Wednesday, February 4, 2015

XStream Talking Points/Blog Post: Lies I Believed In High School

We're doing a dating series in XStream right now. And for those of you who have been keeping up with my life, you probably know that this is a strange topic for me right now. (For those of you who don't know, I'll be happy to talk about it privately over coffee, or via carrier pigeon.) This is the last week of our series, and we are splitting the guys and girls up for the Group Talk. The girls are going to be talking about body image/identifying our worth in Christ/confidence etc...and the boys will be talking about the lies of pornography. It's going to be a heavy night, but I'm praying it will be worth it. (I know it will be!)

I'm sharing tonight on the lie that I still have a tendency to give into: the lie that I'm "too much" or "too intimidating" or "too loud." When I was in middle school, I was the girl screaming at the lunch table over nothing. I talked loudly because I liked the attention. But sometimes it felt like I was losing the attention I desired because I was loud. My mom always told tells me that my voice carries. I'm just a loud talker. And it wasn't until I was in college that I realized that being a loud talker/being a great projector, isn't going to make or break my life. In fact, projecting well, as an actress, is actually one of the best things for your career.

In high school, I was always told, "be mysterious. Boys like girls with a little mystery." Even now as a 26 year old, I'm furrowing my brow at that. What the heck does that mean? I guess now it means "Don't lay out all of your personal baggage on the first date." But what does it mean to a 15 year old? To me, it translates to "Don't be too loud. Don't burp like one of the guys. Don't talk loudly about sports if you don't really know what you're saying." (Side note: last week at XStream, Juliandra and I asked the girls to write down what they thought they could do to become more "datable." 98% of them said "learn more about sports.")
 Anyway, I don't in anyway intend to downplay this bit of advice from my mother, but I wish I had known to ask for clarification. I would try to "be mysterious" around the boys I had crushes on...talking quieter, not really answering their questions, etc..., but that's not who I am. I'm outgoing, and vibrant, and when I think "mystery," when it comes to a character trait, I picture some girl hiding behind a thick Mark Twain (J.K. Rowling? Who is popular these days...?) novel, and wearing long skirts, and avoiding eye contact with all humans. And that's not a bad thing if that is your true personality! But I think for a long time, I tried to be something I wasn't when it came to having "mystery." I'm not the type of girl who has the time to have people hem and haw over what I like, or what I might be interested in doing on a Friday night. If you want to hang, if you want to get to know me, let's communicate about that. I will say, "Hey, my name is Star and I'm un-apologetically outgoing and I will tell you everything you need to know about being my casual acquaintance, or friend." I understand and respect that not everyone is wired like that (97% of my friends are introverts), BUT, I am truly of the belief that if you aren't being true to your personality, you are not living up to the person God created you to be. So if "being mysterious" is something you're good at, rock it! If being outgoing is something you're good at, rock it!

Either way: 
Never let anyone tell you you're too "this" or too "that" 
as if it makes or breaks your entire life. 
It doesn't define you now, or ever.

The lie that we are too much comes from a place of insecurity. But it doesn't need to be a hindrance when we realize that we are made in the Image of God and and grasp onto the idea that our identity is found in Christ only. No exceptions. 

You might ask what this means or what this looks like and, honestly, I don't know if I have an answer other than this that fits every single person: "Women must think rightly about being representatives of God made in His image, and fulfilling his purposes" (Matt Chandler, Beautiful Design). Each one of us is made with a purpose that is more than being the prettiest girl in the room, or the most talented, or the most mysterious, or outgoing. What matters is that we are here to do God's live the life he has set before us. Younger girls might not realize it now, but each one of us is called to a higher purpose..whether that's going into ministry, being an actress, or being a professional athlete- God will use us to His glory.

Who you were created to be is already accepted by God. Don't worry about being accepted by others. Who you are in Christ is "enough." You are never too over-exuberant, or too mysterious.  

You are enough. Don't let anyone try to convince you that you need to change that.