Look Again

We live in a society where people are defined or labeled based on material things, relationships and appearance. Many times, people come up short because their ideas about self-worth are measured on the “they” scale. We fool ourselves into thinking we’re not successful because of how they define success; we aren’t attractive because we aren’t what they deem attractive, we’re wrong because our views don’t line up with what they say. They could be our families, our friends or the media. We are constantly being fed messages about who and how we should be.

Have you ever taken a moment and looked in the mirror and thought about who you really are?

If someone would have posed that question to me years ago my answer would have been much different from what it is today. There was a time when I would have answered that question by running down a list of who I was TO everyone in my life (mother, daughter, sister, etc). I probably would have continued with a list of what I saw as my admirable qualities and core values. I am certain that I would have ended with “I’m just me” or something along those lines. I would have ended it that way because that’s who I was at the time. Why would I rattle off all these great things about myself and negate them all by adding “I’m JUST me?” I equated humility with dimming my light. I thought by being JUST (no more than) me, they wouldn’t think I thought too highly of myself. I used being just me as an excuse, a limitation, a justification—and yet at that time I still didn’t fully have a grasp on exactly what it meant to be me.

It took some time for me to step into who/whose I am. While I wouldn’t say this moment defined me, it was undeniably a defining moment in my life—in the wee hours of the morning, I found myself standing in front of the mirror, crying my eyes out.

I was a few rounds into chemotherapy treatment and everything about me was changing. It was after a few weeks of holding everything in and being afraid to look at myself in the mirror that I finally broke down. The longer I stared at myself, the more I cried. There was a port bulging from underneath my skin, my face was puffy and swollen from the steroids I was taking, and my hair was falling out. The more I tried to adjust my scarf, the more I felt my hair literally peeling from my scalp. It was in that moment, that night, when I asked God “Why me?”

 I didn’t fully understand at the time that God knew me better than I knew myself. God knew there were people who needed to hear from me and who needed to see how I went through my situation. I had been so busy focusing on the fact that I was just (no more than) me; that I lost sight of the fact that He called me to be “MORE THAN a conqueror.” It was in that moment that I had to look again. I had to take a look at who I really was through the lens of my Heavenly Father. It was in that moment that I was reminded that I’m a light (Matthew 5:14), called (2 Timothy 1:9), chosen (1 Peter 2:9), victorious  (Deuteronomy 20:4), and fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I realized that if I was going to refer to myself as being just anything, it was “JUST Enough.”

If you find yourself in a place where you’re unsure about who you really are—Look Again. The creator is the only one who fully understands His creation. He is the manufacturer who authored the manual of our lives, and much like a new gadget—it’s when we read the manufacturer’s manual that we truly understand our purpose and are able to operate in our full capacity. It was only when I began to fully understand who I was in Christ, that I began to walk in purpose and power.

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