Do you remember your very first day of camp? How many of you felt ok at home, but when you came to camp you instantly got nervous and wondered if you would fit in and find friends? Did you put your best face on and try hard to let everyone think you were on top of your game and just FINE?!? How many of us have had experiences that were “firsts,” or just uncomfortable moments when our insides were turned upside down and we hoped that it wasn’t visible to the ones around us!
Enter social media–where we can put only our most awesome, most sparkly selves out there and no one can see behind the screen. As you well know, I’m preaching to the choir. You all know that it is exhausting to live with this pressure to “appear” amazing in every way. And it’s even more exhausting to try to keep up those appearances for years. The anxiety in kids and teenagers is off the charts, and it’s no wonder. We were not made to be perfect, we were made to be passionate!
When God was thinking us up, I’m pretty sure He didn’t sit up in heaven saying, “Hmmmm. I’m going to make some children, and they’d better totally have their acts together all the time. They better look right, act right and live perfectly in every way. THEN I will love them.” Friends, if that’s the case, we’re all done! We have a really amazing and good Father. He, like every parent, loves His children WITH their faults and gifts. He just is crazy about His kids! He knows we’re a mess half the time, and on top of the world the other half of the time. He loves us wherever we are. We can’t do anything to change that. Thank goodness! But the world screams a different message. There’s no space for weakness, no place for you to be less than perfect in every way.
Here’s the real truth, in God’s eyes you are magnificent, the pearl of great price. And He’s given you a piece of His Heart that He’s given to no one else. Why? So you can know how very much He loves you, and release it to your world! Being authentic is not about being the best at soccer or cheerleading or Math or computers. Being authentic is about being the best at being YOU. And it’s about not only accepting yourself but LOVING who you are that’s so important. God doesn’t make mistakes. He’s GOD! And YOU are His priceless treasure. What is keeping you from believing that?As I said in the little video accompanying this, a true friend can really help you see the gift that is you…someone who loves you when you’re shining or when you’re a mess! We are all such a wonderful mess sometimes! How incredible to know that we are loved in that space. Then we can be free to be human!
Don’t ever worry about being who you are. Worry about trying to live as someone you’re not. Who you are is gift to the world. As Catherine of Siena said, “Be who you were meant to be and you’ll set the world on fire!” Go set some fires, wonderful people! The world is waiting for exactly what YOU have to give!