remarkably brilliant that you
are not like me. So how about we cut each other some slack? How about you and I
concentrate on that one thing that assuredly we have in common? As Sandra said,
“I am me……. Much loved, pardoned by grace, loved in mercy!” and this is who you
are too. Let’s be sure we are extending the same love, pardon, grace and mercy
all around okay. Our key assignment is to be the Christ that the next person
will experience here on earth. If we would be keep this as our constant focus,
we will be well-guided and guarded in our thinking, our utterances, and our
actions towards others. We will be love, and we will be truly loved. We will live
the Gospel and we will ‘BE’ the Gospel. We will be less under pressure
ourselves, and we will help others live a life that is less pressured, more
fulfilling, and bringing greater glory to God.
I don’t want to fit into the mold that works
for you, sis. Neither do I imagine you want me to dictate the mold I think
should work for you. Fearfully, wonderfully made is your unique identity, even
as it is mine. I don’t want to be your judge and jury, and I don’t want you to
be mine. I want to hold your hand on this journey called life, because I know that
together we can be more and do more for God. I know that if we allow each other
be, and simply commit to supporting each other through our strengths and
struggles, we will both come out stronger and more fulfilled for it. Sis, how about
you and I recommit today to helping each other and the next person we meet walk
in the quiet assurance that they have the freedom to be the person God has
uniquely designed them to be. Sound like a plan? Works for me!
As always, the Lord is our
Helper sis. He surely is! And as my sista-sista Bidemi always says, ‘We will
make it, nevertheless!’
Be blessed sis…… for you
surely are!


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