When we're little, we never really think about who we are or our identity. We usually think about who we want to be. We may have said we wanted to be princesses or painters or the president.
Then we reach middle school, and teachers start asking us to define our passions to figure out who we really want to be. Instead of general answers like before, we started to say actual professions. We may have said we wanted to be doctors or artists or lawyers.
By the time we reach high school, they start wanting us to be more practical - especially once junior year hits. The question they have us trying to find the answer to is what we'll major in for colleges. And then figuring out where we'll go for college. I remember being stuck between two colleges - USC Columbia and Winthrop. When I went to my guidance counselor for the mandatory "where-are-you-going-to-school" meeting, she offered a piece of advice to me to help me pick between the two. She said, "Pick the one that represents who you are the most." At the time, it seemed simple. I was like, "Okay, cool. I'll just pick the one that represents me the most!" But then when I got home and started reading up on the two colleges and comparing and contrasting, I thought to myself: "How do I pick? Who am I?" That's usually the beginning for a lot of us - doubting ourselves, I mean.
And then, college hits us. Y'all know what I mean. It's like, this is where we really have to decide, "Okay, who am I going to be?" At the same time, we're trying to figure out who we really are. And in the age of social media, it's hard not to brand yourself and "become" your brand, while also staying true to yourself.
But, have you noticed that all of our lives, who we define ourselves as is consumed by other people's opinions? The only person whose opinion really matters is the ultimate opinion - the opinion that is fact - and that is God. When we tell ourselves something negative that we are, it's the emotions of the world taking us over, and the process of our overthinking in our minds that make us want to believe it. God tells us exactly who we are in the Bible, and we can find comfort in going back to it in times of doubt and have confirmation in who we really are - who God says we are.
1. When you say that you're unloved, or you feel unloved, know that it's not true. God says that we are loved, and nothing can separate us from His love.
"Nothing can ever separate us from God's love... neither our fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow can separate us from God's love." - Romans 8:38-39
2. When we feel broken, God reminds us that by Jesus' wounds, we are healed. He paid the ultimate price for us, and by doing so it shows us that we are worthy of God's love, and all of the sins of the past and future are healed.
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities... by His wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5
3. God says that though at times we may feel weak, we are strong because He's given us strength.
"It is God who arms me with strength and He keeps my way perfect." - Psalm 18:32
4. Don't feel afraid. Don't feel lost or alone. God gives us comfort by claiming us and saying that we are His.
"Do not fear. I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine." - Isaiah 43:1
5. It's so easy to get caught up in the world and get caught up in feeling like we need to be with someone. And if we're not, we may feel incomplete. But, we are not incomplete. God tells us that we are whole.
"So you are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority." - Colossians 2:10
6. Don't feel like your existence doesn't matter, or that you don't have a purpose. God reminds us that we do have a purpose, and He's created a moment for us to step into that purpose. We just have to trust Him and be patient.
"Perhaps this is the moment for which you've been created." - Esther 4:14
7. Never feel like you are less than or feel the need to compare yourself to others. God says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." - Psalm 139:14
8. You may have anxiety, that's a given in life. And sometimes, it may feel like anxiety is a big part of your life. I know the feeling. But God says that it doesn't have to rule your life. He gives us peace, and tells us that we are more than a diagnosis.
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." - John 14:27
9. Depression does not have to consume you. One day, you and your life will be filled with overflowing joy through Him. You are more than this season of trouble and depression. It will pass.
"I have told you these things so that you will be filled with joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" - John 15:11
10. A great part of the Bible to read to know how important you are and how God blesses you is Matthew 5, the Beatitudes. In this chapter, Jesus went to sit on a mountainside after seeing the crowds of people gathered to see Him after hearing of His healing hands. His disciples came to Him, and Jesus began to teach them in what is called "The Sermon on the Mount". He teaches them about Christian life, and How he blesses us when we are righteous and live as He would want us to live in His image. The Beatitudes leads to His section about salt and light. He says, "You are the salt of the earth", and "You are the light of the world." He then says to let our light shine so others can see Him in us. We are important.
Our relationship with God leads us to a world of opportunity - and helps lead others to build their relationship with Him, as well.
God says that you are important. You matter.