At seventeen years old, I found myself. I fell away from the ugly duckling, girl-in-the-shadows image I clung to and discovered the beautiful, confident, smart, and purpose-driven woman God knew me to be.
That was the key, really: finding my identity in Him. See, once you see yourself as a flawed, yet redeemed, heir – or heiress in my case – to the throne, in need of Jesus, you realize there isn't anything you can or cannot do to separate yourself from the Love of God. If He can know everything about me – every secret, every weakness, every flaw – and still love me, forgive me, and plan a beautiful life for me, then what am I waiting for? It's time to love myself back.
For the first time, I was able to look in the mirror and smile, thinking, Hey, I am beautiful, or, that crazy dream doesn't seem so crazy anymore because God put it on my heart. I urge you to see past your worldly desires, flaws, and comparisons; look to the One who created you in His perfect image and likeness; venture past the realistic and consider the extraordinary because that's where you'll find your Heavenly Father waiting for you to step on board. When you begin to love yourself, your heart will be open to love others the way you were created to. And moreover, you will be infinitely more lovable in return.
You are who God says you are, who He made you to be, with a will only you can fulfill.
Scriptural references: Romans 8:37-39; Romans 8:17; Jeremiah 29:11; Genesis 1:27; John 13:34