Monday, July 23, 2012

"Take Me As I Am" - Nichole Nordeman

I spend a lot of time thinking about the person I want to be. I definitely aspire to be like June Cleaver. She's such a boss. It's like magic, how she makes three square meals a day and keeps her house pristine, all while making time to visit the neighbors and humor her adorable sons. She's hilarious, never a hair out of place. She's pretty much perfect, and while she feeds Betty Friedan's point about the feminine mystique, she's the archetypal housewife figure who manages to tour the facility, pick up slack, and look like a total babe when she goes driving with her husband after dinnertime. Like I said, such a boss.

And then there's Agent 99. Not only is she a glamorous agent of justice with snazzy outfits, but she always comes through in the clutch when Max's made a mess of things. She has an unobtrusive way of asserting her perspective and always has the best ideas. Her deadpan wit and patient countenance make her the unsung hero of the show, the perfect supporting character. And if anyone can rock a short skirt with a long jacket, it's Agent 99. If I could be a seemly mix of June Cleaver and Agent 99 when I grew up, I would be unstoppable.

But I guess there's a bit of absurdity in patterning myself after fictional characters from old-timey television shows.

So I got an email today from the regional coordinator for The Veritas Forum. (As Harvard law student fluent in a bunch of languages and living in Boston, he's basically got the life I wish I had.) He was wondering if I was up for directing URI's Veritas Forum this year. Sarah lol'd when I asked her about it. "Aren't you barely getting done what you already have on your plate? And what was the state of your mental health last Veritas? I'd think about this one for a bit if I were you!" And let's be serious, who are we kidding, I'm terrible for the job. I am woefully inadequate at event planning and administration and getting stuff done. Still, I'm filled with a keenness to take on the job, because if anything's important to me, it's this outreach. The idealist in me says, "Yes! Absolutely! His truth must be proclaimed at my school!", while the realist in me says, "If you want this thing done halfway right you'll keep it far away from me."

Oh, for a heart that does not ache, for a backbone that won't break

I am often overwhelmed by the feeling that my apathy is bigger than my ambition. I want to be so much, and do so much, and I'm filled with so much vision sometimes that my heart feels like it's swelling against my ribcage. But when it comes to turn my passion into practice, I trip every single time. Too easily defeated, I see my shortcomings in retina display. I always bite off more than I can chew, take on tasks that I am not equipped to see through to the end. I am not dependable. I will choke in the eleventh hour. I am too brittle to lean on. It is one of my greatest heartaches that I am not enough, that I am too limited, to do and be all the things my inspired and idealistic mind would believe are within my grasp.

And the list gets longer between who I wish I was and was no longer
But the gap grows wider between who I am and all I aspire to be

I wondered once about how much agency I have in my own self-creation, and I have yet to find an answer. But I think I can be sure that I will never be June Cleaver. I will never be good at sports, or good at math. I will never be quiet and demure and not socially awkward. I am not the girl in that Cake song. God has not seen it fit to give me certain things, and how dare the pot criticize the creation of the Potter. When I feel that He has made me as weak as they come, I comfort myself in the promise that God chooses the weak things of this world to shame the strong. And when I feel utterly useless, I am all the more confident that He will answer my prayer, "Use me."

I never could be good enough to measure up, but You want to take me as I come. You're the only one that can take me as I am.


Anonymous said...

So, you aren't the perfect candidate for the job (not sure that there is such a thing). But you see the need and are passionate about the message. You also understand your limitations. Why not team up with someone who can handle the administrative aspect and take on this challenge? Idealism and exuberance undergirded by utter dependence on God are great qualities for a ministry leader.

Liz said...

I ADORE Agent 99.

This is a good post. <3

Michael Mullaney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Mullaney said...

"But I think I can be sure that I will never be June Cleaver." Thank God! *sigh*

Thinking about going off to college has made me think about what kind of college student I want to be, how I want to balance everything. Do well in school, spend time with people I love, be there for people, and be interesting to boot ;)
I think you've got a pretty good resolution to this feeling, for the moment.

Also, sometimes your fingernails DO shine like justice.

Nicole said...

I don't know how you do it but you've managed to encapsulate my thoughts and feelings exactly. You're amazing.