Dare to be You Part 4: Embracing Your Youness!

Miss the first 3 parts of this series? Scroll down to read. As we have gone through this series you have been challenged to be you!  Be who you are meant to be, to face the lies that have been told, repeated and believed about yourself and you have been challenged to accept the truth about who you are.  How has that gone?  Have you identified lies?  Have you believed truth?  I hope so!  What do I do now you ask?  You embrace your youness!  Be excited about who you are, be your own champion!  Like you!  Let’s look at how, but first as we do that I want to remind you of some of the scripture verses we have looked at: Psalm 139:13-16 tell us “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Romans 8:1-2, it says that “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death”.  Don’t believe the lies! Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” What has he appointed you to? I want to add one more: Psalm 119:73 “Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.” Fashioned by God!  How cool is that?  You are a unique creation, artwork of God almighty! Wow! These verses tell us that God designed us, created and fashioned us with a purpose.  He knows us, loves us and delights in us.  It also tells us there is no condemnation;  I encourage you to not condemn his workmanship either!  Remind yourself daily of these things and ask God to help you be happy with who you are and then ask Him how to be even more of who you are.  Chances are you have worked so hard at being someone else that you haven’t had a chance to invest in being you.  I think you will be surprised at the results and I think you will like it as you learn to embrace you. I’d like to offer some practical steps to help you continue to embrace your youness:

  • Spend time in prayer asking God to continue to teach you who you are and who you are going to be.  Allow Him to guide you, direct you, and mold you.  Don’t forget to rejoice in what he shows you!
  • Remember to just say “thank you” when praised and then just be quiet.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.  They are a unique creation just like you are and there is no way you can be them, after all that is their job.  Your job is to be you; be the best you, you can be!
  • Understand that you are not finished being who you are, it is a work in process.  If you are criticized ask God if it is something you really need to work on or is it a lie.  If you need to work on it be humble and take it to heart.  If it was a lie, ditch it and never look back at it.  Keep working on who you are in Christ and who God made you to be, it is a life long journey.
  • Remember that you are not going to be perfect or do this perfectly.  We all make mistakes;  fall back into bad habits etc.  Try to keep ongoing communication with your Creator and it will be easier.  When you find yourself going backwards admit it and move on.  It will get easier over time. (A great book is “You are Special” by Max Lucado)
  • Be teachable and humble.  No one knows it all or has mastered everything.  Even the best at something can learn something new and no one is better than another, just different.
  • Spend time speaking blessing over yourself.  Praise God for things about yourself and thank Him.  As you do this it will help you believe it deep within you and help you embrace you.

As you practice the above steps you will find it will get easier and becomes more natural and before you know it you will be excited to find out you like you!  That is how we embrace our youness, by accepting it, praising God for it, walking in it, and growing in it.  So dance if you are a dancer or fill out that spread sheet and get giddy about the numbers! It’s OK, it is better than OK because you were made to love it!  Your love for what you are good is part of what makes you good at it, embrace it!  Our many differences work well together, it is part of what makes a good team too. If we were all alike nothing would ever get done! I’d like to tell you I have mastered this, but that would be a lie.  I am someone who gets nervous talking to people and nervous in social situations and a big part of that is fear of what the other people are thinking about me.  I’m worried I will look weird or be misunderstood.  The truth is sometimes I do look weird, but probably because I’m trying too hard and sometimes I am misunderstood, but as I am more comfortable in my own skin I also learn that sometimes it is OK to be  willing to be misunderstood. When that happens I can commit it to God to work out, if it needs to be.  I also struggle with feeling like I should have been more than I am or done more, but I’m not done in life yet and the truth is I’ve tried to do what God has led me to do.  That is what I would call successful.   I’m not done on my journey and I look forward to learning to be the best me I can be. I hope this has been helpful to you.  I am cheering you on!   I am excited for you to learn to embrace your youness and learn to love you.  You are as unique and God delights in his handiwork I am eager for you to delight in it as well!  My prayer for you as you walk your journey is the same as my prayer for myself; to be the best you, you can be.

Link to Dare to be you Practical steps from June 8th teaching, includes scripture slides as well.

Link to Audio from June 8th

Dare to be You Part 3: Accepting the Truth

If you missed Parts 1 and 2 you can scroll down to read them.

In the last post I asked you to ask God to show you the lies that you have believed about yourself and lies that have been spoken over yourself.  How did you do?  Did you see some of the lies? Are you starting to see that it is OK to be you? If so, that is a great start!

Let’s think about Romans 8:1-2, it says that “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” NASB.  This verse talks to us about being free from bondage and I believe it is bondage to believe Satan’s lies.  What purpose do the lies serve?  They serve to keep you from believing God is who He says He is, they serve to keep you from relationship with Him and ultimately if you buy into all of Satan’s lies and do not believe in God and believe that you can come to Him through his son Jesus, than it serves to bring death.  That sounds like bondage to me.

We have looked at lies and the seriousness of lies spiritually, but I realize and I am sure you do too, that listening to those lies about yourself also serves to bring sadness, failure, frustration, anger, and more.  Let’s change that!  First you have started to recognize the lies, maybe you had to find out there were lies to begin with and then started to recognize them. Next we need to accept the truth and embrace it.

Accepting the truth is not as easy as it sounds.  You can know it in your head and not your heart.  That isn’t acceptance, it is knowledge and knowledge isn’t enough.  I believe part of the ability to accept the truth about you comes from accepting the truth about who we are in Christ.  Years ago I discovered a bookmark by the author Neil Anderson called “Who I am in Christ” and it changed my life.  It started when I started to pray the scriptures on that card out loud.  I would just use the bookmark as a guide and the prayers went something like this:

Oh Father God, I praise you that I am your child (John 1:12), it excites me to learn that I have been justified in you (Romans 5;1), Your word tells me that I have access to You through the Holy Spirit (Ephesian 2:18), but I’ll be honest I have trouble accepting that is true.  Sometimes it just seems like I don’t have access to you.  Please help me let go of the things that prevent me from believing that you are accessible and help me to draw near to you.  And God, If I’m your workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) this worries me.  Help me realize that your workmanship is beautiful and I am an expression of you and therefore it is a good thing.  I know my view is faulty, please help me see clearly.  Because the truth is I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16) and I believe it is good fruit and I praise you  that you would call me to bear your fruit and I thank you that I am complete in you (Colossians 2:10) and  therefore you must look at me, your creation and say “it is good” and where sin has entered into my life to keep me from being “good” forgive me and deliver me that I may walk all the days of my life in your presence and rest in your peace. Amen

From this simple daily exercise I began to believe I was secure in Christ, loved by God and filled with the Holy Spirit and I learned to have relationship. But, I still struggled accepting myself for the way I was made outside of who I was in Christ.  It took many years and one day a friend asked me to take a personality test, I thought great! Yet another test.  I was wrong.  This test was very different.  It told me about myself and what truly makes me happy being me, what was right about me, not just what I’m good at.  For me, this test confirmed all of my secret thoughts and likes about myself.  I had it in writing, proof that I was who I thought I was.  Somehow that made it ok for me.  It may be something else for you.  Maybe just me telling you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that that is good will be the thing that changes your way of thinking.  It doesn’t have to be a specific “thing” or tool that speaks to your heart, just ask God to help you accept the truth about you and to do it in the way that speaks to your heart the most.

At the bottom I will give you the tools I have mentioned, but I want you to be open to see what tools God wants to use with you to accept the truth.  Some other possible tools are to practice saying blessings over yourself, speaking truth about yourself, renouncing lies you’ve spoken and ask God to tell you what he really likes about you!  You may be surprised.  Then I want you to not only accept the truths you are learning, but embrace them.  Be passionate about them. Be a cheerleader for you.

One caveat! Accepting who you are made to be does not give you the right to be a jerk about it.  Remember that it goes hand in hand with who you are in Christ and becoming more like Christ. Ok, got it?  Good!

What am I really saying this week? 1.  Satan lies and we have believed the lies.  Satan’s biggest lie is to make you think God is the liar. If you believe that, you will not be able to see the truth.  2.  God helps us see the truth and delivers us from the lies  3. Once we see the truth we need to accept it all the way down to our hearts! 4.  Embrace it.

 

Next time we will talk about embracing your Youness!

Tools:

Bookmark

Truth Statements

Flag Page Test

Psalm 139:13-16 tell us “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”