Those words alone sometimes give me the jitters.
Not because I feel I’m lacking it, but because I think it’s something that is a never ending issue… a never ending phrase that generation after generation of girls gets taunted with. Even me. I have had moments when I have felt so INsecure, when I felt so OVERLY secure, and when I simply haven’t been sure how I felt. And that’s the thing, regardless of our upbringing, we all face some sort of self-evaluation at some point in our lives… which sadly, will only worsen… with the ever growing, in-your-face, social media society that allows us access to so many lives – and in sometimes, very unhealthy ways.
Self-confidence is the phrase that gets thrown around so much as you journey your life as a woman. I don’t think there’s an easy answer or an easy way to prevent any one girl from asking that one, dreaded, “I wish it never existed”, question: AM I GOOD ENOUGH?
I’ll never forget the year when my life started to get more complicated.
You see, Grade 6 was the last year I remember as a year of innocence.
It was the last year I wore overalls until recently (yes, I’ve been around long enough for overalls to go OUT of fashion and BACK in… oy.)
It was the last year I remember being brave enough to sing a solo in a school play.
It was the last year I remember where everyone was friends at school and we had secret handshakes with unforgettable recesses.
It was the last year I remember before genuine social hurt entered my life.
Grade 7 for me was the year I remember my social life changing … Having friends decide they no longer wanted to be my friend, having hurtful words spoken over me, realizing that my face was now acne filled and my body not “picture perfect”. It was the year that I became immensely self-aware of what I WAS NOT. The pure innocence of enjoying my life as I was had ended. Sadly.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have grown up in a VERY supportive and empowering home where my parents never spoke words of hurt or negativity over me. (I am extremely thankful for that.) But as I journeyed my teenage years, I was increasingly aware of what I was NOT…
Thank – you – society.
I think this “what we are not” focus is where it all goes south. So often we focus on what we are NOT versus what we ARE. We focus on our weaknesses, our so called flaws, our inabilities and insecurities. We forget the very essence of what we enjoyed as a child all because of what society deems as what we “should” be like.
However, as I have continued to journey through life, there IS one thing I have learned in all this: I cannot change who God created me to be.
End of story.
I am tall, blonde, and blued-eyed.
I am a middle child.
I am more introverted than extroverted.
I cannot sing. (Not sure why I got the role in Grade 6. LOL)
I am not a morning person. (No matter how much I try…sigh)
I can listen to the same song on repeat when I discover one I like.
I love eating sweet potato ANYTHING.
I get extremely anxious when I enter new social settings.
I am intolerant to gluten and dairy, and have health issues.
I love to run but health limits my endurance.
I thrive in small groups.
I could live in water. (But actually, swimming and me are like soulmates.)
I only like watching competitive sports, not playing. (Like it makes me SO anxious to play.)
I dislike cooking but love baking.
I am terrified of my car flipping over when I turn on the onramps to highways.
And, I could go on.
Now, my list above definitely included a few things that could perhaps change, but in this current moment, they are what describe who I am. And I’ve learned to embrace it, whether some of those bother me or not.
Why? Because they are not what DEFINES me.
Even as a woman in my twenties, I have moments of wishing I could change something about myself. The “God if only I had…” moments. We all have those moments, and I just as quickly remind myself of who God has made ME to be.
In Ephesians 2 it says: “For are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (verse 10).
In Psalm 139 it says: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (verse 16).
You see, GOD has placed each of us in a specifically tailored place, with a uniquely designed purpose. You didn’t just end up in the city you live, in the job you have, in the class you attend. Our confidence needs to come from that – from knowing that it is GOD who defines us and has placed us where we are for a reason. That he was given us those quirks, those traits, those physical features – and to Him, we’re perfect.
So, what are some things that describe you? I’ve listed a bunch of mine. Think of some of yours! Some things that make you uniquely you. The things that scare you, make you happy, make you excited. The things you once enjoyed but society has made you think you can’t enjoy anymore because they’re not “cool”. I’m so over the cool factor. Do YOU my friend. Be YOU. The crazy or goofy or loud or quiet or smart or artistic or whatever it may be, YOU. Go back to the times of your innocence when life was simple and you simply LIVED. If there’s anything you’ll regret, it’s not living life to the fullest and embracing each season. Let your confidence come from knowing that GOD does have you and your best interest in mind. Can I get an AMEN?
Much love from your sista in Christ,