As I begin this post, I’m believing this could be one of the most important themes we do on this blog. There is a specific burden on my heart and on the UHP team’s heart for the sheer amount of people that genuinely don’t like themselves, or even parts of themselves. Equally, we are burdened by the judgment, comparison, and competition that is the reality of the world we live in. Why is it this way instead of the mutual celebration of my identity and yours? I’m convinced Jesus shares these burdens.
A great work of healing in our identities needs to take place in the world. I can believe that God has begun to do this work as I see voices rise up choosing to see themselves and people around them through the eyes of a God who is inherently good, loving, and perfect. I can believe it because I have received the gift of His healing over my own identity. Many, however, are waiting. Many don’t yet know they need an experience of healing over their understanding of themselves.
But maybe the conversation on this blog for the next few weeks can be the catalyst for someone’s healing. Maybe our intentional commitment to celebrating one another’s individuality, beauty, and callings are just the thing needed to redeem someone’s past experience that was quite the opposite. I can only hope that the breath of God will be on the words you read from our team and our incredible guest writers. I hope it will mark the beginning of transformation for you.
Can we do this together?
As we begin, can we all agree that we can have self-love without narcissism? Can we agree that we can take the lowest place and still know it matters that we’re at the table? Can we agree God is everything but we are not nothing? We’re nothing without Him; that’s true. But we’re not without Him; we’re with Him. He said we were something when He chose to die for us. He says we’re something in every moment He spends with us and in every way He chooses to work all things for our good. To believe that we’re nothing is to distance ourselves from Him because we’re choosing a belief that’s misaligned with His character. How can we believe we’re nothing when we’re next to His heart?
We have to get this right in order to make our lives count. Ephesians 5 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Every day spent believing we are something less than our true identity is a day that steals the opportunity to do the Kingdom work we are purposed for. Only when we believe we’re worth choosing can we pour everything we have out into the world and at the feet of Jesus.
A note on self love…
Sara M Bosworth says, “Self-love begins when we observe our actions and words with compassion as if we were our own best friend.” I’d add that it begins also when we observe our bodies and hopes and dreams in the same way. We’re here to celebrate and champion everything about our identity: body, soul, and spirit. And we’re here to do the same for every one of you, too.
So here’s to you. Here’s to every part of you. Every curve, every hidden quirk, every seedling of every dream in your heart. All the surfaces of you and every corner of your soul. I dedicate this space right now to celebrating you and celebrating us because I am convinced that Jesus wants us to enjoy being ourselves and each other. Amen and amen and amen.
Author | Kalli Drake