Who are you, really?
Someone told me the other day that people think I’m a bad influence. I shrugged it off in person and just laughed, but the truth is that it bothered me. I remember there was a time in my life when I didn’t care what people thought of me or said about me. I was just me, unapologetically. This situation stirred within me for a few days until I finally did the only thing I knew I could do: pray about it. I think it was a heart check moment that inspired two important questions I had to ask myself:
1. When did I start letting the world define me?
I started to think about this question and realized I stopped being myself a long time ago. I started letting the world's standards and other people’s expectations define who I was. I started comparing myself to every other girl around me. I looked in the mirror and stopped liking what I saw. I needed a better body, a better wardrobe, better skin, better hair, more makeup, whiter teeth—the list goes on and on. I chained myself to these fears of not being enough. These things started to add up and I started to feel less and less worthy. I felt like I had failed at being a girl altogether.
So, I sort of put myself in this little box for a long time. I made myself small and distant from everything. The problem with this was that I grew distant from my life-giver. When I began to listen to these lies, I walked away from God and everything I knew to be true. I took my eyes off of God and placed them on my relationship, my schoolwork, and my friends. I cared more about how I looked and dressed. I worried that I wasn’t fun or interesting anymore. I worried my boyfriend wouldn’t like me anymore. This mentality was exhausting, to say the least. Which brings me to heart check reason number two.heart check reason number two.
2. Am I the Christian I say I am?
This is another big fear I have— being a false prophet. Your outward appearances must match what you say you believe in; otherwise, you’re a hypocrite. Therefore, when I fall short, it gives people room to say I’m not who I say I am. The truth is, I’m not always the best Christian. I fall short every day. I make mistake after mistake after mistake. I’m not surprised that people only look at my latest tweet from when I was mad or Snapchat from that one night I went out and assume the worst about me. Although many assumptions are wrong, I know that my walk with God is far from perfect.
So, I keep trying. I try to be a better me today than I was yesterday and the day before that, and the week before that, and the month before that. Even when I mess up, or when I know I'm not supposed to say that cuss word, God still chooses me, and he chooses you too. My favorite quote, by Jordan Dooley, is “Your brokenness is welcome here,” and every day I live by that statement. God wants every piece of you.
So, who are you really? You are loved. You are cherished. You are adored. You are enough. Today I break my chains; the world does not define me. Stop letting that girl on Instagram make you feel bad about yourself. The number on the scale. The test grade. God alone defines you. He tells us in Luke 12: 6-7:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Did you catch that? You are so special and so loved by God that he knows the number of hairs on your head. Fix your eyes on Jesus, not the world. It’s okay to not be okay all the time.
I’m not a perfect Christian and, some days, I just fall short. But I know who I am in the eyes of the Lord and I know who I want to be. I am the girl who messes up, who’s slightly underweight, whose hair is always a mess, and who's a little misunderstood. I think I like her more that way, the real unapologetic her.