Okay, get ready for my first non-baby related post! This post is a product of thoughts and revelations that have been rolling around in my head for quite some time now. Enjoy!
First, a question: Do you like yourself? Like, really, when you consider the core of who you are – your personality, quirks, looks, likes and dislikes, preferences, etc… Do you see something you like or do you just feel the need for improvement all over?
And more importantly, what do you think God wants your answer to be?
The world is all about self- improvement. Make-up, dieting, working out, becoming more outgoing, becoming more introspective, becoming more educated and cultured, becoming a connoisseur of various music, wines, books…. Because if we just knew more and looked like her and were able to impress those people then we would not only be more happy but, more importantly, more likable. But, really, who are we fooling? It’s as if we think we are a form of a person, a shell, and its our job and mission to make ourselves into the ultimate person. That we have to prove ourselves to the world.
I used to believe this. To be honest, I didn’t use to really like myself. I didn’t wear my hair curly like it naturally is but rather would straighten it. One time in high school I took a personality test and, upon studying the results, I cried and felt his crisis within me. That thought everyone has: is this really me? Or is this what I want myself to be, or who I have created myself to be? Is it possible to create “me”?
I think these are common thoughts among humankind. Looking for a place to rest our being and finding nowhere stable. Not even within ourselves.
Children get it. They know how to be. For example. In kindergarten I was in a musical. I had a singing role in a song called “I’m Thumbody” and I was dressed as a Raggedy Ann doll . My solo was at the climax of the song. It was caught on tape and to this day you can watch me grab the microphone, go under the twirling ballerinas, march up to center stage in the spotlight with a humongous grin on my face and sing with as much gusto as any kindergartener could be words to the song: “I’m Thumbody, I’m one of a kind; I’m stwictly an original, no pwints are just like mine….” And applause breaks out as I hit the high note at the end of the song (admittedly, with a crack in my voice). They applauded because they saw something beautiful and praise-worthy: me being me, who God created me to be. A flower is most beautiful when it is opened up, fully displaying itself in all its glory. It’s vulnerable, but there is beauty in vulnerability. Even the world recognizes that.
Once you come to the realization that you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2), the core of who you are has finally found its rest. Like a flower that finally finds the perfect place to be planted. And when the core of who you are finds its rest, hidden with Christ, then your life can really begin.
So what does this have to do with liking yourself? A better question is, what does my life being hidden with Christ in God mean for ME, a being created by God with mind, soul, body, and spirit? It means that you CAN be “all that you can be”, not by working at it or accumulating more knowledge or becoming an expert at what-have-you, but by finding life and fulfillment in Jesus and allowing yourself to fully become the God-reflecting human being that He has purposed for you. By finding enjoyment in the things God finds enjoyment in. This begins with liking who you are, because who you are is who you have been created to be. Yes, maybe you worry a lot and you don’t like that. But in Christ that’s not who you really are.
Confidence and being who you were created to be is made possible by your life being hidden with Christ -Christ in you the hope of glory. From there it must begin with liking yourself, agreeing with God that what he has made is very good. Rejoice with God as he rejoices over his beautiful creation with dancing and singing (Zephaniah 3:17). And be free. Be free of criticisms about yourself. Release yourself of disappointments and false expectations. Let negative things spoken over your life, personality, looks, and ideas fall away. And worship God for creating you the way he did. If we are able to worship God for our fajitas, how much more for his child whom he loves so much that he knows the number of hairs on her head?
Begin to really like yourself. For the glory of God. Rid yourself of fantasies that one day you might be like this person or achieve this goal or do that thing well. Those things might happen but YOU are complete without them. Because you are made complete and whole in Jesus. That broken, sinful, restless part of you has died. And your life is hidden with Christ. In God. That is something to be confident about.
You see, this is what the world really wants. At the end of the day I don’t think people want to have to “make” themselves. That is such hard work. People want to be themselves. But this can only fully happen in Christ. And once we are in Christ, we can finally get over ourselves and stop this constant struggle of figuring out who we are. And we can focus on Jesus and loving his people. We are FREE!!
And it’s beautiful. I am just beginning to learn and taste that kind of freedom. After years of trying to make myself, I feel like I have finally realized that I am at home in Jesus. So I’m settling in, getting to know Christ in me. And I’m free to host others that they might taste and see that he is good. Because I know where I belong. My citizenship is in heaven. A home that cannot be shaken or torn down or blown away by a tornado or any other natural disaster. So I live without fear… With confidence. And it’s lovely.