Recently, I attended a conference and these four words changed my life:
“Be who you are.”
Be who you are–not who you “should” be, not who others want you to be, but who you are at the soul level right now. It’s tough to trust that call, to muster the guts to live it out. But today, I’m committed to trying.
Today, courageous faith is . . . being me.
Courageous faith is trusting God’s plan, trusting His handprint for my personality, my soul, my oddities.
At times, I admit I’m embarrassed by a personality that labels me a misfit, ashamed when others see its neediness, resentful when it excludes me from social circles, when it doesn’t fit the flavor of the week. So I stuff the “unwelcome” parts of myself, stifle the Spirit, and conform.
And the enemy casts his net.
Do you ever get stumped by aspects of your personality that you don’t understand and can’t accept? We groan, “Why am I this way?” So, we try to tweak God’s design, to give it a nip and tuck, to make it socially acceptable, palatable for the masses, attractive to our peers . . .
I’m worn out trying to suspend myself in a constant state of “acceptable.” Sometimes I wonder what other world I would find if I let go?
I’m not encouraging a flesh-fest or encouraging anyone to be rude or obnoxious to “let it all hang out.” I’m not trying to use “being me” as an excuse for sinful habits or lifestyles. And I’m not trying to “love myself” either.
God has simply looked me in the eye and called me to acknowledge His design for who I am. He has summoned me to emerge from my cocoon to move, breathe, and live in the knowledge that who I am right now — this minute — will somehow reveal Him and be used to strengthen His people.
But I am afraid.
Sometimes I feel like a Picasso, my features stirred across a canvas and I wonder:
How much does our fear of being true to God’s design distort God’s image within us?
Have we sacrificed our unique identity; the myriad flavors, colors, and textures that reflect the multifaceted nature of an infinite God?
Do we bear a greater resemblance to each other than we do to Christ?
Friends, the enemy has cast a net at our feet! He has snared us with a lie, then twisted it deep into our gut. “No one would love you if they really knew you at the soul level.” It’s a lie that scrambles my insides because rejection has stared at me through the eyes of a friend — more than once.
But self-rejection is a trap. It’s a stronghold of the enemy, for we cannot reject who we are without rejecting the One who created us.
And God created us the way we are on purpose. Scripture says, ” . . . we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus . . . “¹ We are His workmanship, literally His “poem.” We are the overflow of God’s heart, composed to reflect His image and glory. We are the overflow of God's heart, composed to reflect His image and glory. Click To Tweet
That means that every time I reject the soul I see in the mirror, I reject Him — His plan, His artistry, and effort of love.
What grief must pierce the heart of God when we reject his loving work at this fundamental level!
I’m not going to say any more about it, I’m not going to preach. I just want to invite you to join me at the foot of God’s throne so we can see ourselves as God sees us — and so we can behold our Creator,
as He is.
At the soul level.
You see, God’s heart beats in sync with our struggle. God's heart beats in sync with our struggle. Click To Tweet He knows all about rejection, for His family and friends bruised His heart, too. He who was rejected — at the deepest level, to the farthest point — feels your pain and mine. And He’s calling us to be true to His design, to be who He created us to be.
So, don’t let the enemy’s lies entangle you another instant. Step out of his net!
Then go ahead, break free of that cocoon. Flex those wings! And be who you are — a custom creation of God!
What part of being “who you are” is most difficult for you?Photos courtesy of Crestock.com
This speaks so deeply to my heart, Bethany. Thank you for sharing it on our blog last week. It has come at just the right time in my life and I feel it breaking something wide open in me, bringing His healing and acceptance to just be me. Thank you for writing with honesty, grace, and truth.
Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. I’m so glad you were encouraged. God’s timing is, as ever–perfect! I’m praying that God so fills you with a vision of who He created you to be that it releases you to “be who you are” — a lovely young woman of God.
A beautiful post–God does so much more with the real me than the me I think I should be. His stamp on my life is always so much better than the stamp I put on myself. It is so easy to be convinced that what God created is not good enough. Thank you for drawing me into this deeper place of acceptance of God’s creation–this frail, insecure, awkward me.
That’s exactly the beauty of it, too. God chooses “frail, insecure, awkward” people like us as ambassadors of His great story! Thanks for sharing your heart.
What a powerful post!
Thanks, Jan. God is a powerful God! 🙂
Bethany, How I related to your words. Beautiful, poignant and spiritual. Thank you sister. Be blessed.
I hope you were encouraged, Chrissy.
“Do we bear a greater resemblance to each other than Christ.” I would love to put that on a bumper sticker or a banner over the church altar.
Bethany, every word is sheer poetry and God breathed.
Now, if I can just heed your inspired thoughts and accept the “blond” person that God created me to be.
You. Are. Sweet. And “blond” is good! 🙂
Hi Bethany – I have seen that in you and prayed for you regarding that for a long time – what we are is always better than what we think, that they think, that we think we need to be or wish we were or whatever. The later part of Eph 2:8-10 tells us that who God created us to be is the one that He prepared special jobs for in advance – that only the real Harriet or Bethany can do, not the dressed up, studied up, carefully prepared gals we sometimes are could do. I know this in you because I struggled with this a lot as a pastor’s wife and still do but much less now in my older years. Love you just the way you are Bethany and I thank you so much for joining us to honor Jay on Sat. night. It meant a lot to Jay and to me. Real friends make the effort and you did that. Love Harriet
“Love you just the way you are” means an awful lot to me these days. And real friends are very hard to find. I’m so grateful I have found one in you!
Beautiful, Spirit-led and inspiring post!
Thanks, Luke. 🙂 I hope it encouraged you!
I love this post. Very real. Something we all face at one time or another in our lives. I try not to distort the image of God in my life, but often I find myself getting in the way of my best efforts… I am so thankful for His Grace and Mercy.
I’m also thankful that God actually knows the “experience” of rejection, so that he can fully identify with me in this very real situation when it happens in my life leaving my heart empty.
You’ve done a beautiful job Bethany of not only describing the pain of the demoralizing isolation of rejection, but you’ve also given us a wonderful look at how we can rid ourselves of the lies of the enemy and come close to the Lord in an effort to “Be Who We Are.”
I love that you said “we are the overflow of God’s heart”… that is such a beautiful thought.
Thanks for such kind words. I’m thankful, too, that Jesus is an empathetic high priest. What would we do without Him?
Bethany, I KNOW why you were under such attack! I love the cocoon reference! Made me smile. The rest made me cry!!!!! God has mighty plans for you and I’m glad to be along for the journey! I can’t even express everything I feel after reading this. We’ll talk soon, I hope.
I’m so glad I’m not alone in this! God is so faithful to provide just what we need when we need it; and that includes the right friends at just the right time.