Oh sure! After I pitch a hissy fit about Blogger being down, it’s back up. *growl* lol. Oh well.

So tonight at church, we were talking about our True Self vs. our False Self.

Our True Self is who we are. Security and significance are achieved by being deeply loved by God. Fulfillment is found in surrender to God and living our vocation. (Vocation not necessarily meaning what we do for a living.) Our identity is who we are – and are becoming – in Christ. It is received as a gift with gratitude and surrender and maintained by grace. It embraces reality as the place of meeting and being transformed by God.

Our False Self, on the other hand, is who we *think* we are. Security and significance are achieved by what we have, what we can do and what others think of us. (Remember this!) Happiness is sought in autonomy from God and in attachments. Our identity is our idealized self (who we want others to think we are). It is achieved by means of pretense and practice and maintained by effort and control. It embraces illusion as a means of attempting to become a god.

Shane then went on to talk about the two phrases Satan likes to whisper in our ear. (Haha, my words, not his necessarily.) The two phrases are ‘I am not…” and “I can become if…” I am not (fill in the blank). Popular, wealthy, pretty, handsome, smart, respected, loved, whatever. I can become if (fill in the blank). If I am friends with these people. If I get that surgery. If I get this job, go to this school, wear these clothes, etc. But because these things aren’t built into us to help our True Selves, and they go against what we were created to be, they lead to a cycle of self-sufficiency, fear, doubt, anxiety, broken relationships, and ultimately, death.

Now, here are the ‘I am not’s’ of my life, based on what other people, my parents (yes, my parents!) and society in general have told me:

I Am Not…..

* Pretty enough
* Skinny enough
* Smart enough
* Good enough
* Strong enough
* Fast enough
* Talented enough
* Using my time wisely
* Making good life choices
* A good Christian
* A good friend
* Girlfriend material
* Wife material

It’s so strange how one little comment or one look even can change a persons perspective of themselves forever. Really, we shouldn’t let people get to us like we do. Yet somehow….

For instance, one day my dad, brother and I were in the car driving to Chick-fil-A. We passed a group of about 5 or 6 girls running together. Of course they were all itty bitty. My dad made some comment that I should start running. I jokingly replied, “What, are you saying I’m fat?” He said, “No but you aren’t skinny.” I was speechless. I don’t think I said anything the rest of the drive. Way to go dad! Let’s give your daughter a complex about something else, shall we? This was around the time I was working practically all the time at CFA. If I wasn’t at work, I was at church. I wanted to say, “Well, excuse me for being so exhausted from standing on my feet for 8 hours that I don’t have the energy to run 5 miles when I get home at 11:00 at night!” I mean, seriously!

That’s not the only time my parents have commented on my weight. I remember being home one weekend from IWU and my mom said something about my dad commenting on my having lost weight. What I didn’t tell her was it was because I was barely eating due to the fact that I felt like I was drowning in a black hole spiritually! Not to mention I was just figuring out and remembering all the crap from high school and dealing with that. So yeah, no wonder I was losing weight. I was probably depressed!

Then there have been random comments from people. Friends, family, non-friends (ok, enemies), other adults. Any time I want to feel bad about myself for not going to school, I just have to give one of my family members a call. Any time I want to feel like I’m never going to be good enough for any guy and should just become a prostitute, I can talk to some of the adults at College Park.

As much as I would like to, I can’t fully place the blame on anyone. If I didn’t try to create a False Self for myself so much, then the comments wouldn’t matter. Because then my value wouldn’t be in what I have, what I can do and what others think of me. It would be in being deeply loved by God. If God loves me, that’s all that should matter. He created all these other people, just the same as He created me. And these people who have said these hurtful things to me, they are living in their False Selves too. Which means, like me, they can’t be completely happy or at peace. They are projecting onto me their own insecurities and supposed shortcomings. If we all would just live as our True Selves and be who God made us to be, then we wouldn’t inflict so much damage on each other. Because then we would have nothing to prove. It wouldn’t matter how much money we make or what kind of car we drive or where we work or what we wear or who we know. Because we would all be equals. Maybe that’s why the new heavens and new earth are going to be so great. No one will be able to wear a mask. All the pretense and acting and backstabbing and just plain meanness will be gone. Forever.

And it won’t matter how frickin’ skinny I am! 😉 Because you know what? That list I made? It doesn’t matter. None of it. I will never be those things to someone. But Jesus says what I am.

“You Are Mine!”