Be Who You Are: A Story Of Dinners, Doubts And Discovery

They say you don’t really know who you are until you are 30. I’m not entirely sure because I haven’t hit that milestone yet, but I can tell you my kiddo certainly knows who she is.

She’s a youngster still, but she knows exactly what she likes, where she wants to go and what she is willing to do.

She’s a mix of sweet innocence, wild fire and a pint-sized dictator.

For example, let me explain the intricacies of dining with my little one. Believe me, it’s a process.

One evening in the past week, I made sure I made everything she liked for dinner, only to be rebuffed by a shrill rendition of, “No, I don’t want to eat that. I don’t like it.”

This, my friends, is not true because she eats said food items all the time. Have you ever tried arguing with a headstrong 5-year-old?

Needless to say, it involved a lot of sighing, fits of tears and several painstaking bites of food.

And that was just my end of it.

At one point, she would eat a few bites of her dinner, push her plate away from herself and say, “I’m done. I can’t eat anymore.”

However, when asked, she said she would in fact eat a large ice cream sundae or a large mound of fruit snacks.

In pure desperation, we told her, “Well, why don’t you eat X bites of dinner, and then you can be done.”

We would just pick any number to fill in the statement, and she would comply.

Dear readers, this was a bad choice and I don’t recommend trying it at home.

Now, she’ll sit down at the table, and will immediately ask, “How many bites do I have to eat?”

Like I said, she knows exactly who she is in every moment and isn’t afraid to say, “Nope, I’m not doing that.”

Granted, it doesn’t always go her way, but she is utterly convinced she is right.

Sometimes, I’m a little jealous of her certainty.

It can be difficult, wandering around the world with doubts, fears and troubles gathering in our heads. Some days pass by with nary a thought outside of our regularly scheduled programming, but then there are moments when we look in the mirror only to ask, “Who am I? Who is this person before me, and what have I become?”

I think it’s an experience we can all relate to. I’ve done this several times throughout my life.

Recently, my mom reminded me that I can’t rely on pop culture to tell me who I am. It isn’t up to society, Facebook or the pages of a magazine to tell me what I should do, what I should think or who I should be.

The only one who can tell me who I am and be 100 percent correct is God.

In Jeremiah 1:5, God said “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

He knew who we were, he knows who we are and he certainly knows who we are going to be, just as he knew Jeremiah.

It struck me the other day that God knows everything I’ve ever done, everything I’ve ever been, all the music I like, all the places I’ve seen and on and on.

Despite my faults, flaws and imperfections that he is fully aware of, he called me to him. He created me, knowing full well how my life would play out.

If that doesn’t provide some kind of stress relief, I don’t know what will.

I’ve spent a lot of my life attempting to make other people happy with me. Truth be told, I’m a people pleaser.

I like it best when everyone is content – but that can’t always be the case.

Someone, somewhere will always be upset, angry and possibly even bear me ill will.

However, it doesn’t mean that my life is over. It also doesn’t mean I have to try harder to achieve an impossible standard that I can’t meet.

It just means I have to be myself – but not the self that someone is pushing me to be.

Instead, I will be the self that Christ tells me to be.

Instead, I will lean on the Lord and be as certain of who I am as my kiddo is.

For as Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Be who you are, not what the world thinks you should be.

You are good enough, you are strong enough and you are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because they’re wrong.

Just ask my kid.