As young girls growing up we are taught to embrace our personality. Without a second thought we pull on those cowboy boots, slap on that Cinderella dress, put our hair in a high pony tail and without shame grab the leash to our fake stuffed pup as he drags behind us as we walk proudly with our momma’s through the grocery store. After all, in our minds we can wear and be whoever we want… other people’s opinions don’t put a dent into our parade, because we are proud of our outfits and whom we chose to be that day.
But then as a teen-20something we can get, well, bombarded. And as much as we try to ignore it, you’re most likely right there with me. Bombarded by social media posts of girls who know how to take just the right picture while yours always turn out blurry and with weird smiles. Bombarded by other’s thriving in their career after College while you are stuck working a 9-5 at a place you have little to no interest in just to pay the bills. In awe of everyone else’s world around you, and slowly becoming unhappily overwhelmed with your own.
This was me. And still is me on occasions. My testimony is one full of many redeeming moments, yet the most prevalent one has to be moving from inferiority & becoming comfortable in my own skin and walk of life. We’re told to love who we are, and to know what God says about us. But God wants us to move from knowing the “right things to say” about who we are, to walking in freedom of truly embracing who we are (the pretty, ugly, post worthy moments and the deep secrets we wish we didn’t have), all of it.
Who are you really? What is your true personality? What’s your preferred style? What is your family life actually like? What parts about you and your life are a reality but you don’t understand their “why” yet? What’s your past? All of these things, and more, matter. Because they are you. And the Lord knew what He was doing when He created you in your mother’s womb. He knows your strengths, He knows your weaknesses and He knows the ins and outs of the uncertainties in your life. They are reality, they are you right now and they have a purpose. And anything that has a holy purpose, is worth embracing. Not settling, but realizing who you are and saying “Okay, this is who I am right now and it’s time to start living in the freedom of being me!”
You are you for a reason. And the easiest trap that we teen-20somethings can find our self in is the comparison trap. And if you want to begin to walk in freedom then steer clear of comparison, because it will steal your joy.
My freshmen year of College I was so unhappy with the life I lived and person I was. Because in my mind’s eye it was nothing in comparison to my friends. So I decided that year that I was going to stop every single time that I began to compare myself, and speak truth over myself. AND IT WAS CRAZY the amount of times a day that I fell into the comparison trap. It was crippling, I was unhappy… and I had forgotten what it was like to live light and free despite my circumstances.
So I kept going: kept stopping every time comparison crept in, and speaking scriptural truth over myself each time. For an entire year. Until one day, I was about to compare myself and without even thinking about it I automatically shifted my focus to the goodness and truth of God rather than my insecurities and fears. It had become like second nature. And I felt freedom.
Freedom isn’t only getting free from a tangible thing, but it’s becoming free of the chains we place on ourselves too. Your identity, your value and your life is unique and full of purpose. It may take discipline, it may take getting real with yourself… but if you want to live in true freedom- the hard work is worth it.Because after all, sweet girl, you were made for freedom. You were made to live without shame, without chains and in complete embrace of who you are in this moment. Strengths, weaknesses and all. Because when you partner with the Lord in search of freedom, He is working all things together for your good.
It’s time to find your identity freedom in the Lord. Let’s do it together!