When You’re Most Like You

I’m convinced my daughters are lizards. Chameleons, to be exact. They—along with all other kids their age—have an uncanny ability to transform into anyone they’ve been near.

My kids see everything that other kids do, then they want to do everything other kids do.

And it is disturbing to watch your own flesh-and-blood become someone else.

Just the other day, my four-year-old strapped herself into her carseat and began to morph into a girl she’d been spending time with recently. She crossed her arms over her chest, scrunched her nose, and huffed.

“I’m hungry. I want to eat.”

If I hadn’t been looking, I might have thought my daughter’s friend sneaked into our car and planned to stay with us—the mannerisms were that spot on. Even my daughter’s voice changed to copy this other girl.

It was terrifying.

And downright infuriating.

In my most dire attempt to stay patient, I closed my eyes and sighed. “Marie, I love you most when you’re most like you.”

“What do you mean?” Her pouty face stared at me from the backseat.

I know my daughter in her truest form. She’s a girl who earns special treats for being kind, then wants to wait at the end of an imaginary line while insisting her invisible ‘friends’ get the goodies first. She’s a girl who gives toys to babies and tickles their toes just to make them smile. She’s a girl who loves people greatly.

But in that moment, her future flooded my mind—school, sports, dreams, boys, jobs, a family of her own perhaps.

How different would she be at the end of her journey? Would the Marie I know fade away over time?

I glanced back into her little face—the one she had finally stopped scrunching—and my heart reached for her. It begged for my daughter to cherish and protect who she is at her core, the way I do. But it’d be impossible to explain that to a four-year-old.

“When you become like someone else, you disappear.” I exhaled and shrugged. “Please don’t disappear.”

But, I realized, I, too, am a chameleon. We all are, really. We see everything in the world, and then we want to do all those things.

And I bet it is disturbing for our Father to watch His children mimic someone else. Especially when the only other one we can truly mimic is His enemy.

Just the other day, I watched my daughters push and hit each other because they both wanted to be the “red triangle” in the book they were reading.

“Girls, stop,” I said.

No response.

“Girls! Stop!”

More pushing and hitting.

Fire surged through my nostrils, and my teeth withered to bits as I ground them together. I stomped over and roughly separated the small children.

“GIIIIIIIIIIRLS! STOOOOOP!”

If God hadn’t been looking, He might have believed Satan sneaked into my soul and planned to stay with me—the mannerisms were that spot on. Even my voice changed to copy the Enemy.

It was terrifying.

And, for God, it was probably downright infuriating.

“Kelsey,” He whispered, “I love you most when you are most like you.”

I finally unclenched my teeth and rubbed my aching jaw. “What do you mean?”

He glanced into my face, and His heart reached for me. It begged for me to cherish and protect who I am, the way He does. He pleaded for me to remember who I am at my core—a human made in God’s own image. A girl made to be godly.

My Father exhaled and shrugged. “When you become like that someone else, you and I both disappear.”

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