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Let’s get personal for a minute. Have you ever felt like you’re just going through the motions of life at times, focusing on all of your weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings as a person, only to have them come to life? Have there been times where you knew deep down inside, the definition of who you are weren’t those negative aspects, yet it was the only thing so loud it was hard not to focus on them? If you have, I’ve been in your shoes too.

Since the age of 7 when my mom gave me my first journal, I’ve been writing my feelings about everything in life. I have every journal from age 11 to today and it captures every single season of my life from pre-teen to adult hood. Even though I’ve written hundreds of entries over the years, I never really thought to capture my thoughts about myself. My thoughts and feelings always rallied around experiences, situations, and others, but not something simply about myself, until recently.

I was recently challenged by a young lady at church to create a section in my journal and write “I am…” Then within that section, she told me to write out everything I could think about myself that’s positive, so when I’m having a not-so-great day, I can look back on that page and remind myself of what’s really important. But how could two little words “I am…” bring confidence and life?

In the book I’m currently reading, The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer, she states “Confident people don’t focus on their weaknesses, but only their strengths.” All of us fall short of something in life, but all of us were given a specific set of skills in life that’s different from the next person. Focusing on the strengths is what’s important. Joel Osteen took it up 10 notches and said “Whatever follows ‘I am’ will come looking for you.” Whatever you say you are will come to life! If you’re always saying “I am broke” or “I am tired”, chances are, you’ll be broke and always tired. So I decided to take the challenge and started writing.

After 20 minutes in, I had filled the page about myself and couldn’t help but to smile from ear to ear. Once I started thinking of simple adjectives to finish out the blank page, words began to flow from thought to pen. When I was finished, I realized how proud of myself I was in life. I have experienced a lot in these 29 years and accomplished many things, and yet, I don’t stop to remind myself of how awesome God made me to be. It was great seeing all of those things on paper. Rather than fighting to prove to people I am these things, I was able to capture myself on paper, proving I am intelligent and accomplished, without the approval of people.

My advice in this new year to anyone is to write out those words saying “I am ________” and see what you come up with. Use it as a tool and reminder for those times where your weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings seem to scream at your spirit for your attention to remind yourself that those things don’t define you. In this lesson, I’ve learned that God loves me just the way I am, as I am.

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