“What time do you want to get up?” I was staying overnight with a long-time dear friend in order to streamline work-related travel. A 5:15 am wake-up call was nothing new to me, but the process that followed blew my mind.
In the next 60 minutes, my friend:
1) took a full shower (hair washed, too, ladies!)
2) made a complete breakfast (egg sandwich, apple + PB, juice, coffee)
3) enjoyed a mini-dance party getting ready for the day (hello college days!) and
4) had time to sit on the couch (…just to hang out) all before walking out the door for work an hour later.
“Why do you go to all that effort?” I asked her. It seemed silly to be pouring out that much time and energy before the day began. “Janessa, I don’t know what I’m going to find at work most days. To prevent stressful situations, I put on my confidence before I walk out the door.”
Wow, I thought. Suddenly it made sense. I had been thinking just a few days earlier about how I couldn’t go through the upcoming busy season at work and graduate-level classes without changing something in my life. I simply couldn’t manage a 90+ hour week between these two activities by utilizing the same self-destructive coping mechanisms I had employed for years. Yes, I stand tall for a female at 6′. However, height is not a qualifier for coordination, so no, I do not play basketball or volleyball. I often allowed this mindset to trickle down and condemn me as incapable in other areas of life. Masking my insecurities with confidence was not working, so dealing with the root cause of my insecurity became essential.
I remembered what my friend said, about putting on confidence first, and decided to take it one step further. I began to pray I would see myself how Jesus sees me – Holy. Blameless. Beautiful. Worthy. His sweet child. When Jesus was here on earth, He healed immediately, often restoring sight to the blind. Not only did He heal the blind physically, but more importantly spiritually. I realized this is a painful growing lesson many people battle their entire lives – they’re never measuring up to someone’s expectations, never owning their true worth, and fail to reach for their potential.
Choosing to wake up and learning to see myself the way He does and responding obediently has grown me in a new way. Try it. Cleanse your skin, adorn your body with clothes and jewelry that make you feel confident, feed your body nutrient dense foods, calm your mind and spend a few quiet moments with Him. Practice His Presence.
Some of these things may sound trivial, like a waste of time, even vain, but they’re not. It’s part of discovering our identity. Who we are lies beneath the surface. Small acts of outward transformation work to change how we see ourselves on the inside. Our vision is clouded, but God can already see what’s on the inside, and He’s madly in love with us!
True transformation is a change in nature and happens from the Inside-Out, not from the outside-in.