You might already know that my name is spelled a little differently. The most common spelling is J-a-m-i-e, while mine is spelled J-a-i-m-e (I’ve been known to be confused with a Hispanic male by people I correspond with in writing only!). What you probably don’t know is that my mother chose to spell my name this way after the fictional character Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman from a 1970s TV series of the same name (I know, I’m dating myself…).
Until today I didn’t give it much thought, but as I told the story to someone recently I felt an object lesson coming on…
The Bionic Woman
The Bionic Woman had superpowers. She could run super-fast, jump super-high, she had super-hearing, super-strength in one bionic arm, and even a bionic dog. I don’t have any of those things (though my dog is very, very cool), but like every other woman out there, I often feel the need to be a super-woman: I try really hard. I try to anticipate the needs and feelings of others, maybe sometimes to the point where it’s annoying. I set unrealistic expectations for myself and then self-deprecate when I don’t measure up.
Lately, I’ve become acutely aware of my non-super status. With a couple of new responsibilities this fall added to the usual podcast and family to-dos, I have been lamenting the fact that I don’t have the super-speed of Jaime Sommers. Of course my mom didn’t spell my name J-a-i-m-e because she wanted me to be just like the Bionic Woman. I’d like to think she would want me to be happy in my own skin, proud of the unique person God has created me to be, and not to waste a single minute berating myself for not meeting unrealistic expectations. One interesting thing about the Bionic Woman is that even she had limitations. She could only jump so high, hear so far and run so fast.
Likewise, we each have our own limitations. We need to recognize them and in many cases operate within them. But we also need to remember not to overestimate them, or underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, who can order our thoughts, equip us with wisdom, help us to discern between good things and God’s best, and infuse us with energy, vision and love for people that can launch us into doing things we never dreamed possible!
I used to think of my uniquely spelled name as an inconvenience. I think from now on I’ll look at it as a reminder of my own superpower: who I am in Christ. I am uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made, limitations and all. I am not called to be someone else, or to feel like less when I can’t operate in the strengths of others. At the same time, I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. I think what this means is that I’m not meant to do everything – but there is absolutely nothing God calls me to that he hasn’t already equipped me to be able to accomplish through Christ in me.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
Join the Conversation
How about you? Are there areas where you’re comparing yourself to others, feeling like you fall short? On the flip side, are there things God is calling you to do where you’re not trusting Him to equip you? Let us know in the comments!