As we have gone through this series you have been challenged to be you! Be who you are meant to be, to face the lies that have been told, repeated and believed about yourself and you have been challenged to accept the truth about who you are. How has that gone? Have you identified lies? Have you believed truth? I hope so! What do I do now you ask? You embrace your youness! Be excited about who you are, be your own champion! Like you! Let’s look at how, but first as we do that I want to remind you of some of the scripture verses we have looked at:
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.”
Romans 8:1-2, it says that “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death”. Don't believe the lies!
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.” What has he appointed you to? I want to add one more: Psalm 119:73 "Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments." Fashioned by God! How cool is that? You are a unique creation, artwork of God almighty! Wow! These verses tell us that God designed us, created and fashioned us with a purpose. He knows us, loves us and delights in us. It also tells us there is no condemnation; I encourage you to not condemn his workmanship either! Remind yourself daily of these things and ask God to help you be happy with who you are and then ask Him how to be even more of who you are. Chances are you have worked so hard at being someone else that you haven't had a chance to invest in being you. I think you will be surprised at the results and I think you will like it as you learn to embrace you. I'd like to offer some practical steps to help you continue to embrace your youness:
Spend time in prayer asking God to continue to teach you who you are and who you are going to be. Allow Him to guide you, direct you, and mold you. Don't forget to rejoice in what he shows you!
Remember to just say "thank you" when praised and then just be quiet.
Don't compare yourself to others. They are a unique creation just like you are and there is no way you can be them, after all that is their job. Your job is to be you; be the best you, you can be!
Understand that you are not finished being who you are, it is a work in process. If you are criticized ask God if it is something you really need to work on or is it a lie. If you need to work on it be humble and take it to heart. If it was a lie, ditch it and never look back at it. Keep working on who you are in Christ and who God made you to be, it is a life long journey.
Remember that you are not going to be perfect or do this perfectly. We all make mistakes; fall back into bad habits etc. Try to keep ongoing communication with your Creator and it will be easier. When you find yourself going backwards admit it and move on. It will get easier over time. (A great book is “You are Special” by Max Lucado)
Be teachable and humble. No one knows it all or has mastered everything. Even the best at something can learn something new and no one is better than another, just different.
Spend time speaking blessing over yourself. Praise God for things about yourself and thank Him. As you do this it will help you believe it deep within you and help you embrace you.
As you practice the above steps you will find it will get easier and becomes more natural and before you know it you will be excited to find out you like you! That is how we embrace our youness, by accepting it, praising God for it, walking in it, and growing in it. So dance if you are a dancer or fill out that spread sheet and get giddy about the numbers! It's OK, it is better than OK because you were made to love it! Your love for what you are good is part of what makes you good at it, embrace it! Our many differences work well together, it is part of what makes a good team too. If we were all alike nothing would ever get done! I'd like to tell you I have mastered this, but that would be a lie. I am someone who gets nervous talking to people and nervous in social situations and a big part of that is fear of what the other people are thinking about me. I'm worried I will look weird or be misunderstood. The truth is sometimes I do look weird, but probably because I'm trying too hard and sometimes I am misunderstood, but as I am more comfortable in my own skin I also learn that sometimes it is OK to be willing to be misunderstood. When that happens I can commit it to God to work out, if it needs to be. I also struggle with feeling like I should have been more than I am or done more, but I'm not done in life yet and the truth is I've tried to do what God has led me to do. That is what I would call successful. I'm not done on my journey and I look forward to learning to be the best me I can be. I hope this has been helpful to you. I am cheering you on! I am excited for you to learn to embrace your youness and learn to love you. You are as unique and God delights in his handiwork I am eager for you to delight in it as well! My prayer for you as you walk your journey is the same as my prayer for myself; to be the best you, you can be.