Identity Crisis - Getting Back to God's Design

For the longest time, I didn't understand why things weren't changing in my life. I had been a Christian since I was 7, went to bible college, married the best guy on the planet and yet I was still struggling with feelings of doubt and insecurity and I just couldn't get a grasp on why. Ever been there?  We do the right things, we say the right things, we've memorized the scripture... but what is going on when you feel like you're fighting with everything
 

For the longest time, I didn't understand why things weren't changing in my life. I had been a Christian since I was 7, went to bible college, married the best guy on the planet and yet I was still struggling with feelings of doubt and insecurity and I just couldn't get a grasp on why. Ever been there? 

We do the right things, we say the right things, we've memorized the scripture... but what is going on when you feel like you're fighting with everything you have and you're not really getting anywhere? Perhaps we don't truly know the key to fighting our battles well. Wouldn't you like to know what it is? 

So many times we try and combat our fears, insecurities and mistakes without truly understanding and embracing our identity as Royal Daughters of God. We think that we have to fight based on our own strength, wisdom and ability. This is why we are constantly falling short and growing weary in the process. We fight, climb and persevere only to be left standing in the same place as before. What's a girl got to do to get some progress made here? 

We simply cannot approach our battles in our own strength. We must stand and fight from our position in Christ. We must combat the enemy with our identity, not our ability. 

Recently I saw the movie Wonder Woman and I was completely blown away by what God decided to show me in her story. I mean, who knew that God would speak to you during a superhero movie? Here are three things that you need to know about who you are that I learned through the story of Wonder Woman... 

1. You reflect the glory of your Father 
Wonder Woman wasn't born special for no apparent reason. She had special abilities because, unknown to her, she was the daughter of Zeus. So her strength came because of who her father was. She could do things others couldn't, had abilities others didn't, and was driven with a purpose that others would never fully understand. 

I have good news for you. You are not the daughter of some mystic greek god, but you are the beloved daughter of the Most High God, the King of Kings and Name above every name. And as His daughter, you were meant to reflect His glory and goodness on this earth and into every life that you encounter. Have you ever wondered about how people feel after being around you for a little while? Do they feel important? like they matter? Or do they feel judged, small or not worth your time? You are an ambassador on this earth to spread true love, joy and peace to hurting and broken hearts. Let's be daughters who represent our Father well and reflect His heart for His people. 

2. You are a target 
As Wonder Woman was leaving the home she had always known to go fight the battle she was born to fight, her mother watches as she sails aways and her mother's sister asks her, "Are you going to tell her?" And her mother replies, "The more she knows, the sooner he will find her." Her mother knew that the closer her daughter came to the truth of whose she was, and the power she possessed because of that, the sooner her enemy would come looking for her. 

The word Christian literally means "anointed one," and when you are marked by God, you are noted by the enemy. Because when your enemy looks at you, he doesn't see what you see. He doesn't see the tired eyes, weary heart and a past riddled with mistakes. Sure he tries to remind you of those but that's only because he sees something in you that threatens him. You don't attack what you aren't threatened by and when he sees you... he sees Jesus. He sees the very same spirit that went down into hell, took the keys of hell and death and eternally sealed his fate. But if he can keep you from seeing what he sees, he can keep you scared and stuck. 

3. You are the weapon 
As Wonder Woman arrives for her final battle with Ares the god of war, she believes all she has to do is stab him with a special sword and he will be defeated. She sticks him easily enough but it doesn't seem to faze him. She then has a revelation of who she is and whose she is that brings her to the conclusion that she is in fact the weapon who can defeat him. Knowing her true identity was the key to her overcoming her enemy for good. 

This is why our enemy fights us so much when it comes to knowing who we truly are. He wants you to find your identity in your mistakes, your past, your relationships, your career, your "good works," your children, your personality, basically anything other than in Christ, because that is where all of your power comes from. 

So you see, before we can stand our ground and fight our battles well, we need to make sure that we have a firm grasp on who we are and who our Father is. It is in this identity that all of our power, confidence, strength and courage lies. We can't fight our enemy without knowing who we are. And often times, the enemy knows who we are long before we wake up and realize who we are. Well it's time for us to rise up as daughters and defend our families, our marriages, our homes, our dreams and our futures with the abilities deposited in us through Christ. 

Don't forget to remember who you are. It just might be the difference between living saved and stuck or on purpose with passion. Let's cling fast to our Father and write these chapters we're living in with purpose and power. 

Fight well,
Jess


Want to dive more into what God says about fighting your battles well?

Check out the Online Bible Study Fight Well and let's go on a journey together to learn the battle strategies of a Royal Daughter. Did I mention it's free? 

 
 

How To Act Confident - Even When You Don't Feel Like It

When I was in 5th grade, I auditioned for the school play. I was the new girl in school and was about as shy and quiet as a little girl could be. No one ever thought that I would try for a role in a production but I was determined. You see, I really didn't think I could sing very well. So when our Chorus class decided to put on a play where the two main characters didn't have any solo singing roles, I was like, "This is my chance!"
 

When I was in 5th grade, I auditioned for the school play. I was the new girl in school and was about as shy and quiet as a little girl could be. No one ever thought that I would try for a role in a production but I was determined. You see, I really didn't think I could sing very well. So when our Chorus class decided to put on a play where the two main characters didn't have any solo singing roles, I was like, "This is my chance!" 

To be honest, I'm not sure why I did it. Sometimes I surprise myself but I wanted that role. It was the role of Latisha, the White House maid who, along with the butler Calvin, would take the audience through the lives of the American Presidents and their wives. 

Audition day came and I was SOOOOOO nervous- like I wanted to cry and go the bathroom at the same time. But here I was waiting my turn to audition in front of the whole class! I got up to everyone's surprise and delivered the lines with so much confidence and flare that I got the part! It's all a blur now but that was one of the most fun experiences of my life! But it didn't stop there. 

I learned that I can be confident, even when I don't feel like it. But boy is that easier to believe when you're dealing with an acting role than with real life. We're told that you shouldn't pretend, you shouldn't lie about how you feel and you certainly shouldn't be two-faced! And I agree. We shouldn't try to be someone we're not. But then the question arises, who are we? 

When we feel insecure, fearful or small, it's easy for us to believe that's who we really are. "Well I'm just shy, I'm quiet, I'm fine being insignificant." But is that really true? Is that what God says about you, His Royal Daughter? You see, who you are is more important than we usually realize. Because everything you think, believe and act upon will be directly linked to who you believe you are. So who are you? What do you think about yourself? Are you important? God sure seems to think so. 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well... How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
— Psalm 139:13-14, 17-18 ESV

What we see when we close our eyes is more important than how we look on the outside. What you behold, you ultimately become. And your Father wants you to allow Him to paint a picture on the inside of you of how He sees you, what your frame, personality, and heart look like to Him. And as you behold this image, you will begin to reflect it on the outside, acting and behaving as the Royal Daughter of God that you were destined to be. 

But how can we begin walking this out? I can tell you from experience that you simply cannot wait to "feel" confident before you begin to act confident. So what's the answer then. Faith. As you begin to see and understand who you truly are- a confident, secure, important and destined Daughter- then you can now act out of your true identity, even when your emotions say something different. 

Too often we want to wait till we feel something to act on it. But this is why we feel so trapped all the time. The longer you put off acting in faith, the longer you will feel stuck and frustrated that you can't seem to break free from old patterns and emotions. It's only when we begin to act on what we see by faith, that our emotions will begin to change and we will begin to see actual transformation and growth in our lives. 

So, let's not just simply have a discussion about this, let's make it happen. Let's make today the day that you decided to accept the role that was your's alone to play. The role of a fierce, beloved and accepted Daughter of God who has a purpose and a destiny to fulfill on this earth. Your mission is so vital, that you cannot afford to be sidetracked by negative emotions or fears that bring you down. You are here on purpose and for a purpose.

Here are 3 easy steps to start making this new vision of yourself a reality. 

1. Take the vision and write it down

Like we talked about earlier, we must know who we truly are if we are going to walk in that identity. Spend some time with just you, your bible and your journal and ask God to show you what He sees when He looks at you. Close you eyes and then write down what you see. What are you wearing? What is your composure? Where are you? Who all is there? What does the room look like? Where is He? What are you doing? How does it look like you feel? Write it all down! 

2. Rebuke the lies 

Thoughts lead to emotions and emotions lead to actions. When a negative thought comes up (or just a thought that is contrary to what God has shown you in your vision) then cast it down as false evidence and replace it with the truth. If the enemy can get you to entertain the negative thoughts in your mind, then they will lead to the emotions that cause you to feel unworthy, unconfident or unimportant. But when you do feel those things, it's not too late. You can treat your emotions just like your thoughts and cast out what God says doesn't belong. You decided what stays and what goes. Defend your heart and defend your mind. 

3. Act on who God says you are 

Now comes the part that seems more difficult. It's not enough to simply cast out the negative if you don't have something to replace it with. We must speak the truth over our lives and then act as though we believe it to be true. The word says in James that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:17). Now this doesn't mean we have to "perform," but if we truly believe what we say, then there will be evidence by what we do. And as we act on the truth, we will be convincing our minds and emotions that this indeed is the truth. Overtime your thoughts will reflect this as well as your emotions. But it comes from acting in faith. 

So you see we're not acting, we're not pretending and we're certainly not being two-faced. Being two-faced is acting one way with one person and then acting completely different with another. We are simply realizing who we truly are and then acting out of that identity rather than simply what we think or feel in the moment. After all, our spirits are the only part of us that are perfect. Our souls are still being renewed which means every thought we think or emotion we feel may not be from God. But we have His word as a constant reminder of who we are and our place in this world. Our identity never changes, it's never altered and there's nothing you can do or not do to change your position in His family. 

So go ahead, throw your shoulders back girlfriend! When you feel fearful, insecure, unimportant or replaceable, that is when you need to take on your role, wear that invisible crown and walk as a Daughter worthy of her calling. There may be someone in your life that needs what you have and only you can represent God's heart the way you were uniquely designed to. 

Let's walk forward in confidence and write our stories well :) 

xxo,
J ;) 


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That Time I Cried in the Dressing Room

That Time I Cried in the Dressing Room // Body Image // Christian Girl Resources // Christian Girl Advice // Confidence // Love Your Body // Self-Esteem
 

I was standing in front of the mirror, staring at what I thought was a disappointment to all mankind.

All of a sudden, everything wrong with my body was suddenly so much worse than I ever thought it had been and I wondered how I could have let something like this happen to me.

The pair of jeans I had grabbed were not going on, regardless of how much I jumped up and pulled, and the tops I had picked out were much tighter than I remember them. I had gone up two sizes and they were still too small! What the heck was going on here?

I must admit, this was not the first time I had been insecure in front of the mirror. But this time, it took on a whole new ugly face and I had myself a full on diva-sized meltdown in the dressing room that day. My mom embarrassingly pleaded with me to pull it together until we left the store. I think the staff started to witness my pity party but honestly, I never noticed anyone else. That’s the thing about insecurity—it’s always 100% focused on you at the expense of everyone else around you.

I started thinking to myself, “Maybe I’m just not meant to shop at Abercrombie…” After all, have you seen the models on the wall? I may not have expected the clothes to be that unyielding, but I knew I didn’t look like them.


For most of my life I have struggled with my body image.


I did gymnastics since I was three-years-old and I have what they call a classic “gymnast’s body.” I know I know… it sounds great. But it’s not what you think. All that means is no boobs and a very noticeable butt. I don’t’ know what girl would willing choose this body type...

No matter how skinny you get, that round tush is never fitting into a size 00—which is what I wore in middle school. Somehow, around my freshman year of high school, it’s as if everything made a giant steer to the rear and I’ve been crying in dressing rooms ever since.

Now to be fair, it’s really not that bad. But that day, in that dressing room, with those clothes… it might as well have been the end of the world!!!

Why do we do this to ourselves? We could be having the greatest time with the people we love and then catch a glance of ourselves in the mirror and all of a sudden we can’t stop thinking about how frizzy our hair is, or that blemish popping front and center, or how much closer our thighs come together than hers’ do.

But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked?
— Genesis 3:9-11 ESV

Shame was never a part of God’s original plan or intent for us.

The bible says our own hearts condemn us and I must say, they do a pretty good job. But this was never the heart of our Creator towards mankind and especially, not his daughters.

We all know that Eve has had a pretty rough reputation over the centuries for eating that dang apple, but let’s not forget that she was also the finishing touch on God’s plan. She was the crescendo of time, the crown of all His creation. Life on this earth was not complete yet or “good” until she came on the scene. She was needed, not just for her body, but for who she was. And the same is true for you and me.

You may not feel like you have a lot to offer this world, or a man for that matter. But you are more than the reflection glaring back at you. You are a royal daughter of the most high God and you have been intentionally created, specifically designed, and brilliantly purposed for this day and this time on the earth. You are not a mistake, an after-thought or a lump of flesh and bones. You are brilliant, you are fierce, and most importantly, you are dangerous.

If the enemy of our souls can keep us preoccupied with the tiniest of superficial imperfections, then we will miss out on who we are and the power that we possess. When the enemy sees you, he sees Jesus and he is terrified. But if he knows you don’t see that, then maybe he can keep you in the dark.

It’s time for us to stop measuring ourselves based on the size of our jeans or the models on the wall. I do believe we should do our best to live fit and healthy lives, but the moment we start to compare ourselves with someone completely different from us, we relinquish all power that is uniquely ours to offer.

Oh, and what was the cause for me outgrowing the entire store? Well, as it turns out I was in Abercrombie KIDS!!! Can you believe that? Why would they even make those? The adult Abercrombie was directly under this one on the lower level. I felt pretty ridiculous after finding that out. I assure you that was not the first time the dressing room and I have had a confrontation and it wasn’t the last by any means (I assure you it was the last time I tried to wear children’s clothing).

But feeling insecure about your body does not mean you’ve failed. How you decide to walk forward from those feelings is what will determine the strength of your life and the influence of your story.

Look in the mirror today and everyday and say to yourself:

I am a beautiful daughter of God on the inside and the outside.
I was created on purpose and for a purpose which I will fulfill.
I am brave, fierce and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.
I will not be sidetracked by insecurity, but I will choose to walk in freedom this day and every day
and I will bring other women in my life to freedom with me.

Let’s walk with a different purpose than the world. For we have a heavenly mandate on this earth to represent a new and better way to live. Choose today what you will believe and what you will not. Set your heart on His design for you and allow Him to write the pages of your story well.  

Cheering you on in this life!

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When You Feel You've Lost Who You Are

There I was, standing on the edge of the ship, looking out across the incredible Alaska Mountains and taking in just how great and creative our God is. But there's something about getting closer to God that draws us to understand ourselves better, and I began to realize that I didn't know myself quite as much as I would have thought.  Somewhere on the road of frustration and stress, I had forgotten who I was and began to see myself through the murky lens of my mistakes. None of us are perfect.

There I was, standing on the edge of the ship, looking out across the incredible Alaska Mountains and taking in just how great and creative our God is. But there's something about getting closer to God that draws us to understand ourselves better, and I began to realize that I didn't know myself quite as much as I would have thought. 

Somewhere on the road of frustration and stress, I had forgotten who I was and began to see myself through the murky lens of my mistakes. None of us are perfect. That should come as no surprise. So then why do we pretend that we are expected to live like it? 

Have you ever been so stressed out and anxious that you stop to look at yourself and you say, "Who is this crazy person?" So much of who we are gets lost on the road of frustration and striving. But who you are is far too important and needed to let slip away. 


 

"When we see ourselves through our performance, we set our own hearts up to be disappointed in ourselves when the truth is we are loved without measure, accepted without strings and adored beyond our actions."

 

The enemy wants you to look at your life and judge yourself based on your mistakes. God has already taken your life and covered it in His grace. We grasp this when it comes to receiving our salvation but we tend to ignore this when it comes to the rest of our lives. 

Our attitude and actions are often determined by how we see ourselves. If you see yourself as a mistake, a sinner, an outcast, a burden etc... then your attitude will reflect what you believe and you'll walk, talk and act in the same way. Take a moment to step away from everything you don't like about yourself, all of your mistakes, frustrations, procrastinations, and anything else that you or someone else has given you a hard time for, and see yourself as God's beloved, royal daughter. Can you even picture it? 

This is our resting place. This is who we are, regardless of how we act. Once we truly understand our unwavering and everlasting identity, we will have the strength and courage to walk that out into our lives. Mistakes may come and laugh in your face, but you are NOT a mistake. Think about who you are, thank God for His love and grace. Then pick yourself up, throw your shoulders back and walk away from the mess. 

I have to admit that this hasn't always been easy for me. Our flesh loves to be a victim and the more you give into this mentality, it seems like the easier it get's to default there. It would get to the point where I would wonder what is so wrong with me. I owned my mistakes instead of releasing them. 

And because I wasn't letting myself off the hook, I assumed everyone else was judging me too. But guess what... they weren't! 

We truly are our own worse judge. It's a bit ridiculous. 


 

"No matter how many mistakes you make or where you fall short, your identity stays the same."

 

We can take comfort in knowing that who we are isn't as fragile as our emotions. I think we would all be in big trouble if who we are depended upon how we felt. Thank God for His grace in our lives that not only picks us up and dusts us off, but also fills us with strength and courage to move forward and into all of the good that He has in store for us. So, let your mistakes drip off you like water and keep on walking not towards perfection, but towards the perfect King of your heart. 

xxo, 
Jess

How to Battle Insecurity

The insecurity bug gets us all every now and then. But calling it a bug is quite misleading, for it’s more like a leech: the longer it’s left attached to you, the more life it will suck out of your veins. Pretty picture, right? If we’re waiting for this world (or anyone in it) to give us our security, then we’ll be waiting around for it forever. So how can we walk in the confidence and security that we long for so desperately?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8

The insecurity bug gets us all every now and then. But calling it a bug is quite misleading, for it’s more like a leech: the longer it’s left attached to you, the more life it will suck out of your veins. Pretty picture, right?

All we have to do to get insecure these days is open our eyes and look around. There’s plenty for our wandering hearts to get insecure about because we live in such an uncertain world full of uncertain people with uncertain motives and agendas. If we’re waiting for this world (or anyone in it) to give us our security, then we’ll be waiting around for it forever. So how can we walk in the confidence and security that we long for so desperately?

We do battle with insecurity when we replace every lie with the truth.

I’ve heard it this way before: You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from making a nest in your hair. We can’t always stop a negative or insecure thought from popping into your mind. And if you consider that a failure then you’ll walk in constant defeat and keep yourself in bondage to it. But we do have control over our thoughts once it comes.

We have to decide if we’re going to receive this thought as our truth or cast it out and replace it with the word. I would say I’ve always been pretty good at knowing when a lie has weaseled its way into my thoughts. But I would simply acknowledge that it was a lie and then move on. I didn’t realize that if I didn’t take the thought captive, cast it out and replace it with truth, that lie had legal right to stick around and filter everything else I saw and heard through its murky lens.

So how can we detect the lies? After all, they’re not always so easy to identify. It says in Hebrews 4:12 that the word of God is alive and powerful. It’s sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, and exposing our innermost thoughts and desires. When we spend time in God’s word, it comes alive in our hearts and separates the lies from the truth. The light always exposes the darkness.

When a lie comes against your mind, expose it with the word of God and replace it with His truth.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8

If you’re unsure of God’s love for you…

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
— Romans 8:38

If you’re uncomfortable with your body image…

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
— Psalms 139:13

If you’re afraid you’ll end up alone…

Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.
— Deuteronomy 31:6

If you’re uncertain about your future…

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
— Jeremiah 29:11

Write down the lies that plague your mind and then write out the truth from God’s word to counter those lies. That way, whenever they try to come knocking on your door, you can answer back with confidence, wielding the sword that’s been entrusted to you by your heavenly Father. 

So don't let those insecure thoughts get you down. Rise up, cut them down, and speak the truth. Then throw your shoulders back and walk like you own the place because, well.. you do! 

xxo,
Jess