Define Superhero: a character who possesses extraordinary or superhuman powers [dedicated to protecting the public]. While I believe that the last part of the definition is important, I’m going to just stick with the part that talks about extraordinary or superhuman powers.
I want to start with a little story. Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was given so many great things in her life: a beautiful family, some pretty great friends, a house to live in, food on the table, and clothes on her back. The others things she was given was the ability to talk and communicate super well-even manipulate others and situations super well. She was given athletic talent that she pursued over 13 or so years. She was given every opportunity to help serve the communities that she lived in through various organizations. She was given lots of leadership skills, ones that people normally have to work at to achieve, but she just had them. Mostly though, she, or at least she thought, she was given extraordinary powers that resembled a rubber band. She would be able to metaphorically stretch herself so thin by participating in all these different opportunities and activities, not receive any rest, rely on her own strength, and snap back into place immediately. Really, when people looked at her, they thought she was WonderWoman, and she liked that.
Fast forward 23 years. You may or may not have guessed it, but that little girl was/is me. For the past 23 years I’ve lived my life as WonderWoman. I even sometimes marveled at all the things I did in a given day. I would wake up in the morning, grumble at the idea of school, but eventually put on my big girl pants and WonderWoman costume for the day. I never wore anything but a positive attitude because trying to explain to people why I was down wasn’t part of my persona. The people needed WonderWoman, so I gave them WonderWoman.
Most of my self-worth had been wrapped up into the things I accomplished. It was wrapped up in how much I worked, how many raises, promotions, ‘good jobs’ and pats on the back I received. Much of my self-confidence was wrapped up into how people viewed me, treated me, and accepted me. And pretty much all of that self-worth and self-confidence came tumbling down when my strength could compete any longer, when I would fail at a project at work, receive anything lower than a B in class, or hear that someone thought of me being anything less than awesome. When those things happened, WonderWoman no longer existed, rather a normal young woman with sin and struggles. I didn’t like that. I didn’t know who she was.
And then just last week, I learned one of the best lessons any young woman could learn: I learned how to kill the WonderWoman inside of me. The WonderWoman that I have been idolizing for the past 23 years is starting to be put to rest.
How did this happen you might ask? Through a series of really tough, faith-building events I would say. The last couple weeks have been ones that I hope not to relive, but they have been oh-so-good in so many different ways. The WonderWoman in me thought that I could go days on end without opening up my Bible and getting filled with God’s Word. The WonderWoman in me thought I could go days on end with only a few hours of sleep a night. The WonderWoman in me thought my prayer life could go on hold for a few days while I dealt with things. The WonderWoman in me desired to be that rubber band I held so near to my heart. I wanted to know that I could act according to my own desires and will. I wanted to know that I could control my mind, my heart, my soul, my actions, my everything. The WonderWoman in me wanted to be invincible so, so badly, and I failed so, so miserably.
And yet God used that time to bring me closer to Him. As I lay sobbing and wrestling for some sort of hope, God quickly comforted. He didn’t yell, He didn’t condemn, not at all. Rather God allowed me to experience the deepest Grace I have ever experienced in my life. God opened my eyes and showed Himself off. He showed me how deeply I need Him, how much He wants me to throw up my hands and surrender to Him. He showed me the community of people, the Gospel friends, who He’s given me to love me, encourage me, and remind me that the best thing about me is how God pours out His Grace. I know that I’m not invincible, but I serve the I AM who is.
While being WonderWoman was nice for a season, it doesn’t do any more, not since Christ took ahold of my heart. There is no point to live under my own strength, to try to go without rest or Scripture. There is not point of me trying to be invincible because I will fail ever time.
So WonderWoman, I’m done. I’m done idolizing you. I’m done thinking that I can do life on my own. I’m done thinking that invincible is my middle name. I don’t have extraordinary or superhuman powers, no, but I have God.
And let’s be honest, God is all I need.