Being authentic requires vulnerability, which to some may mean appearing weak. Well, this is one aspect of my faith that I’ve struggled with the most. You see, I’m the oldest of two and my parents didn’t speak much English growing up . . . so, from a very young age I had to learn to become a leader, taking care of others; I learned responsibility very young. With being a leader also comes the role of being resilient – at least this was my thought.
Consequently, with this mindset were certain traits that I refused to allow myself to demonstrate – crying, uncertainty, or fear. I trained myself to never show a reaction in public unless it was anger, which became a sign of strength and power, from my warped perspective. I held onto this belief for so many years and it became exhausting.
Pretending to be superwoman,
having all of the answers,
or being everyone’s “go to” girl
. . . started to drain me and before realizing it I was becoming resentful; to the point where I no longer knew who I was.
My heart had become so calloused that I’d convinced myself that I didn’t need people, and that having a support system or belonging to a community of love was overrated. Involving others in my life would only complicate things because they’d want to know me at a deeper level, which to me, was unacceptable.
It wasn’t until I got a true revelation of God that I was able to see myself; my authentic heart that God took His time to create (Psalm 139:13&14) — not this bruised and hardened heart that formed as a result of misguided use. This image that I created was only telling God that His work wasn’t good enough and I needed to fix His mistake. God places uniqueness inside of each of us so that we may share it with others in order to glorify Him (1 Peter 4:10) in order to draw others to His endless fountain of love and life. To deny who I was, meant that there was someone being cheated out of knowing God’s merciful and faithful ways because our stories of redemption are not our own. Our testimonies are messages of hope to those who are currently lost, to those thinking that they’re alone.
So I encourage you to embrace that heart that God placed inside of you; it wasn’t a mistake. He created you perfectly in His image, intentionally out of love. Life’s obstacles have a way of trying to overshadow God’s goodness, so much so that we become blind to truth. Jesus came so that we may have an abundant life (John 10:10); He gave us the freedom to be authentic in who we are (2 Corinthians 3:17).