Friday, January 22, 2010

Be Who You Already Are

On a really good day it’s easy to focus on the things I like about myself, it’s easy to feel like God really knew what he was doing when he created me. Especially when it’s a good hair day, no one has thrown up on me and my outfit is cute. Those are the kinds of days that I want to say to the world, “Somebody take my picture cuz I’m looking good.”

But we all know those days can be few and far between, especially given the season of life that motherhood brings. Most of the time it’s much easier to focus on the dislikes and the things we are ashamed of, in fact I’ve been known to have my own private pity party and I’m not embarrassed to admit that since I’m pretty sure the rest of you can relate.

We spend our days telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough, worthy enough, valuable enough, pretty enough, smart enough…need I go on? We wonder secretly to ourselves, “Is this all there is? Isn’t there supposed to be something more to my life?” So I titled my post today “Be who You Already Are” because deep inside of each one of us, we are all wondering the same thing…and are hoping to discover some magical answer to our questions. But the truth is, you are already equipped with your own set of values, central beliefs and life purpose. It’s just a matter of letting God reveal the truth and trusting in Him.
I want to talk about how important it is to be who you are, not who you think you should be, or who your husband or friends want you to be…but who you know God is calling you to be.

A few years ago I made this note to myself, it’s a good reminder for me when I feel like the world is closing in…

Be who you already are. Stop striving, perfecting, adjusting, adapting, collapsing, hiding, fearing, worrying, wondering, compromising and just be who you already are. I know that you’re already thinking, “But who am I, I have no idea.” And, “How in the world am I supposed to be who I already am when the whole world tells me I’m not good enough?” Start with remembering who God is to you, how he has worked in your life and then hold on tight to that little glimmer of light that represents the “you” you were before society, before your family and yes, before you told yourself to be someone different.

Early in my marriage I used to wonder how long it would take Grant to change his mind and leave me for someone else. I pretended to be more than I was, trying to fill the shoes that everyone else set before me. I performed and perfected my act…and became someone I didn’t recognize. I lost myself not unlike so many other women who have struggled with their own identity and the shame they carry with them from past abuse or some other sort of trauma. I lived like that for twelve years, wondering what my purpose was and questioned my reason for existing.

But all that time of questioning and wondering I felt a deep prodding in my heart. I knew the bible and I believed that God loved me and had a plan and purpose for my life. But I didn’t understand how I could get past my shame and really be who it seemed like he wanted me to be. I did bible studies and led small groups and knew in my heart over the course of time that the more I sought God the more I understood who he meant for me to be. He was calling me out of the shadows, whispering to me almost every day how much he loved me and how he could use my sadness for his good, to encourage and support others. He helped me see the truth through all the study and counseling that I did. I was significant to Him, and He had bestowed upon me my own set of unique talents and strengths, my own set of values that no one could ever take away from me no matter how hard they tried.

Each one of us regardless of our situation has a unique design that God has given to us. You know there is no one else like you on the face of the earth, you are unique in God’s eyes. No matter what anyone else has ever said or done to you, nothing can change the core of who you were created to be. Circumstance can try and traumatic events may seem to prevail but beneath all of that outside stuff, you are still you; the girl that God created in her mother’s womb, who He still loves and cherishes and gave His life for.

By virtue of your very existence you are significant.

Now, think about your daily lives. All the different hats you wear the people you come in contact with. Your families, your friends, your co-workers, your facebook friends…this is your sphere of influence and somehow every time you interact with them, you are influencing them. Therefore you are a woman of influence.

Remember how we talked about how your life is built on values, the building blocks of your life…and that by virtue of your own existence you are significant. Apply all those ideas to your circle of influence and realize that God has placed you right where you are for his specific purpose. The people that are in your life have been put there for a reason, how do you want to influence them… ?

As God’s creation you are pleasing to Him, and he takes great delight in you. Like any father He desires to prosper you, to see you grow and hopes that you will trust Him to light the way. He made you because He wanted a relationship with you, giving you your own characteristics and personality; there is no one else like you. According to Psalm 45:10 “The king is enthralled by your beauty.” What better way to honor Him than to cast aside the voices of our society that say we have to strive to be someone we are not. Instead answer the call that has been placed on your heart and dive into this realm of exploration and discovery. Stretch yourself as new truths are revealed and get excited about the amazing transformation that comes as you shed false living and move into a brand new authentic way of life, being who you already are.


Melanie said...

Thank you for using the gifts God has given you to touch others. I struggle with my worth and identity, so thank you for sharing.

Diane Markins said...

Good post my friend. It brought to mind the earlier days of motherhood. My neighbor was a few years older and already seemed so "wise and Godly." I began to imitate her...the way she dressed, the way she viewed the world, Bible studies she attended... I soon became exhausted trying to be HER. It was way too much work and I could never arrive at the same place as fast as she did.
Once I came to realize that I'd never live up to the standards I'd fabricated from this pattern I'd been secretly idolizing, it was an easy process to go back to the process of becoming an ever-improving version of the authentic ME. That was so much easier and God was much happier too.