When I Was About Twelve Or Thirteen Years Old, I Discovered That My Parents Had To Get Married Because Of Me.
When I discovered this family secret, my world was not rocked because my parents daily expressed their love and delight in me. However, when I was beginning my own journey of purpose, I was talking to my seventy-five-year-old aunt, my mom’s sister, on the phone. about the circumstances of my birth My Aunt Dean, who has loved me madly since she first learned of my unplanned existence, spoke of my mom’s heart and gently said, “She guarded that secret for so long….but you must know you were no accident; you were planned by God on purpose for a purpose. Your life is proof.”
Warm waves of love flowed over me, on me, and through me. I caught my breath. Her words entered into the core of who I was. I knew she was right, and I felt her words in a place that I didn’t know needed to hear them. I didn’t wrestle with this love or examine it. I just received it, agreed with it, and believed it. I knew deep within me, despite the details of my conception, that this love I felt was truth. My life was planned. I have a purpose and so do you.
Now hear this truth for yourself: No matter the circumstances surrounding your birth, you were planned. You have always been loved. Let those words sink down to the core of your soul. Let them swirl around and settle in your heart. Let their truth be true to you. And let that truth change you from the inside out.
To fulfill our destiny and uncover our identity, we must know and believe this truth. Though you might have been told you were “unplanned,” the truth is that you were always planned by a loving Creator. This is powerful knowledge. If no one has ever told you this truth, then let me be the first. As my aunt said to me, you and your life are no accident. You are, and always were, wanted. Before time began, you were planned for, and you are necessary to this world. You are uniquely crafted and designed to be and do something that no one else on this planet can. Even the actual day of your birth was no accident. Fight for the courage to believe and be you!
“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself.”—Brittany Renée
If you allow yourself to become what others tell you to be, what others expect you to be, or what people believe you to be, you will deeply regret it. Today I want to give you an invitation and the permission to be you, the you God created before time began. This you is precious and important – to deny it is to do a great disservice not just to yourself, but to the universe. Beyond that, it disrespects you and your Creator. You were created on purpose for a purpose.
Do you have the courage to believe you have a purpose that could literally change this world? Having this courage is to go beyond what other people say you are and deciding to consult your Creator for who He designed you to be. You will become who and what you believe. And sometimes what we believe can have nothing to do with truth.
Examining our belief systems and core narratives will help us determine if we have believed a lie about identity or about our destiny. What do you believe? What is the story of your life that you tell yourself? Are you a victim, a coward, a liar, a good-for-nothing? Are you a survivor, a warrior, a storyteller, someone worthy and brave? Who you say you are is the truth you will act out of.
Not doing so will leave you deeply unsatisfied. You will stay preoccupied with what you could’ve been, should’ve done, or would’ve completed had you not cared so much about pleasing others. By not being yourself, you are denying the world of what you can do. Someone one is waiting on you to have the courage to be you.
If you would have asked me ten years ago to go on a stage or speak to a group of more than four people, I would have run screaming for the hills.
I literally became physically ill at just the thought. Why? I didn’t know because I never questioned it, I just avoided it like the plague! It was a behavior I defaulted to without any thought. I wonder if you have any?
A default behavior is one you give no thought to. It is a knee-jerk, yet predictable, behavior that happens over and over again. Mine was avoidance of anything that had the potential to produce embarrassment or humiliation, which can be just about anything except breathing. This was all caused by an event in my childhood where I felt vulnerable, embarrassed and humiliated. Unknown to my adult self, the little girl I once was vowed to never feel these feelings again. Thus at the ripe old age of ten, I stopped being me.
When I began this journey of uncovering my true identity and discovering my destiny, I realized I avoided a lot of things I once loved as a child: athletic competitions—because it was embarrassing to lose, having an opinion or speaking up—because it would be uncomfortable and embarrassing to not have everyone agree with me, and being on a stage—because it invoked scenarios of forgetting my lines or freezing with nothing to say. Even though it was irrational, I argued with anyone about anything because it was embarrassing to be wrong. These scenarios were all too risky for one as frightened of embarrassment as me.
All of these behaviors were default; they required no thought on my part but stemmed from the erroneous belief that I was an embarrassment and my behavior was embarrassing. I constantly felt unsettled in my soul, and my behavior was betraying my belief about myself. I had a negative core narrative that needed to be exposed. My default behavior provided the clues.
An negative core narrative or belief always begins with an “I”:
I am an embarrassment.
I am unplanned.
I am of no value.
I am unattractive.
I am unworthy.
I am unintelligent.
I am ugly.
I am an accident.
I am unlovable.
I am insignificant.
Do you see how these statements bestow an erroneous, negative identity upon us? When we come into agreement with any of these negative narratives, we begin behaving out of this false identity. When we believe we are unlovable we act unlovable. When we believe we have no value we will treat ourselves as valueless. Your behaviors stem from your identity, from who you believe you are, which may or may not be true. Isn’t that frightening?
What if we just changed the tape in our minds and began telling ourselves who we truly are? Loved, significant intelligent and worthy. Would we start to act and react differently? I certainly did.
It Seems That We As Human Beings Have
An Insatiable Desire To Belong To Something
Bigger Than Ourselves.
Both little girls and little boys alike seem to announce their pick of a best friend as soon as they are launched into their first social situation. Girl and Boy Scouts, dance troupes, choirs, martial arts, drama, and every sport imaginable all offer a child a place to belong. As we get older, neither the desire nor the groups diminish. Book clubs, supper clubs, bars, and country clubs are on the menu to meet this need in us as adults. We long to belong, to attach our names to another. The need and feeling of belonging to another runs deep within the core of our being.
Consider marriage, for instance. It is designed to be a perfect place where two separate, unique individuals come together to become one, and from that oneness each entity is enhanced, and new life is formed. It is then replicated again and again into what is called a family. But it wasn’t just marriage that was created to demonstrate and orchestrate a sense of belonging and oneness. Families and friendships were also designed to provide us with that same experience.
I am Jenny, am the oldest daughter of four children, a single entity. But I belong to a family. Though now married, I was born a “Thornton.” That one word in my family meant that we were resilient, independent, Christian, confident, loud, athletic, and hard working. When we are together as a family that longing to belong is appeased, at least for a time.
Friendship is another profound way I personally have experienced oneness that creates a sense of belonging. The friends I have chosen in this life have also become family and fulfill the need of belonging to another. Regularly we share our hearts and burdens with each other. We serve, love and encourage each other. We sup with each other and give to each other—in other words, we share our lives! These people encourage me to be and do all I was created to be and do. Without them I could not be me. They give me courage to pursue a life of purpose. They give me the courage to be me. What do you need to be you?