by Christa Lowe
“I am sweet.”
“I am giving and kind.”
“I love to eat chocolate.”
“I am a good friend.”
“I am strong.”
“I am good at math.”
“I can talk to anybody.”
“I can do magic tricks.”
“I have pretty brown hair.”
“I wear glasses and braces.”
“I am Mexican.”
“I can play the piano.”
“I am a Christian.”
“I like myself just how I am.”
Several weeks ago, I asked my classroom full of students to each write a paragraph about why they like themselves. As they one by one stood bravely before the class to read the above answers, my heart was stirred with emotion.
First, I was overwhelmed with joy because these students that I fiercely love could see their self-worth and were not ashamed to proclaim it. I rejoiced because the God of all creation made each one of them special and my heart yearns for them to be confident in that very thing.
However, my very next emotion was close to despair. I began to ponder, “If they asked, what would I tell these students that I like about myself?”
Oh, I could easily wax poetic on the things I DO NOT like.
“I have a stubby nose. My eyebrows are kind of funky. I have too many freckles. I laugh too loudly. I am not a good enough wife. I do not have as much talent as someone else does. I cannot whistle (really, I cannot). I do not cook enough. I am not a trendy dresser.”
The list was long and it did not end there. Now, must I tell them something I like about myself? There was a long pause in my heart, followed by a question that would remain unanswered which led me to this thought:
At what point in our lives did we decide we are not enough?
When did we start to look in the mirror and only see all that we wished we could change? When did we begin to deflect any and all compliments? At what point did we decide to down play our talents and compare ourselves to others?
I am not sure when the change happened, but I would like to gently remind all of us that we ARE enough.
In the words of my students, we ARE beautiful, sweet, kind, and strong. Our hair is okay and our glasses do not make us dorky. We ARE good at being a friend to our friends. We can play the piano, solve math problems, and love chocolate. We can embrace who we are and even like ourselves because, just like my students, the God of creation made each and every one of us special.
Psalms 139:14a reads, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:…”
We are fearfully made. That means we were made in a manner to induce admiration and astonishment.
We are wonderfully made. That means we were made in a manner to excite wonder or surprise.
When God looks down on us, He does not see all of our imperfections. He does not judge our worth based on our people skills or how good we can cook. He does not compare us to others in His creation and then decide we do not measure up.
Instead, He looks down on us and sees HIS creation. He sees the ones He made in such a way that it would cause admiration, astonishment, wonder, and surprise. He brushes His hands off after a job well done and whispers, “You. Are. Enough.”