The external doesn’t define you

It’s that first glimpse of the external that we define someone. Tall, short. Young, old. A description becomes our initial definition. It’s only the surface we define.

I would have been in the third or fourth grade when my family went to visit friends. They must have been business acquaintances because I don’t remember another time we were together as families. I clearly remember being in their backyard where their daughter, a couple of years older than me, was playing with their dog. She was sitting in the grass eating a popsicle when she held it out to the dog for a lick and then proceeded to enjoy the treat herself.

I was a bit astonished by this. My mama would have snapped that popsicle right up from me. But her parents didn’t intervene. Instead, they reacted as if this were a common thing for their daughter to do. Amy was retarded (as we said in those days). It was visibly obvious that Amy wasn’t like others. No doubt, her physical appearance was how she was defined.

When I remember that moment, what I most recall is her joy. She sat in the grass laughing as the dog jumped around her. She had no qualms about sharing all she had with her animal friend. I suspect she did the same with people too. Amy defined joy.

In today’s post, Kate wrote about how the hardest thing for a writer to write is often their profile. The blurb that defines them. How do you sum that up in a few lines? And how do you really define yourself?

I’m afraid sometimes I wear my profile on my face or in my tone of voice. It says: back off!

When we’re struggling to define ourselves, it’s best to remember that we are only really defined through the grace of Jesus. No matter our appearance, our status, our earnings, He defines us as worthy.

 

9 Comments

  1. Yes, we are worthy because of God’s grace. When we remember this it is easier to breath and even write about ourselves. Thanks, Debby. Always a pleasure to visit your place. Blessings upon blessings!

    March 31, 2017
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  2. Annie Rim said:

    I love all of your photos of joy – that’s how I want my life defined. And yet, I get so caught up in everything else. Thank you for this reminder that when we rest in God’s definition, we are whole.

    March 31, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      Really, capturing candid shots of people is my favorite photography. I love it. And yes, I hope people see me joyful, the kind that survives the storms.

      March 31, 2017
      Reply
  3. Lesley said:

    It is easy to define people at first glance, based on external things. It’s important to go deeper and get to really know them. I love the reminder that no matter what we, or others, may think it is God’s grace that truly defines us.

    March 31, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      It’s something I have to remind myself of Lesley, that my Jesus sees value in me. I just have to remember it isn’t me, but his grace.

      March 31, 2017
      Reply
  4. Jeannie Prinsen said:

    Those are great photos! The point is so good, too​: the tendency we have to define people solely on externals and first impressions. But God looks deeper, and his definition of us is based on love. Thanks so much for sharing here.

    Jeannie (#30 in FMF this week)

    March 31, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      I have to admit, I gave my husband a second look because the first look was pretty good 😉 But getting to know him was what made it lasting. We miss out a lot of times by just going on externals Jeannie. God shows us the way of grace.

      April 1, 2017
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  5. Amen! Working with Special Olympics athletes they’ve taught me so much about what it means to have grace and live freely. I’m over in the 55 spot this week!

    March 31, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      I can only imagine what you’ve learned from working with Special Olympics. I know you have been changed from that experience. So wonderful Tara!

      April 1, 2017
      Reply

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