Oh, to be like YOU! (Guest Post by Alex Shimanek)
I majored in Psychology in college. I loved it! Why people think and behave the way they do, it’s always intrigued me. I find human beings to be fascinating, complicated, and beautiful. To know one ’s self and be truly honest about your thoughts, feelings and actions sounds simple enough, but as we all know, it can be a tricky, sometimes painful, thing.
Funny how two people can go through the exact same situation and have two totally different perceptions of it. We each bring our own past, experiences and beliefs into how we interpret and perceive the situations we are in. I use to think I had mastered the art of self-reflection. I really thought I was so self-aware that nothing could get past me. Until that one night in the kitchen (isn’t it always in the kitchen !) when I was having a conversation with my husband and the phrase “be truly honest with yourself” was being repeated over and over again. But, every time those words came out of my mouth I felt a check in my spirit, like God was saying, “Stop worrying about who is or isn’t being honest with themselves-YOU be honest!”
Well that can’t be right! Excuse me, God? I majored in Psychology! I know things! I am in tune with my thoughts and my feelings. If I’m wrong, I’ll say, “I’m wrong”. If I need to apologize, I’ll say, “I’m sorry”. (Now…if I can just pause for a sec here and impart some wisdom…if you ever find yourself arguing with God, chances are, you- my sweet and beautiful friend- are wrong! I write this in love, of course)
The next morning, on my run, the lyrics of the very first song that played were, “Jesus, Jesus, all I want is to be like you.” I kept repeating it, “Jesus, Jesus all I want is to be like you”. As I prayed and worshiped and ran, God flooded my mind with images of people, situations and times I wasn’t being like him. There were far too many than I’d like to admit.
Now, I know God loves me. I know God didn’t do this to make me feel bad. I know he did it to HELP me. To help the relationships in my life be more Christ-like. And, in order to be a better wife, mom and friends, I’d have to go back to those times where I had behaved poorly, so I could do better in the future.
Images of my sweet friend -who I should have been kinder to, encouraged more and showed more love, respect and loyalty to, came to mind. I felt ashamed.
My children, the very same children I prayed fervently for 10 years ago… I was dismissive of my daughter when she was asking me to re-tell her the story of how I met daddy, my sons too- I yelled at them for making a fort-in of all places…the PLAYROOM!
Man, I needed to get to work! ASAP. I needed to apologize. Make some changes. Pray.
“Jesus, Jesus All I want is to be like you”. What a goal! Don’t be afraid to tell God you want to be more like him. Ask him to show you where in your life you have fallen short. Make amends. Seek forgiveness and do better. None of us are there yet, but if we all desire to be more like Jesus, what a world this will be!
Alex Shimanek is the Shoreline Church Sisterhood North Coordinator, a mother of four children (three of which are triplets!!), and an amazing writer and communicator of the gospel. Thanks for writing for me Alex. Love you, dearly!