The good thing about being an adult, is you can do what you like. Hide under a table and pretend you’re a jungle wife. Eat ketchup with your muesli. Not call your mother. Tell the Starbucks barista your name is ‘Regina Shufflebottom’. Teach small children to stick their tongues out and feign disgust when their parents clock ‘em.
Barring families, tax returns, royal mail, repairmen and The Law – all of us can live the dream. We can be anyone we want.
I was thinking this today whilst embellishing my alternative life.
Emma Scrivener is actually an invention. My real name is Estelle. I’m not married and I’ve never been to Eastbourne. I’m a fierce, leather-clad, hard-rocking goddess of a woman who seizes life by the neck and wrestles it into submission. I talk like Meatloaf sings. And I laugh in the face of jigsaws.
Actually, Estelle isn’t really who I want to be. What I want to be is a better version of who I am. This version has a baby. She loves Jesus more and isn’t frightened of change. This me is fun and fearless and not too lazy to make lasagne. She doesn’t fall for supermarket offers or fantasise about being someone new. She has a proper job and a proper life and she’s never had depression or a bad hair day.
Over the years I’ve put a lot of time into being someone else. It hasn’t worked. I can dress the part and mouth the words, but the real me invariably leaks out. This me isn’t a swan. She’s a chicken, with funny knees and funny eggs. I try to lose her, but she always comes back.
I want to be a better version of who I am. I really do. New clothes and new job and new family and new life. But that’s not the way. God sees I’m broken – but He does more than slap on some lipstick.
Jesus comes down into the midst of the mess. He becomes my brokenness, my suffering, my sin. On the cross, He puts them to death. Then, as He rises up, He gives me His perfection. Jesus takes the brokenness and He shines through it. He makes it ok to be me. Not just wonky – but wonderfully loved.