Authenticity. Does this word sound indulgent to you? It used to, to me. Because this word is essentially all about you. It’s who you were created to BE ~ You. Nothing less, nothing more. No excuses, no guilt, no suppression of self, just beautiful you.
Authenticity can be defined as the degree to which a person is true to their original personality, spirit, and character, despite external pressures. Real, raw, genuine material that isn’t false to the original design or purpose. True and accurate self.
You were intrinsically designed. Not an accident. Not an afterthought. But a glorious, glowy, gigantic-hearted, you. You are on purpose. I am on purpose. “Wonderfully and fearfully made.” We have a creator, and a designer. We are couture. We are designer, custom, original, specific, special, and hand-crafted goodness. Ohh yes, baby! We sure are. Let that wonderment sink in for a sec. Gah! It’s everything, right?!
My favorite, favorite, favorite verse in the Bible pertains to this exact thing, “What is man, that you are mindful of him? Human beings, that you care for us?” ~ Psalms 8:4. No one cares about your life more than God. No man, no woman, no parent, nobody. He loves you purely, and is always thinking about what is best for you. He hasn’t forgotten about you. What does it mean that God is mindful of you? He’s thinking about you. He’s alert, focused, paying attention. He sees you. Every hair on your head is numbered – Yes, even the ones you just stuck on your shower wall. Whatever concerns you, concerns God. Whatever keeps you up at night, whatever your thoughts turn to, time after time, also concern God. Whatever gets your attention, gets God’s. Because you are His.
Let’s do a little test. Don’t worry, you got this. Who are you? Strip away the titles. You are not allowed to use labels that describe who you are in relation to others. It’s kinda hard, but you can come up with some things! This is for YOU. I give you permission to drop the labels, titles, roles, hats – strip it down Girl. Don’t say: Mom, wife, sister, doctor, neighbor, pet-owner, Starbucks barista.
Having a hard time? Okay, I’ll go first. I am: A writer, a risk-taker, lover of Jesus, brave, strong, recovered perfectionist, grief survivor, testimony-baring, FUNNY, fun, belly-laugher, word lover, vulnerable, mom-misser, sister-needer, soulful, ambivert, creator, fierce lover of women & girls, joyful, outdoor-loving, nature appreciator, photographer, memory maker, spontaneous, list-maker, deep-thought thinker, thoughtful, people loving, boat rocker, rebel, quiet in a corner, beach/lake/water junkie, bookworm, leader, difference maker, light-finder, raw, real, painfully human, mistake maker, warrior, hurts survivor, victim, victor, and future hero! I am Sarah. This is my authentic self.
If you feel unsatisfied, uneasy, or have the nagging sense that you aren’t honoring your individual authenticity, well, you probably aren’t. Don’t let anyone steal your authenticity. NO ONE. I’m so serious about this, I could spit. And I don’t spit. Don’t forget who you are! Who you were whole-fully, and woe-fully, created to be. Even if it’s tucked away. Even if it’s hidden for a season. It’s more valuable than diamonds and pearls. It’s your God-given essence. Keep going back to it in your mind, at least. Review it. Study your purpose. People need you. I need you. The world needs your un-filtered, un-adulterated, purest you. Keep YOU protected in the grind. You’re worth it.
In the spirit of authenticity ~ Share what your name means, in the comment section! (Sarah means, “God’s princess.”)