Friday, September 7, 2012

Embracing Individuality

 One of the most important things a young woman can know (besides that she is a child of God) is that each and every girl on this earth is different and special in her own way. There are so many different physical, mental, and personal traits out there that each one of us is completely unique. God sure does pay attention to detail, does He not? It's amazing to think that He is so diverse in His Creation that no two people will ever look or act exactly the same. This is important to remember when faced with peer pressure. Every young woman eventually must face times where she will be pressured to choose between being a distinct individual or being in the "in crowd." Whether it's as a young girl or long into adulthood, it can be very hard to stay content as to who God made you when it makes you seem like the odd man out.

"If your friends said that they were going to jump off a bridge, would you do it, too?"
   As annoying as this phrase can get if overused, whoever came up with it sure did have a point. There is a fine line between the real you and the you that others want you to be, and if you aren't careful, you can end up getting hurt. In situations where a friend is asking you to do something of questionable integrity (in which case I would not call her a friend), it's best to pray about it without making any rash decisions. If you think that God would be disappointed in you for something, and I mean anything, then it's better to stay away from it. Also remember to ask yourself, "Is this something I'd want my loved ones to see me do? Do I want this to be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of me?" What can be one of the greatest helps to you is having a strong relationship with your father and mother. Their advice to you when you don't know what to do is invaluable.

  When a girl is young, she sees herself as who she truly is -- a beautiful, unique creation of God -- and doesn't doubt this fact. As she matures, she starts to question herself and falls into line with whomever she spends time with, generally losing the originality that makes her who she is. Now don't get me wrong; it's still there. It's just been pushed aside so that a new version of this girl can take over. Normally the "new version" is brought on by stress, pressure from friends, and life changes like moving to a new town. Whether trying to be the perfect dancer, the most popular girl in youth group, or the girl that can outrun the guys, every young woman has moments in which she ends up being a people pleaser. In hard situations, remember that you can't please everyone. As I've said before, no one is perfect, and while you can avoid it to some extent, there will be people that don't particularly like you. I know it can be rough, but in the end, staying true to Christ and who you are in Him is a lot more important than being everyone's best friend. God will love you no matter what, and that's what really matters.  

  The important thing to remember is that, like the little girl in this picture, we should look at ourselves not with criticism, searching for things we need to change, but with a child-like innocence and wonder. For as the Bible says, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." And if you're ever in doubt of how wonderfully made you are, think to yourself, "I am special, and no one else in the world is like me. I am beautiful, because God made me. I am me, and no one has the plan that the Lord has made for my life."

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