This eventually leads to the one who is younger by only a year running to me and saying, “Elle is calling me a tiny baby.”
Usually this ends in me reprimanding them both for name calling. Lately though, I have taken it to a different level. My first tactic was to say something along the lines of, “Well, mommy says you’re a big girl.” But then, after a few times of saying that, it dawned on me: What does my youngest daughter, Caroline, believe about herself? She seems to be so easily swayed by either my definition of her being a “big girl” verses her sister’s definition of her being a “tiny baby.” So I changed my tactic again. When Caroline would run to me with the latest name she had been called by her sister Elle, I would stop and ask her, “What does Caroline believe about herself?” At first this conversation required prompting, as Caroline would just look at me like I had two heads. “Does Caroline believe she is a tiny baby or a big girl?”
“I’m a big girl,” she would exclaim.
“Then you don’t need to worry with what your sister thinks or calls you,” would be my reply to her.
So simple of an argument, but yet, so relevant. Even as adults, we often let other people’s opinions of who we are, what type of person we are, what we are good at, what we are not good at define us. We have to remember though, that everyone’s perception of who we are is influenced by who they are and the lenses of life through which they view the world. Those lenses are colored by their own past, things people have said to them, their own views and life experiences. Any remarks they would make you is from their own perception.
So if someone should tell me, “Holly, you are horrible.” I should not give much credence to it. It is just their perception. On the same token, should they say, “Holly, you are wonderful.” It should not matter. It should not matter because I should have my own definition of who I am. If I have one editor tell me I am a good writer, yet another tell me I need to give it up. Who do I believe. I believe what I am told from the Spirit of God — He tells me to write. So I do. Sticks and stones. . .
This was a struggle for me for a long time. I have many journal entries where the phrase, “Who am I?” is doodled in the margin. I had no sense of myself. I went to college in my thirties to try to find myself. I allowed my paranoia of what other people thought of me define me.
Through it all, I kept hearing the voice of God calling on gentle breezes, “You are mine.” For a long time I argued that of 6 billion people on Earth, God could not possible know who I was. I was wrong.
A voice that said, “You are mine, and I am calling you to me,” persisted. For many years I did not allow myself the believe the voice of God telling me I was of value.
“I am calling you to me, and you are to be a light bearer to others.”
No way. Not me. You got the wrong person. I can’t be a light bearer. I have too much darkness in me to bear light,” my thoughts would reply back.
Slowly, and through a couple of traumatic events, God revealed Himself to me. He does know my name and He does believe that I am of value. I have worth to Him. So much so, that He has pursued me for years. He has been patient with me. Through listening to what God believed about me, my definition of who I am started to change. Casting Crowns song, “The Voice of Truth” became a mantra for me. If I believed God was truth, I had no choice but to submit my own beliefs to be in alignment with His. I had to believe for myself what God believed of me.
I am worth fighting for.
I am worthy.
I am a light bearer.
I make mistakes.
He delights in me.
He raised me up.
I am valuable.
I am loved.
What do you believe about yourself?