"You do you." I hear that phrase all the time. I was really turned off by the phrase the first couple of times I heard it. We live in such a culture of self-absorption and self-indulgence that, being honest, I heard it more as cart blanche to do whatever you wanted. A further opportunity for the world to look out only for its own interest regardless of the impact on something or someone else.
Motherhood (and life) has a funny way of changing your perspective on things; and, in recent days my view of “you do you” has changed. You see, I live in a world of “you do you." I wasn’t really given a choice. For those of you reading this that do not know me, I have 4 beautiful, spunky, hot-mess children that I love exponentially. Two of my children are typically developing and two of them have different forms of cerebral palsy. The day we found out about my 3rd daughter's stroke that caused her CP I entered into a world of 'I don’t know.' The brain is a great chasm of 'I don’t'. Doctors will tell you that no matter how much we do know there is that much more unknown; and, so we were constantly, and still are, in a state of wait and see. Friends would ask us questions about what the future was going to look like and we didn’t even have a gauge on even what to hope for much less to answer to their questions. In that season I was left with the painful choice and reality that I could choose to ignore the life-altering changes that had been placed on our family; I could continue with our previous status quo or "do me." I chose to do me. In that season I saw the toll that our new season of life was taking on my children, my husband, our extended family and me, and I decided I had to serve the place I had been called to first - my family. That was not something everyone around me completely understood, but I didn’t feel like I had a choice. In that moment it was sacrificing my family on the altar of sameness or normalcy, or deciding to learn to embrace the differentness that we had been called to.
I think we get so caught up in the doing that we forget the being came first.
It was there I began to walk my own road of “you do you” and not even realize it. I began learning what it truly meant that God created me independent of everyone else around me. My chief job was not to be a good daughter, a good wife, a good mother, a good sister, a good friend. My priority, my job, was to be a good me. To seek to be the best daughter of the King of Kings that I could. "You do you" for me didn’t come out of seeking self; it came out of a recognition that if I am not seeking to serve the Lord in my own heart and head first, I will never be effective anywhere else that I desire to be and serve. I think we get so caught up in the doing that we forget the being came first. Before God ever assigned Adam a task to do on this earth, He assigned that Adam was created in God’s image. His very first place in this world was to be in the image of the heavenly Father. It was the first “you do you” and it didn’t stop there. The fall came when Adam and Eve stopped seeking the them that God had made and were pursuing the pleasure of another.
We were all made with a purpose in this world. Ultimately, our greatest accomplishment on this earth is to glorify the Father to the best of our ability, independent of anyone or anything else. It is the process of learning that when we are doing what God called us to first, He solves the details of the rest of life. The tasks that haven’t been getting done we somehow find the time, energy, or resources to get done, or we are able to remove them from the priority list. When you feel you are inadequate in serving the people around you and you put your focus back on being a daughter of the King, you will find you are being used as a tool for service to others, often without even realizing it. “You do you” takes on a whole new meaning when you realize who you are in light of the eyes of the heavenly Father. And the heavenly Father does not judge you based on your struggles or failures or inadequacies. Instead he wants to be the one to bridge them. His greatest desire is to complete His perfect work in you, but that requires that you choose to be His beautiful creation. So, when the fears win over, when you feel you're a tripping through this life like Charlie Chaplin on a banana, choose the good portion that God has given, and "you do you."