When I was a freshman in high school I purchased a brand new pair of Chuck Taylor peach high tops.
I loved them. I rolled down the edges and folded over the 'tongue' of the shoe. I loved wearing my 'chucks' with my favorite jeans and my button down shirts that were left untucked (which my parents hated). The reality was that there were not very many kids at my high school wearing jeans and Chuck Taylors back in the day and unfortunately that ended up making a difference for me.
I am confident in a lot of things but my sense of style is not one of them. I was very consequence of my height from the time I was in the 5th grade because it was then that I had growth spirt and became the tallest girl in the class. Actually I was very close to the height I am now when I was in the 5th grade. While the world caught up with me over the years that sense of standing out stuck with me. As a freshman I ate lunch with sophomores and juniors and I remember distinctly the group of guys razing me about my shoes....it wasn't just once but happened several times and eventually I stopped wearing my favorite Chuck Taylor high top converse to school. I wasn't confident enough to just be myself.
Yesterday I literally had tears in my eyes because my sweet Emma did something that I wish I had had all those years ago....I will tell you in just a second about the tears and awe that I had for her but I have to back up.
This year for the first time ever Emma is attending a school that does not require a full school uniform. That means that for the first time ever she is choosing her own clothes and developing her own style. Even yesterday she commented that her style is a fashion tomboy; cowboy-ish style. As school began she really wanted a certain kind of converse but we couldn't find one that she wanted. I knew that you could go online and design your own. I asked if she wanted to spend some of her money to do that and she jumped at the opportunity.
I watched her design every single part of her shoe. She began with a white (literally blank) Chuck Taylor hightop. She chose the color of each side of the shoe...the back stripe....the inside pattern....the color of the tongue...the stitching around the entire shoe....the color of ringlets for the laces...what color laces...what the stripe on the bottom rubber would be and what 'tag' she wanted stitched on the bottom outside part of the shoe. I was holding my breath the entire time....I couldn't imagine all the different things that she was putting on her shoe. I only said, be careful not to put too many different things on the shoe. I watched her as she grew excited. We pressed order and I have been hoping that her shoes would be all that she wanted them to be.
She believed in her choices.
She longed to see her 'dreams' come true.
She was willing to step outside the box.
She was unafraid to be creative.
She wore them with pride and conviction that they are the best shoes ever.
She is one of a kind just like her shoes.
She is unique and wonderful...full of color and life.
She made me cry yesterday when I saw the confidence deep within her. I told her the story of my shoes and told her to never let someone else take her confidence away. I told her she was one of a kind; more unique than the shoes she was wearing.
It simply reminds me that God creates each of us with a sense of boldness and assurance. He loves us with a deep pride and conviction that we are the best ever. We are wonderfully made and created; full of boldness. Are you confident in who you are? Do you have the assurance that you add a sense of color and drama to this world? Do you realize that you are one of a kind and that you are wonderful just the way you are?
Today I am reminded to be confident...to be all that God created me to be.