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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some new things...

Yesterday you saw that I was messing around with trying something new. That little post I made was a test to see if what I was working on was actually going to work. And I'm so happy to tell you that, "YES" it worked. I'll explain...

A few months ago I was asked to be a part of one of my favorite coaching magazines, The Christian Coaching Magazine. I am officially their public relations person which includes lots of different things but primarily right now I'm handling all the social media for the magazine. I get to be on facebook a lot and Twitter too. There has certainly been a learning curve but it's fun and I'm always up for learning something new. Yesterdays little experiment had to do with this very cool web instrument that will allow you to post your status updates on Facebook and it will automatically post it on Twitter or whatever other social media tool you choose. It will even pull automatically from a blog post. Maybe this isn't something very new but it was to me and I was thrilled to have figured it out all by myself. YAY ME!

My next challenge is to try and link to the magazine page so that whenever a new edition is coming out or something newsworthy is worth sharing, it will post across the internet telling everyone what we're up to. If you're interested in learning more about this instrument you can find it at a website called hootsuite. Here's the link:

That's all for now...find me on Twitter: resurrectedgirl or on Facebook: Allison Rouse Johnson

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trying something new

This is me trying something new...just a little test to hopefully move towards something cool!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Remember Mulan??

Throughout the history of Disney films a consistent theme has appeared in direct relationship to the values lived out by women today. The first Disney heroine, Snow White, may not conjure up images of a strong value foundation but she does firmly grasp her role in caring for the Seven Dwarfs. More recently characters like Mulan and Belle epitomize the unwavering commitment in discovering their core values and then they stand firmly upon them.

In the beginning Mulan, like many people in the world, is afraid to be herself and disappoint her family. She knows the path that has been laid out before her and strives to be the girl that everyone wants her to be. The problem is, she has an inner drive that does not fit the everyday Chinese girl and this becomes especially obvious as her mother takes her to the matchmaker to receive an extreme makeover. Mulan tries her best to become what she believes her family desires of her but she cannot please the matchmaker and is thrown out. Mulan believes she has failed miserably. Facing disappointment from her family Mulan turns away, disgusted with herself, wondering who she is and how she will ever gain their approval.

She ends up disguising herself as a man to protect her father and joins the Chinese army. Her adventures allow her to mature and gain emotional strength but it’s only when her fellow soldiers discover she is a woman that she is forced to take a hard look at herself. She suffers extreme humiliation, faces abandonment and more disappointment from the peers who knew her as Ping. For a moment she sinks into self pity but when she realizes the Huns are still alive she springs back into action. Only this time there is no disguise. To be effective in achieving her goal of protecting her country she must not pretend to be something she is not.

Like Mulan, many of us take on the roles that society or our families lay out. We adapt and adjust to fit their mold, never really considering that perhaps our own unique design was not meant to be adapted or adjusted in accordance with someone else’s. In the end Mulan discovers that while she was pretending to be someone else, her own unique self was deep inside her all along. Like many of us, she has to decide if being herself is enough. What she decides changes the course of her life and the course of history. She makes her decision to stand up; throwing off her disguise, believing the foundation of who she is will be her strongest asset. She has discovered she is significant, she is a woman of influence and she embraces the truth of her strengths even with her imperfections. The message is clear, no matter what anyone else says or does, she is enough.