Milestone of Self-Awareness and Confidence
Written by: Katie Duyssen-Kurek
When most people think about the major milestones throughout their lives they think of graduating high school, graduating college, joining the military, getting married, having children, and other big things. When I began thinking about my own biggest milestone, these all came to mind, but something else seemed even bigger, but less well known; self-awareness and confidence.
I grew up in a home without any sort of belief system, Jesus or otherwise. My parents were good people, who taught me to be the best version of myself by giving me all kinds of tools to go through life with. What they couldn’t give me was a knowledge of who my true self is and being confident and comfortable in that self. That was something I had to come to find on my own. Through each well-known milestone I worked towards and accomplished, I found a bit more of myself. Having self-awareness and confidence is a milestone that continually grows once you realize you have it. It isn’t a milestone that is one and done or a lightning bolt of sudden understanding.
To me, having self-awareness and confidence is having a full understanding that you are exactly who God made you to be, and having no shame walking in that knowledge. There was a time in my life when I believed that following the world’s order of expectations was where I needed to be, how I needed to take the next step, and what I should be doing at any point in my life. In today’s culture, the expectations the world places upon us is that we go to grade school, we do well, we go on to college, we do well, we land the perfect job doing exactly what we went to college for days after graduating and we continue to do well. We meet the perfect person and have a perfect courtship and get married, to go on and have perfect children who never misbehave and we teach them how to go through those major milestones too.
I’ll tell you from personal experience, that those expectations are beyond unrealistic in so many ways! Comparing myself to others who are my age led me down a path of feeling inadequate because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and they did, or they had found their perfect mate and had a family that was picture perfect on social media and I was years behind them in that area of life. It wasn’t until I found Jesus, studied the bible on my own, and learned who God says I am, that I realized that there was no need for comparison and that my walk was to be as amazing as God is because He is working in and through me. When I finally stripped off the expectations of everyone and everything in this world and only believed in who I am as a child of God, I found a new identity. An identity in which I know I am loved, worthy, and enough just as I am today and as I will be tomorrow as God works in and through me to grow my faith and all those who come in contact with me. Knowing that I will have this identity no matter where my path lines up with those around me gives me the confidence to live without shame of being me.
If your path is not the world’s traditional path, you are enough, you are worthy, and you are loved and I pray you feel confident enough in that identity to set out on your own path with God as your guide.
I am LOVED: Ephesians 1:3-6
“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
You can have a child by accident, but you cannot adopt a child by accident. When you adopt a child, you choose to love, cherish and care for that child for life. When God adopts you, it’s not an accident. He chooses to love, cherish and care for you forever. He does it because He loves you and wants an eternal relationship with you.
I am WORTHY: Luke 12:6-7
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
God knows every part of your being, down to the number of hairs on your head! Listen to Sparrows by Cory Asbury for a beautiful song picture of just how worthy you are.
I am ENOUGH: Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is absolutely nothing that we have said or done, and nothing that we ever will say or do, that can separate us from Jesus, the One who loves us. It’s so comforting knowing that my sinful nature is forgiven and Jesus still loves me (and you too).
A few days ago warm temperatures and a fast snowmelt caused flooding and rockslides in Yellowstone National Park. Multiple sections of roads and bridges were washed out causing them to be impassable. A state-wide emergency was declared with an unknown return to normal for the park and surrounding areas.
We have all likely heard of the great flood and Noah’s Arc. God saw how the world was filled with evil and destroyed everything in it with a flood that covered the earth (Genesis 5:5-7). Everyone perished with the exception of Noah, his family and many animal species. After the waters cleared, God promised Noah “never again will I curse the ground because of man or send a flood to destroy all living things, even though mankind’s heart is evil from childhood” (Genesis 8:20-22).
Sometimes life can fall apart, much like the roads and bridges of Yellowstone. However, God made a promise He would not destroy all living things. His promise was later revealed in His son, Jesus, sacrificing His life for our sins. That sacrifice gives us a promise of peace, a promise that God will be with us, a promise of salvation. We do not need to fear the mountains crumbling around us but can worship in this promise. Celebrate the fact that Jesus overcame. Our struggles are temporary and new life is waiting for us.