Five years ago, Tiffany and I attended Baylor together and found ourselves in the same small group. Although we have not seen each other in years, I always remember Tiffany as a safe place and a gentle spirit. She has this genuine and sincere presence about her, and warm smile to usher anyone in. She has a divine talent for photography and a special way with words. After college, it is no surprise she landed in YWAM (Youth With A Mission) working in the areas of - Discipleship, Red Light District Ministry and Communications.
I asked her to share her answer to the question: "What does it mean to you that you are loved exactly as you are and how has this truth changed your life?"
To be loved exactly as you are - it can feel like a foreign, even scary notion at times.
If people truly knew the depths of my heart, would they actually want to stick around? I think this is something that we all wrestle with at times. We get tired and vulnerable and start feeling like we have nothing to bring to the table, nothing to give. We see other people and we feel like we don’t measure up. I definitely have moments where I doubt myself.
I get it, it happens.
To be fair, we won’t always feel 100% but we can’t afford to stay in that place. Self pity is a nasty, nasty drug.
Instead, we need to learn to celebrate ourselves, to celebrate those small seemingly unimportant victories. We need to take the time to notice the beauty and the extraordinary gifts that God has placed within each one of us.
There are so many templates thrown at us about what we should look like, what size we should be, what we should have accomplished by now, but we can’t fall into the trap of letting all that define us. Honestly, it would be so boring if we all looked the same, operated under the same personality.
Please don’t try to be someone else.
The world needs you to be you. So dig down deep and discover the beauty within, I can promise you it’s in there waiting to be released.
I think a huge tool I have found in learning to be loved as I am is recognizing that creeping comparison that sneaks in and steals my joy for who I am and where I am. Recognizing it and then nipping that bad boy right in the bud.
Without comparison I am able to measure myself rightly, the way God sees me.
Without comparison I am able to recognize not only the innate value within me but the beauty of who God made me to be.
Without comparison I am able to allow God to love me and in turn to love myself.
It’s about clinging to God’s perspective in the great times and in the hard times.
Dear one, even if you feel weary and broken, I promise you – you do have something to give. God has intricately woven your heart, your dreams + desires. He has wired your personality and created you to be a unique representative of Him on this earth. There will be ups and downs but please do not let the enemy steal your personality and your fire. We were created to know and be known, don’t stay isolated.
Let God’s love make you alive, and allow others into that space so that they can not only know you, but love you.
Connect with Tiffany on Instagram: @gramforthelamb or her website: http://www.tiffanyhopelambert.com/