Authentic Self

Over the last week, while out on office errands, I’ve had strangers tell me they like my hair. I smile and thank them while fighting the urge to tell them about my shampoo regimen, and immediately wonder if my Grandmother, the one whom I inherited my firey locks from, also had strangers comment on her hair. I noticed in the mirror the other day that I have her elbows now, a little cap of squish resting just above the middle of my arm. I think it’s fascinating that I can see parts of someone who lived a completely different life than I am when I look in the mirror.That got me thinking, how often do I attempt to embody someone or the qualities of someone who is not me? How often do I project an idealized version of myself that does not exist in reality in hopes people will like me or respect me? When is the last time I was my full, authentic self?

I am most my authentic self on Sunday mornings, when I am glad to be wearing a mask that soaks up the tears streaming down my face while my hands are raised in worship, because even after 20 years of walking with God, I am still brought to my knees when I consider His kindness to me. His love and acceptance of me has never waned, and in His presence there is no trying to be impressive or vying for position; I am just Beloved.

I pray today you take the opportunity to spend time with the One who loves your whole self, without reservation, and in His presence, you are filled to overflowing with confidence that you are Beloved. May you receive the acceptance only God can provide so that you are able to expect and receive the appreciation your community offers.

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