You are not that girl anymore.
This covers so much territory and it really is about the hurt child in all of us. “Old tracks” play on auto loop and tell the story of who we used to be. We tell ourselves constantly that we are still the forgotten daughter, the “smart one” (aka NOT cool), the overweight, underweight, clumsy, acne-prone girl who boys didn’t like. We are still the self-conscious girl who starves herself to feel in control, the girl who sleeps around to prove that boys like her. We are still the girl who failed at marriage and screwed it all up.
That is the story we tell. That is the story I tell. That is the story of “that girl”.
I have spent the better part of my adult life in an argument with that girl. The grace that God has abundantly bestowed on me, as evidenced by the bountiful joy in my life, is often overshadowed by the lies that I allow that girl to tell.
If there is one thing that I want you to know about your future and who you are, it is this. You aren’t that girl anymore.
You aren’t the girl who got rejected by friends and therefore feels unlikeable. You are not the girl who boys don’t like because you don’t look right or wear the right clothes, or act cool enough. You just aren’t that girl. No matter how many times that story plays in your head, no matter how many hurts you encounter, those hurts don’t make the girl. You are so much more than that. You are the delightful, beautiful girl who loves people and is loved in return. You are the girl who works hard and does her best. You are the girl who learns from her mistakes and works things out. You are the girl who isn’t afraid to get back up after a fall. You are the girl who is loved beyond measure and has so much to offer the world.
You are the girl who really believes she is a princess and expects the world to treat her with princess-like care. You are the girl who is so convincing that you can talk a friend into picking up dog poop so you don’t have to. You are the girl who runs races through pain and doesn’t quit. You are the girl who does her own thing, makes her own style and doesn’t just follow along. You are the girl who knows that being smart is a gift and works hard to honor her gift. You are the girl who laughs so much and long that she gets a belly ache and always cares about making other people smile.
When I look at you, I see all the beauty and possibility in my life. I forget about my “that girl” and can remember that my mistakes don’t define me and the stories that I tell myself can make or break me, but it is my choice. I see in you the truth about God and His love and know that Truth is so much bigger than the lies I tell myself when I put my track on auto-loop.
When your confidence is shaken, and that girl tries to make an appearance, shake her off. She is not your truth and you are not that girl.
This post was inspired by two pastors in my life. Last Sunday, Steve North shared part of his emotional journey as he learned the truth about the man he is and the man he used to be. In his poem, “Becky’s Thunder” he described the moment when another pastor, Becky Przybylski, helped him see that “You are not that man anymore.” Listening to his story, I realized how much I let my own past tell me lies about who I am today. I let “that girl” beat me down with the mistakes that changed the course of my life. I continue to accept the guilt that girl heaps on, perhaps as punishment, perhaps as atonement and in the process, I forget who I am today. I forget that those mistakes have shaped me, but they don’t define me. Steve’s message helped me to remember that the girl I am today has learned and grown and been blessed by those very mistakes, and that my life provides evidence every single day that God forgave me long ago and continues to prove it by pouring His grace into me.
God truly does set the brightness of our today into the dark mortar of our past so that we can see the contrast that He brings to us.
Thank you to Becky for being Steve’s thunder. And thank you to Steve for being mine.