“You are fearfully and wonderfully made”.
These are words that I heard but for too long, struggled to believe.
I came to Christ at nine years old, after attending a small, nondenominational church off my street.
At twelve years old, I got baptized and emerged from the water certain that as a Christian, I would be able to avoid the pitfalls and heartaches so often associated with being a teenager.
Yet no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to escape the constant voice of the enemy telling me that in some critical way, I was defective and different from other Christian girls.
I thought Christian girls were supposed to always be happy and bubbly, never get angry and never have any serious doubts or questions. I on the other hand felt like a failure on all of those accounts.
Ironically, even when I was a Liberty University student, studying Biblical Studies and Education while working as a youth leader at my church, I was still struggling with the same lies and voices in my head.
I was telling teenage girls that they were special, created by the very hand of God—yet, struggling to believe it for myself. I was telling girls not to compare themselves to the people around them while comparing myself to the very people that I worked alongside in ministry.
Around this time, one of my friends invited me to a Bible study. The leader of this Bible study in my mind, fit the image of the ‘Perfect Christian Girl’ that I felt I was supposed to be but struggles to live up to.
On the outside, she seemed to have it all together, always smiling, Bible journaling and signing up for events and leadership positions at her church. However, as I got to know her better, I soon realised that she had her own share of baggage, struggles, and insecurities.
She had struggled with severe depression in high school. She had struggled with church-hurt. She and I both had similar things about us that we felt made us different, and little by little, I began to realise something.
The very girls who I had once seen as so perfect weren’t perfect after all. Jesus never died for an idealised version of me, or what I could be—Jesus died for me! Messiness, insecurities, and all.
He died for the girl who proudly wore coloured hair extensions sophomore year.
He died for the girl who believed things so passionately that it sometimes got her in trouble.
He died for the girl who struggled with OCD, anxiety and perfectionism.
He died for a whole messy, complicated person.
He died for all of ME—not just the parts that I want people to see.
Now, when I hear someone say you are fearfully and wonderfully made, I actually believe it.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Proverbs 139:14 (NIV).
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