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Learning As I Go: Wear your own shoes

Christy Bass Adams: Guest Columnist

I walked around the corner and saw my three-year-old son sitting on the ground whimpering. As I got closer, he looked up at me through teary, humble eyes and said, "I think I'm going to need some help."

All I could do was laugh. Somehow he had made it all the way down the steps and into the yard wearing my husband's heavy, lace-up, work boots. The poor guy was pinned down by the weight of trying to fill someone else's shoes. I helped him up and explained that he had his own shoes to wear that were made for his feet; he just needed to go inside and get them. Still not convinced, I assured him that if he would at least try to wear his own shoes, he would see a huge difference in how he moved around.

As I carried my husband's heavy boots back inside, I realized that I am often just like my son. I see someone else who is more talented, athletic or academic and I wish I was more like them. Sometimes I catch myself downplaying my specific personality and wish I was more like someone else. Instead of honing, feeding and fueling my God-given talents and abilities, I often wish them away and romanticize someone else's gifting. Every step I choose to take in those heavy boots gets harder and harder and eventually, I end up falling on the ground, pinned down by the weight of my own unrealistic expectations, begging for help.

This is not living. We were never designed to live someone else's life. Each one of us is uniquely made and if we keep trying to be someone we are not, then sooner or later we are going to be down on the ground, just like my son, saying, "I think I'm going to need some help." When we try to be someone else, we lose ourselves and forget that we are special.

This week, let's practice wearing our own shoes. They may feel a little bit uncomfortable after years of trying to wear someone else's, but after a while, the world will begin to look different. Our confidence will return. Our hope will be restored. Our dreams will be remembered. Our love for life will be reignited. Our purpose will be redefined.

Be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. And wear your own shoes.

For more inspiration from Christy, visit her blog at or send comments to

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