Suburbia is notorious for the constant spring of new homes popping up. Here around our community in Katy, TX it seems like an unstoppable force of nature. Houses are springing out of the ground everywhere. I find myself, even though I live and work inside the community, driving by new neighborhoods on a daily basis which I never knew existed. A fun game you can play as you drive around these new neighborhoods (honestly nearly all of the neighborhoods), is finding how many houses are between a repeated design. In other words, the builders typically have a handful of designs that get slight aesthetic alterations but are still repeated throughout the neighborhood.
As I was driving around some of the newer neighborhoods on a Sunday morning, it hit me that we view ourselves and others in a very similar fashion. Maybe there are 3, 6, 8, or 20 – who knows – different molds of people we perceive. It could be a mold of the well groomed, good looking, highly successful, and political personality. It could be a mold of the quiet, behind-the-scenes, and subdued personality who seems to always be thinking and yet you never know what they are thinking about. There are molds around professions as well. Whether attorney, doctor, engineer, accountant, salesman, or teacher, we have molds by which we categorize them. We also have molds for stay-at-home moms versus career moms.
The struggle becomes personal for me not in how others may try to put me in a predefined box, but rather how I inflict that pressure on myself. Personally I have the mold of pastor (what some churches call a ‘senior’ pastor or lead pastor). I have found myself with a culturally prescribed blueprint of how that demands I exist…. in every way. This is incredibly self-destructive in so many ways. I wrote this phrase down in my journal about two months ago, ‘I need to pray that I will grow deeper into who He has created me to be…’ There is a HUGE difference between trying to make your life fit into the expectations of a prescribed mold laid out by yourself, someone else, or our culture, versus growing deeper into the person God has created you to be.
When we live trying to force ourselves into prescribed molds we are undermining the intention and creativity of the Creator. Although most of us live 6-8 houses away from another home we could navigate blindfolded, this is NOT the way we have been created. The greatest artist time and history will ever appreciate has formed all of your attributes uniquely and purposefully. He did not pour you into a mold as you passed by on the conveyor belt in the creation factory. All of the nuances that make you who you are were given intentionally. Those nuances combine to equip you uniquely for the life and context in which He has called you to live.
Walk confidently as one who is beautifully and uniquely created by God to be used by Him in beautiful and unique ways. Free yourself from the anxiety of needing to fit the mold of stay-at-home mother of three, engineer, or athlete. Embrace the joy of knowing God created you to be you and His will for your life will be consistent with how He created you.
Into what molds or prescribed stereotypes do you feel confined? Is that because others (or culture) have pushed that upon you or because you have placed that expectation on yourself?