Free to be Me

Imperfectly Perfect: Have you ever listened to a song a million times and have even sung the words on numerous occasions, but never truly captured the meaning of those words?  Yesterday the song “Free to be Me” by Francesca Battistelli came on my Pandora station, and the words stood out, brand new as if I’d never heard them.

When I was just a girl
I thought I had it figured out
My life would turn out right
And I’d make it here somehow
But things don’t always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

And you’re free to be you

Sometimes I believe
That I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I’ve got nothing good to bring
But you look at my heart and you tell me
That I’ve got all you seek
And it’s easy to believe
Even though

I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

Over the course of the last few years, my self-discovery, uncovering years of unnecessary self-sabotage, has  collided with the  unveiling of my true identity and who I am in God’s eyes. After all, He is the one who created me.  Yet even though I believe God will meet me in my weakness and qualify me to tackle what lies ahead, I have doubt that continuously creeps in.  I’m a perfectionist, so often I find myself wanting to do things right the first time, creating unnecessary stress and anxiety in my life – just ask my husband.  I struggle with accepting criticism, people pleasing, and seeking approval from others.  This battle within creates a hot mess of emotions, self sabotage and the negative replay “I’m not enough.”

I’m Enough:  I’m here not to wallow in the past or “should” on myself, but to give others freedom from their imperfections and offer a gentle reminder that we are all a continuous work in progress.  Everyday is a choice to accept the old lies or live in the new truth.  I feel like I’ve lived too long believing I wasn’t good enough.  I was never the smartest, fastest, coolest, prettiest, craziest, funniest, or “bestest” at anything that would’ve put me “on the radar” growing up.  Confidence is often gained by acceptance.  Not that I never felt accepted, but I thought the path to acceptance was by being noticed for something amazing that I did.  I guess doing a handstand and juggling with my feet wasn’t noticeable enough?  Totally kidding!  If only I would’ve just accepted me for me – not the funniest, but I can make others laugh; not the smartest, but this ain’t no hat rack; not the prettiest but there’s beauty in my smile; not the fastest, but I do find joy in running; not the craziest, but I have ridden on a few roller coasters in my time.  The point is acceptance – accepting myself and being apologetically me at all times (within the boundaries of respectful behavior of course).

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(Above sign can be found and purchased at fellowflowers.com)

I find myself trying to teach my kiddos at a young age to identify and live in their strengths. I try to remind them often and have them remind themselves with the following affirmation:  “I am brave. I am strong. I am smart. I am beautiful. I am a child of God made for greatness.”   I want them to know the truth of who they are before some turd-burglar comes and robs them of their identify with hurtful words or actions.  I want them to believe that God made them just the way they are – talents, gifts, imperfections, and all.  Psalm 139:13 – 14 reminds us:

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I want my children to know that they might not be the best at everything or anything, but they are amazing in so many ways.

Wrap Up: “God gives the exact experiences he wants them to have in order to shape the specific destiny he designed for them.” – Steven Furtick, Sun Stand Still .  Although God did not want years of self-doubt added to my resume of life, He will help me shape it for purpose.

I recently wrote this mission statement:  “I create a world where others see themselves through God’s eyes, unique and wonderfully made, by affirming and constructing written words of truth.”  God is so faithful – I could not have had this awareness had it not been for Him pointing out my skewed sense of identity and speaking truth into my life.

As I move forward in this writing journey, seeking guidance and opportunities, I am reminded not only by my mission statement but also by Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLV):

  “Do not remember the things that have happened before. Do not think about the things of the past. See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening now. Will you not know about it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

So, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can” -Arthur Ashe and remember, “Be free to be YOU!!!”

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