Who are you? Are you a scientist, artist, dancer, engineer, or mathematician? Do you love numbers, music, or painting? Do you love that thing about you or are you ashamed of it? Do you fight who you are? I hope you love you, after all in the words of Doctor Seuss “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” I want this to be good news. God thinks that it is. He made you to be you and me to be me and we are supposed to think that is good. Genesis 1:31 tells us that God looked at what he had made and saw that it was VERY good, how could we disagree with that?
Wait, wait, wait…I can hear you now saying “but what about sin?”, “God didn’t make evil”, God didn’t make me have a bad temper, or make me moody”, “God didn’t make me an addict” etc. You are right, he didn’t. Sin is real and in the world and we are in that mix, but he did send his Son so that we could change, so that we could learn to be and enjoy being more like him. Most of us can say, “you know, I used to really struggle with my temper”, or “I used to be an addict” or any number of things and most of us will acknowledge it was through a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ that we were able to change. Do we still mess up? Sure! We will continue to. I said we are becoming more like Him, not becoming Him, which means we will never be perfect but we will continue to learn who we are in Christ and learn to be more Christ like. That is essential, but in addition to that I want you to realize that you can become the you, you are supposed to be. You can become more youer than you are now.
You can find great teachings all over the internet and bookstores about being more Christ like and It is something we are called to do and I suggest you take time in your walk with God to invest in some of those tools, but I want to talk to you about being you like.
Psalm 139:13-16 tell us “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Why is this important? You see, in spite of the lies we have been told and we have believed, we were created to be uniquely us. This verse praised God for making us who we are, including those secret places, the ones we hide away, but really love about ourselves or would like to. We are fearfully and wonderfully made-that means we are made in such a way that we are a unique creation like an individual artwork and there are not words to express the awesomeness of that idea. Jeremiah tells us:
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Now you may not be called to be a prophet to the nations, but it is still true that God formed you and knew you and consecrated you to something and that something is good. This verse also tells us we are known! So many of us just long to be known and understood. You are! As you begin to like yourself and invest in being who you were uniquely made to be you will find that you will become more understood and find that place of being known.
Let’s back up. Why don’t you like you? Maybe you do, but most of us don’t like ourselves or things about ourselves. It starts with our childhood. People say unkind, unwise and unfeeling things to us. Maybe you were a creative child born to logical, analytical parents and they saw you as never able to be serious, or as flighty, inattentive ________you fill in the blank. The same could be true the other way around maybe your parents were artistic, creative, free thinking people and you were born with a logical, analytical mind. Your parents thought you were too serious, maybe even depressed. Maybe they thought you had disdain for them, or you were a nerd, took the fun out of things _______again, you fill in the blank. There are so many possible scenarios such as the boy who liked dancing or drama born to the football star or the football star born to the professors and so on. Unless your parents were healthy individuals who encouraged you to be who you were meant to be you probably felt like you didn’t measure up. Sometimes it is through looks, head shakes or just a general feeling of being misunderstood. Often it was brutal nonacceptance. Maybe you heard lies like:
my dog is smarter than that boy
you are so plain, I just hope you can get married one day
You will never amount to anything
I hate you
I wish you had never been born
You are nothing but trash and that is all you will ever be
I won’t go on, there are just too many to list. I know you know what they are, you still hear them in your head! That is the power of words and the death that comes from unacceptance.
Sometimes just a general feeling of not belonging can create dislike for ourselves or simply being misunderstood frequently. Sometimes we are very different from the “norm” (there is no real norm, we all feel different on some level). But there is good news! You don’t have to live that way, you can learn to be the you, you are supposed to be and learn to like it. It starts by understanding the lies first, then by daring to be you!
I hope you aren't feeling too bummed, I know it can be painful to remember how we came to dislike ourselves or believe we are something other than we are, but I want to walk with you through the next steps and help you see the joy that to be had by just being you.
This is the first part of a series as you wait for the rest of this series take time to ask God what lies you believe about yourself, ask God to let you hear yourself speak them over yourself. Meaning what do you say about yourself? Do you call yourself weird, stupid, ugly, unlovable? You will find that you probably do call yourself the things you were lied to about you. You are a precious creation of God created before the foundation of the earth made to be you. God looked at all of time and decided you belonged now and you were supposed to be funny, creative, smart, talented, quick…etc. It is ok to be different. Everyone is. You will hear me say this often, but I love you being you even when you being you is different from me being me! When you are free to like you, you will find you will like others differently.
Finding the lies
Accepting the truth
Embracing your youness