#PreApproved Sisterhood Series
Welcome to a new series, hosted here on the blog. Every Tuesday night, one of our PreApproved sisters will share her story on letting go of a love idol.
Together, we’re giving up our love idols, and we’re not taking them back.
We are already approved; we have nothing to prove. In Christ, we are #preapproved.
The True Price of Approval
My craving for motherly approval was not on my mind when I got into direct sales.
I joined a party plan company two decades ago for one reason: I love a great bargain.
I was honest with my recruiter: I just wanted the starter kit products worth $300 for $99. I wasn’t going to sell products or “share the business opportunity.” I signed the contract and told her that she’d never hear from me again.
Then a charm bracelet made a liar out of me.
When my kit arrived, I browsed through the full-color promotional materials, transfixed by all the recognition opportunities.
The incentive trip was beyond my reach as a newbie. But that adorable charm bracelet with fifteen exclusive charms?
I. Wanted. It.
Months later, I basked in unaccustomed attention at Convention as peers noticed my jingling bracelet. Women asked, in awed voices, “You got them all? How did you do it?”
I wasn’t used to interest, let alone admiration, from women. So the sudden onslaught of approval was downright intoxicating.
When the next year’s incentives were unveiled, I was ecstatic. The company spelled out exactly how I could pick and choose the recognition I wanted to earn.
My favorite thing was no guesswork. No struggling to figure out how to make a mother happy or get other women to like me. All I had to do was fulfill the requirements, and approval was guaranteed!
By the next convention, I’d qualified to sit with the company president. She looked me in the eyes and said what I’d longed to hear from my mother:
“I am so excited for you! Do you know how remarkable you are?”
My craving for maternal approval may not have been on my mind when I got into direct sales. But the personal attention I received from this new mother-figure/mentor/hero became the reason I stayed.
For the next eight years, I focused on achieving every form of recognition that would ensure me an invitation to her table.
Then came a mid-year back injury. Worse than my physical pain was the thought of missing my seat at the president’s table. So I charged thousands of dollars of inventory to our credit card and “earned” the incentive trip.
I took my family to Maui. But I received no invitations to sit with the president. In fact, at the farewell luau, when my daughter begged me to introduce her, we were turned away.
Clearly, I was no longer “remarkable.”
I was a has-been, stuck with a garage full of inventory and a credit card bill I had no way to pay.
You may not crave maternal approval or pursue a place at the table like I did.
Perhaps you pay for approval in your own way.
You do whatever it takes to earn that feel-good moment. When it’s over, you start all over again.
Until something goes wrong and you can’t pay the price and suddenly it’s all gone.
If this sounds at all familiar, here’s what took me ten years of this vicious cycle to learn:
You can’t buy true approval.
Oh, you can pay everything you’ve got for the cheap knock-off known as conditional acceptance.
But true approval is a gift. The price was paid long ago.
True approval is your birthright. It was waiting for you before you were born.
True approval is guaranteed. You can’t earn it, and you can’t lose it.
After so many years of paying all I had for counterfeit approval, I’m grateful to say with confidence today, “I’m Cheri. And I’m preapproved.”
Cheri Gregory is a frequent speaker for MOPS groups, women’s retreats, parent workshops, and educational seminars. She is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of the newly-released The Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, a pastor, for over a quarter-of-a-century; they have two college-aged kids. She blogs about expectations, “baditude”, and hope at www.CheriGregory.com. Cheri and Kathi invite you to sign up for their newsletters and/or the 5 Day Braver Living Devotional series at http://www.thecurefortheperfectlife.com.
BOOK AND NECKLACE GIVEAWAY
Cheri is giving away a copy of her book, The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, along with this Brave Necklace.
In The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, authors Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory, encourage women to rebel against the bullies of the “Try-Harder Living” that burden women: Perfectionism, People-Pleasing, Performancism, and Procrastination.
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THE LOVE IDOL MOVEMENT
Click here to find out more about the Love Idol movement.
Click here to purchase the book that inspired the movement.
Click here to join us on Facebook as we lay down our Love Idols and declare our #preapproved status in Christ.
Click here to print the black and white preapproved cutouts.
Place these where ever your Love Idols have lurked!
A pink PreApproved printable: to frame, to put on your refrigerator, to give to a friend.
Click here to print. My gift to you, brave soul!