Tag Archives: identity

what the Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise has taught me: part 1

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First of all, I included all three of these shows because I watch (or have watched) all of them. I wouldn’t put myself on the “obsessed” level yet, but I’m definitely above “just curious about what’s going on” or “staying culturally relevant.” For example, the first thing I did today when I had some free time after work was catch up on “Bachelor in Paradise” and that’s probably what I’ll do tomorrow because it’s a two-episode week y’all!!

As I was catching up on the show this week, I couldn’t help but feel this uneasy pit in my stomach. I started to feel kinda bad for those involved in the show. I was sad for every single female that ends up in one of those “confessional” moments and says something similar to, “I just want someone to fight for me,” or, “I guess I’m just not good enough.”

Today, those confessions just stopped me in my tracks. I realized lots of things that I’d like to cover in the coming weeks, but we’ll start with this:

Insecurity exists everywhere.

Everywhere.

If there’s one thing I’ve picked up on with the Bachelor franchise, it’s that they really like beautiful people. Every person on every episode is beautiful. And every one of them, at some point or another, doubts themselves. They feel inadequate. They feel as if they are missing something.

It reminds me of the time when Adam and Eve were walking with God in the garden. The Lord had brought them together in perfect harmony and the Bible says that they were “naked and were not ashamed.” Then, they rebelled, went their own way, and did the one thing God told them not to do. The first thing that happens after that bite is that they realized they were naked. And they were ashamed of their nakedness. So ashamed they hid from God.

One of the most compassionate statements in the Bible, in my opionion, is in Genesis 3:11. God asks them, “Who told you that you were naked?”

Who spoke that in to your life? Who told you that you were anything other than beloved?

That’s what I want to ask the contestants on the Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise.

Who told you that you were naked? Who told you that you weren’t enough? Who hurt you so deeply that you feel unworthy?

Then I want to tell them about the greatest love of all that can heal all wounds. I want to tell them about Jesus. I want them to feel whole.

We all feel that, don’t we? We all feel inadequate.
We all want to feel whole.
Praise God that Jesus makes us just that. Whole. Complete. Beautiful. Beloved. Wanted. Redeemed.

Enough.

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I need to be Perfect

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Let’s be honest. Us ladies ride the struggle bus all the way to Perfection Point a lot. I’m pretty sure I have a frequent rider card at this point. I feel a deep need to have all my ducks in a row. I need to keep everything in my life lined up perfectly so I don’t screw things up. A few stories to illustrate:

1) I was at FCA Girls Sports Camp last week and when it was close to the closing of camp and we needed girls to fill out camper evaluations, I literally stood, frozen, in the middle of the room because girls were kinda crazy and it wasn’t perfect so I didn’t know where to start. I literally froze because the atmosphere wasn’t “perfect” to me. And it wasn’t an elegant frozen state like Elsa.

2) Last week while I was at the camp mentioned above, I got a little anxious when my blog flow was thrown off because I didn’t have a chance to write a new entry. My perfect streak of a new post every week was gone, so I “fixed” it by letting the world (really just my Facebook world) know that I was at camp doing some holy things so I couldn’t post anything. I made sure my image was intact.

3) This afternoon after work, I fell asleep on my couch for 2 hours because I feel like I haven’t stopped moving in 10 days and I’m exhausted. I needed a good nap and I got one. When I woke up and realized it’s Wednesday and time to write, I had an argument with myself on whether or not I should go to Starbucks and write or if it would be okay for me to just sit on my living room floor and type some words. My thought process went a little like this: if I don’t go to Starbucks the atmosphere I’m used to won’t be the same, therefore the writing won’t be as good. I needed the perfect seat in the corner with the perfect cup of coffee to make sure that my writing is perfect. And yes, I’m in that seat in the corner with that cup of coffee as I type…(insert heavy eye roll here)

Now that I think of it and write it out, maybe I just have OCD. Who knows.

My point in all of this is that I’ve been relying A LOT on myself lately. I feel the need to be “perfect” (whatever that means: emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc…).

If I miss a day at the gym, I don’t give myself grace. If I forget to pray a certain amount of time, I don’t give myself grace. If I don’t have the right answer for a friend in need, I don’t give myself grace.

I’ve been trusting myself with the seemingly little details of life and only relying on God when I crash and burn. I try to fix myself up before I come to Jesus, assuming that He won’t want someone that doesn’t have everything figured out on her own.

Jesus tells us in Mark 2:17-

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

I don’t know where this need for perfection comes from. I don’t know where I think I need ultimate control over my life. I do know that every time I rely on myself I fail. I also know that I have a Savior that blatantly tells me over and over again in Scripture that I don’t have to fix myself. He has called me, loves me, and saves me because He can. Not because my perfection has earned it.

A sweet friend asked how she could be praying for me this week. When I told her, “that I would let go of perfection and fixing myself.” She shared a little nugget of wisdom from her mom: My imperfection demands the Lord’s presence which is glorious because we have a Savior who rises to every occasion.

May we all rest in that truth this week: that we need Jesus and He is always there to love us, especially when we aren’t perfect.

*this week didn’t have much to do with dating/relationships/singleness. don’t worry, that discussion on perfection will come next week! (you’re so excited…I know…I know…)

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Me & My T-Shirts

An unintentional theme of the past couple of weeks has been about value, self worth, and identity. Probably because I struggle in those areas and need the Gospel to transform my mind on those issues moment by moment…so why not write about it?!

Those of us that struggle with seeing ourselves through the eyes of Jesus often have things we’d like to change about ourselves. We think brunette is not a pretty as blonde, so we dye our hair. We think we’re too shy, so we seek out how to be more outgoing. We think we’re too loud, so we quiet ourselves. We think we’re overweight, so we obsessively work out and monitor our diet.

Or in my case, I think I have too many t-shirts.

Let me back up a few years.

When I was a freshman in college someone very dear to me made a random comment about my wardrobe. They said, “If you ever want to meet someone (to marry), you really should stop wearing t-shirts.”

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Mind you, I’m pretty sure I’ve been wearing a t-shirt since I was in utero.

Something as simple as a statement about my wardrobe made me question my value, my identity, and my future. I began to think (and have thought this since) that no man would ever want a lady that would rather play catch, or hunt, or go camping than do more typical “womanly” things (whatever that may be…). I began to believe the lie that God had made a mistake. That he had given me desires that no man would find desirable.

Praise Jesus that my identity doesn’t change with my wardrobe!!

The Good News that I cling to as a follower of Jesus is that my identity is not dependent upon what I do. It all hangs on this truth: that Jesus came to earth and lived the perfect life, went to Calvary out of His love for me, died a brutal death to pay the penalty for my sins, rose again on the third day, and has entered into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God on my behalf.

This is what life is about. Not my personal satisfaction or temporary pleasures. Not my hair color or my weight. Not even about how many t-shirts I have.

Life is about glorifying God in everything I do because He has redeemed me and set my identity in stone. My value does not change because God does not change.

God has made each of His children unique for a reason. He has given me the desire to wear gym shorts and t-shirts as often as possible because someone has to keep sports stores in business! It doesn’t devalue me or make me less desireable, even when I may think it does.

Chances pretty good that this is a lesson I’ll need to keep learning, but praise God He’s okay with teaching me for the rest of my life.

*but really, I do have a lot of t-shirts…anyone wanna help me make a quilt out of them?!

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