Where, would you imagine, is the last place in the world you could feel secure? A fashion trade show in Las Vegas, teeming with the fashion conscious, industry hungry, ladder climbers, perhaps?
This is a very legitimate "least likely place in the world" if you find security by way of comparison. There are beautiful people everywhere. Literally, we've spent the last 3 days looking across the aisle at American Apparel models parading around in front of their 8 foot poster likenesses in all their 'made in the USA' glory.
If you go down the hall or up the stairs to the big times, it's even crazier - where the largest global market week for contemporary fashion earns its title.
Everybody's got a limit and I think I just hit mine like a brick wall. I'm not a fashion conscious, industry ladder climber and I can still feel like 15 years old around people who are.
But, guess what? Sitting right smack dab in the middle of the least likely place to feel worldly secure (with my TJ Maxxed top and my thrifted jeans and my plump petite size), I'm the same amount of self-confident.
I've done a lot of people watching these last couple days. I'm sure people have done a lot of watching me too, but I didn't really notice. There is a point, in the wee hours of 6 am, where I shrug at the mirror and say, "It's not going to get any better than this" without too much fight. But often, in all my watching of fashion comings and goings this week, I would start to smile a little bit (hopefully underneath my facial expression, but I can't promise that).
I would smile because even if I always feel 15 around people who are supremely fashionable, it doesn't bother me. I don't feel less accepted or less approved or less loved.
Isn't that magical?
Worth is not negotiable. Approval is not a trend. Acceptance is not a fad - not for this girl, anyway.
I already have the approval of the most important audience and I did absolutely nothing to gain it. Not a single thing. It'll shock me every time, but maybe this week more than others because it feels like people try so hard to gain worth and approval and acceptance.
I smile because this day is full of reasons to rejoice and worrying about what I eat or drink or wear or buy is a big distraction to that joy.
Tomorrow, I'll get off the plane in Brooklyn and call it home for my weary, vagabond feet. I'll figure out the trains and maybe someday soon stop living out of a carry-on suitcase. I'll find a local deli and make friends with the neighbors. I'll people watch on the corner and join the massive morning commute. I'll put one foot in front of the other and every footstep will take me in the direction of something new. I will shake off the distractions of "all other things" and smile because of the first and best thing.
I can't think of a better/worse place from which to set sail, because I'm not really leaving from anywhere and that can really confuse an identity. But, not this girl. Well, that's what I'll keep preaching to myself.
I am approved, accepted, and loved because God approves, accepts and loves.
He is gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He is steadfast and certain. He is kind and patient, tender and just. He is my rock and fortress. This is my Lord who gives me identity, wherever my nomad feet roam and whatever my little hands do.
This is my Lord and my security.