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Next Step: Be You

Posted in Affirmation, Encouragement, Next Step Series, and Self-care

Do you know who you are? I admit it’s a loaded question.

We’re all born with God’s intentions infused with our parents’ genes. But as life’s experiences enter into the mix a lot changes — and it’s not all good. However, the course we take makes a difference.

It makes us.

During difficult times, unaware of God’s intentions, I’ve picked up the wrong ID card.

It happened when I left my emotions in charge or I let someone else hand me their badge. Some unfortunate and untrue labels stuck, leaving a confused version of me.

However, my faith in Christ peels those labels away. Because if we’re not sure who we are, we can always ask the One who created us. (see Psalm 139)

Now I’m a fun-loving, faith-talker who thrives on having conversations in person and by keyboard. I’m married to the love of my life and love being mom to our teenage son. That’s the short version of me.

The skin I’m in, the roles I fill and the dreams I have all speak to my identity. But if I define (or limit) myself based on how I look, what I achieve or my biggest mistake, I miss my whole story.

The complete version of you and me is something only God sees.  As long as we live, there is always something new on the horizon. But the horizon is no mystery to God. He holds it in the palm of His Hand.

The question then emerges: Are we willing to let Him hold us?

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 NLT

Some days my thoughts change quite a bit. Even as I write this post, the edits are adding up. But something miraculous happens when I’m transformed by God. There’s a settling in His will as He radically changes my complications into His simple truths.

When I’m in self-pity, He says be thankful.

When I’m frustrated, He says be teachable.

When I’m judgmental, He says be kind.

When I’m deceived, He says be truthful.

In my distractions, He says be focused.

And yet, at the heart of my desire to know Him, He makes the most merciful statement of all: Be you.

 “…That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” – John 4:23-24 MSG

God welcomes worship from the simply honest version of you and me. I’m amazed that a God whom I’ve never seen shows me a love like I’ve never known. As I pour out my adoration, I’m convinced He can handle all of my complications.

As I realize my true value, I cherish the uniqueness of my journey and I no longer cheapen myself with my choices. When my perspective and passions align with God’s design, I see the best version of me — the redeemed by Christ version of me.

What version of you will you be?

No matter where we are in the process, God’s love for us never changes. And yet, as we receive His love — the giving of His Only Son, Jesus, for our sins kind of love — it changes us. Here are some changes I want to keep.

I’m confident when I’m defined by His grace, instead of guilt.

I’m fulfilled when I’m doing what He purposed, instead of settling for a misguided path.

I’m encouraged when I dare to believe I’m a work in progress and not just a shell of imperfection.

Regardless of life’s challenges or rewards, when my next step is knowing I am His, I can celebrate being me with hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

To read more posts in the Next Step Series, click here!


  1. Joy, so much here but I loved this: “I’m confident when I’m defined by his grace instead of guilt.” So happy to be next to you today at RaRa linkup!

    February 14, 2017
    • Joy

      Thanks for stopping by Lisa. May you continue to be you – and experience God’s grace in amazing ways!

      February 15, 2017

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