This morning as I was having my quiet time and read this part of my devotional *“And steadfastness—being immovable, unable to be shaken, deeply rooted—is perhaps the true “wellness” we should be seeking.” I camped there a bit and pondered how freeing that would feel if all of my joy, peace and identity were based on Christ and who God created me to be. As I was processing this, journaling and doodling it got me to thinking about our societies current trend, that has moved more towards finding happiness through becoming who/what we identify with. The dangerous part of this, is when we seek to become someone or something we identify with, we are actually denying our true selves.
The allure of images and lives that look happier and better than our own, are all simply a touched up mirage. True happiness comes from embracing your own true identity. Yes, this can be difficult, especially if we don’t like ourselves or if something unfathomable has occurred to us and we want to fully disconnect from it and get ourselves as far away from it as possible. So we try to recreate a whole new identity that doesn’t allow that “stuff” to resurface. It’s easier to scroll through social media, Pinterest or the internet in search of things that make us feel happy, alive and hopeful.
However, the lie that comes with finding our identity and joy in “things” or “people”, outside of our true self, is that those things can never truly make us happy, in any lasting way. What it really does, is rob us of the kind of joy and peace that is felt when we are all alone and we lay our head down to sleep at night. It may be fun for a while, but your true self is still in there, curled up in a ball, waiting to be tended to, nurtured, accepted and loved. We must look to Christ and to the person in the mirror for our true identity, joy and peace.
We are all unique individuals, find out what makes you YOU, and makes you unique and don’t let the world try to put you in a box or prison of their own making by labeling you. Labels have been created to give people a sense of belonging and identity, but what they are actually doing is denying the real YOU.
Are you a female who loves being outdoors, hates shopping but secretly longs to race dirt bikes (yes, that’s me). Does this make me any less of the female I was born as? Does a guy who loves cooking, doing makeup and and hair make him any less of the “male” he was born as? Does it make a man in his 60’s who’s lost most of his testosterone and now cries at commercials, any less of the man he once was? No, but for some reason, our sexuality, gender and interests have all been mixed up into one thing and they are not. Each one is separate and driven by various things. Sexual desires for instance is driven by things we’ve been exposed to, things that may have been done to us, and not necessarily our from hormones or by our gender. Just as our hobbies and interests are not driven by our gender or hormones, but instead by many other factors as well.
We are fearfully, wonderfully and complexly made! And when we can learn to embrace and accept our true selves, we can then find the peace and joy we are all seeking.
Take some time to try this assignment, to help uncover YOU. Make a list of things you don’t like about yourself or that you are afraid others will find out about you. Now, from that list decide which of those traits aren’t necessarily bad but make you uniquely you. Camp on those a bit, embrace them, accept them and own them. Now, of those things left on the list that you feel are bad and shouldn’t be embraced or you wish weren’t a part of who you are. Ask yourself, is there anything in that list that God can’t help you with or God can’t help you heal from or change? My answer and Gods answer is Nope! “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
Will it be hard and painful to deal with some of those? Yes! However, you are worth it! Uncovering the real you down deep inside is worth it! Do the hard work of praying, journaling, and seeking trustworthy counsel in order to rescue the real you being pushed down by labels and deliver you from the dizzying endeavor to be someone other than YOU. Identify with the true YOU and not with strangers or others you are enamored with. You are beautifully unique and the world is waiting for you to be who you were created to be, versus another carbon copy Barbie or Ken doll ;)
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” Psalm 139:13-18
*excerpt from “She Reads Truth” CSB Bible page 2107