A few months ago I was sitting cross legged on a large red rug in the front room of my house. The giant windows let in the colorful sunset through tree branches, leaving intricate shapes of light on my skin and the skin of the girls sitting around me. These girls and I had a lot in common. Not just the fact that we go to church together, that we’re all in high school and that we all love Jesus unimaginably. But also for the fact that we were all seeking. We were looking to understand who we are, why we’re here and how on earth our Creator could love us as much as He does.
We came from different backgrounds. Some of us grew up in church, some did not. Some of us had abusive past circumstances, some of us didn’t. Some of us understood our identity in Christ, some of us couldn’t. But one thing we all had in common was the desire to be confident. A few of us were able to be so and to live accordingly. In my insecure eyes, the ones who were able to be confident were the ones who were able to have it all together. They just “get it.”They may have problems and issues come up in their lives but they always dealt with it in grace and humility because they knew they could. But confidence was something I couldn’t have. I didn’t have the capacity to be confident. I didn’t believe I was worth having confidence. And I’m pretty sure I most of us have thought that, at one point in their life, to some extent.
I sit in the circle, listening to the words the girls thought of when they see me and the words God uses to describe me. We all took our turns in the middle, listening and writing down these words, even if we didn’t agree. As they began to name attributes they saw in me, writing was easy. I knew I was creative, I knew I was passionate…but then they began to name things I did not agree with. “…ravishing, precious, confident…” I neatly printed these words down on my paper but I dismissed them as mistakes. After my turn was done, our leader asked me, “Is there anything on your list you do not believe?”
“Confident. I’m not confident. God has told me Himself that I am confident but how could I be? How could He say that when I know that I’m not?” I replied.
“He’s calling it out in you because you can be. You have every reason to be, Sadie.”
I didn’t say anything after that. I wanted to believe I could be confident. But I didn’t and I was tired of the ‘fake it till you make it’ idea. It doesn’t usually work. Little did I know that my simple confession would send me on a journey throughout the next four months. It was a journey that felt like a wild goose chase until I learned to -you guessed it- rest in Him.
These past few months have been difficult. I had a lot of growing up to do. I still do. But I was afraid to at first. I was afraid to let go of all the lies I was gripping so tightly. It started as the worst summer I’ve had. I was like a little kid throwing a tantrum; lots of grudges, against myself and others, lots of crying, lots of resentment and anger, lots of feeling lost and hopeless. I screwed up and I thought that was my life. Thats it, I made a mistake that can’t be undone, therefor I’m broken.
Ha! Broken. I really thought that. Not that its funny. Many people are going through the same hurt and the same confusion that I went through. But its just so far from the truth that, now that I understand my reality, I can laugh at what I used to think. My reality is that I’m whole and my reality is that I’m confident AND (my favorite part) I can share my confidence! I can lead people to know they can be confident and that they should and that is so much fun, y’all.
Learning that confidence is not something to work for was the first thing God led me to. I thought that ’cause I had messed up something in my life, then I as a person was messed up. I thought “if I’m ever going to get back to where I’m supposed to be then I have to do everything right.” Where the heck I thought I was supposed to be, I don’t even know. It was as if there was this level of maturity I was reaching for and it seemed like every time I made a mistake, the level would get further away. Now I know that where I’m supposed to be is in His arms. He’s not looking for hard-workers. He’s not looking for over-achievers. He’s not looking for the ones who are trying their best to do what’s right. He’s looking for His children. He wants His children to hold and to love and to talk to and sing over. We are His heirs, His companions and His lovers. So now I know that confidence is attainable because its simply mine. Its mine for the fact that I am royalty; I am a daughter of the King of Kings.
Then He taught me how to be confident. By this point, I knew that I could be but I didn’t know how to get out of my old self-depreciating habits. I was journaling pretty frequently and He used that to speak to me many-a-time. He began to just remind me that I’m confident and give me truths about myself that I had refused to believe before. I learned not to argue and to just accept His word. Because His word is magnificent and always true and never failing. One day, I was talking to Him, I realized, “you know what, God? You’re pretty fricken awesome and I’m your daughter. I’ve been made in your image and likeness. I love you, you love me. Thats all I need.” Trust me, when you realize that He is all you need, the world becomes a heck of a lot more beautiful and His extravagant love becomes a heck of a lot more apparent.
After I understood that I was capable of confidence and really knew I was confident, He taught me how to share it. You can only share what belongs to you. You can preach and teach all you want, but it won’t be real until its real to you. When its real to you then there is no doubt that it may not be true, there’s no expectation to get to another point or “level” and there’s no goal to keep it there, as if you have to work at staying confident. When its real you know it in your core and it becomes a part of you. I am confident. I always had the capacity to be but I had been blinded by my own guilt. I was there in that pit of spiritual warfare, I know what its like to feel shame. Now I can lead others out of that because I understand their position and I know their longing for the truth. I can lead and remind and encourage those who feel hopeless. And now I am confident to do that because He did it for me.
I could keep going but this is already a 1,268 word post so I’ll save some for later. Let God tell you who you are because He is your only mediator.