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  • Deanna Kohlhofer

You Are Amazing

Can I say something that will probably not go over well? Since this is my space, I'm going to say it anyway. You can stop reading if you want, but I hope you'll hear me out.

I'm disturbed by the amount of distracting messages out there - especially geared towards women. You know, messages like "Girl, you're freaking amazing." And, "Stop apologizing for who you are." And, my personal favorite, “You were created that way.” It's not that I disagree with these messages. I just don't wholeheartedly agree. I mean, I get what people are trying to say, but there is a message far greater that needs to be spread far wider.

Our self-esteem shouldn’t ride on the words of one author. Our actions shouldn’t be dictated by the thoughts of one person. And, most importantly, our identity shouldn’t rest on what we believe to be true based on one person’s loose interpretation of a bible verse.

Harsh, I know.

But here is the thing. I am just like you. I worry. I fear. I doubt. I have mood swings that would give you a headache. I fight with anxiety almost daily. Depression lingers for days. I overthink everything. Guys, I'm a hot mess. But hearing someone tell me I'm amazing won't fix my problems. You know what it will do? It will make me feel good for a moment. It will take my mind off my situation, for a moment. It may make me open my bible, for a moment. But it will not change me for a lifetime. In fact, in the long-term, it will make me shallow and insecure because if I believe I am amazing, when I am not amazing, I will not change a thing to make me truly amazing. And soon, my old feelings will resurface, and I will struggle once again.

That is not what God intended for us.

His desire is not for us to struggle through life, but his desire is also not for us to believe lies – even if they sound good and truthful. Who doesn’t want to believe they are awesome? We all want to be accepted for who we are but none of us want to accept we have stepped away from whose we are. And sometimes we’ve taken giant leaps. Not of faith – but of fear.

I get frustrated with the medical field because doctors seem to want to prescribe medication to cover a problem, which only leads to additional problems, which are subsequently covered with more medication. Instead of finding and treating the root cause of the initial problem, we find ourselves over-medicated and overwhelmed - but amazing, of course. The message we hear the world tell us is that we are A-okay just the way we are, but the truth is, maybe we're not.

You can be super unhealthy, drowning in frappes and eating crap because it makes you feel better emotionally, but you are not okay even if you are made to feel awesome. You have to break the habits of unhealthy and address the things that make you turn to food before you can truly be awesome. Your awesome. Meaning, the awesomeness designed specifically for you. And make no mistake about it, God has a special awesome for you.

Apply that logic to any area of your life – relationships, food, finances, addiction, whatever. It all works the same way. When you ignore the root cause and cover it up with happy thoughts and justified behavior, you are simply digging yourself a bigger, deeper hole to eventually have a mental breakdown in. Trust me. I’ve been there. It’s freaking hard to crawl out of it, so let me save you some pain with a little advice.

Maybe you need to take a look at yourself instead of relying on a book, a friend, or a popular phrase to carry you through a situation or circumstance. Maybe it is time to dig a little deeper and reveal the ugly things in your heart so you can heal from those things. Maybe you need to open your bible a little more and seek the counsel of Jesus instead of the counsel of the friends who are probably talking about you behind your back, disguised as a “prayer request,” of course.

You may indeed be amazing, but I've got to be honest and tell you that it's probably unlikely. You're human, after all. We kind of all suck in our own little ways. We can mask our suckiness by telling ourselves we are okay right where we are, but when we do, we stay in the state of suck. As hard as it is, it is much better to figure out what our problem is and face it. Change it. Release it. I'm all for embracing our flaws, but there are some flaws we should rather not embrace. Ya know?

So, take those quick fix, self-help books with a grain of salt and then turn to the book that has stood the test of time. Lean into Jesus a little more and hear what he has to say to you; about you. That’s the truth you need to hear. Let it settle deep and transform you from the inside out. No more masking. No more hiding. Step out of your comfort zone. Hear that you are indeed amazing – but then roll up your sleeves and do the work that takes you to an amazing level of amazing.