You are not defined by your past or present circumstances. That sounds so cliche and almost trite as if ignoring your past or present makes everything okay. I know first hand that isn’t even close to the truth. The truth of the matter is whatever you are feeling right now, whatever circumstances you find yourself in or however your past has been, is still a part of you. There may always be a piece of you that may be hard for you to face or to talk about. For Real Life isn’t going to make everything okay. Your For Real Life is more than just okay, it’s accepted and you are loved. How do I know that?
To answer that I need to be transparent as to how I have labeled myself for years and years. One word “little” comes to mind. I had always been told, you are “little”. Now in reality, I’m short but there are definitely people shorter than me. I’m also the youngest daughter in a family of five. I was also not the athletic physically strongest person. Being short and an athletically anemic I hated it when teams were picked in school for any sport. The last to be picked only reinforced how I felt, which translated to “not capable”. And, to reinforce that my high school boyfriend dumped me for a tall, athletic brunette.
For whatever reason, I also labeled myself as being bad at math and not being capable or basically “not good enough”. You can imagine that I just settled for what I thought my life was to be for me.
Defining yourself has consequences. We end up living up to the label we put on ourselves. I spent most of my life living up to “not good enough”. That pretty much summed up my words of “little, athletically challenged and not capable of accomplishing much”. I felt like I had been taken out of the game of life. You may feel like you have been taken out of the game; you may feel like there is nothing more for you; or you may feel like you only have one choice, which is “no choice”.
Maybe you don’t even believe in this religious stuff. That’s OK neither do I. Is that shocking? It’s because religion pins you in and defines who you should be even more than we define ourselves. Instead I advocate a relationship, a relationship with Jesus. Relationships are different; they are give and take and fluid. Relationships give you perspective on your life. You might think; you want nothing to do with this Jesus person. Maybe you are basing your decision because your last relationship sucked. Well, remember this, Jesus never hurt a soul and He never will. So, just humor me a little about this whole Jesus and God thing.
So why bother with the God thing?
Because, oh gosh, check this part out! God says something different about how we are defined. He tells us that His plans have never changed for you. Now that doesn’t mean that God may be saying wait. He may be saying no and you may have gone through a big huge horrible painful trial. But His plans don’t change. God is faithful and loving and consistent. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know that plans I have for your declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” That’s true for me and for you. Here’s a truth that I needed to embrace….God defines me and only God. His label for me is “precious child”. I am the child of a King; which makes me a Princess. Yep, I’m a Princess. Pretty cool!
Maybe you are still thinking to yourself I don’t want to relationship with God he’s never helped me. I am here to tell you He is there for you, whether you want Him there or not. Think about it, look around right now, you may not feel Him or see Him, but He’s there. Crazy, right?
So what have you labeled yourself? I put lots of labels on, “little, can’t do math, not capable, not wanted, not able, rejected, not good enough”. What is your label? I’m here to tell you those labels don’t matter. We label ourselves. We label ourselves all the time. Other people label us. For Real Life has stories of Collective Voices where labels are being removed. Each Collective Voice will tell you they are no longer labeled or defined by their past circumstances.
So follow along in this journey called For Real Life. Just take a step. I promise you it will be OK. It’s not going to be perfect it’s not going to be glamorous. It may be painful and it may be fun. For Real Life is an adventure. I encourage you to embrace your label of Princess or Prince of the King.
Come help us build community. Everyone has had something happened to them in their life. Whatever has happened in your life, your For Real Life matters and continues. You’re For Real Life, your story your voice needs to be heard. You are accepted and you are loved.