This is Natalie’s story, she is 18 years old and a great friend of mine and love her dearly! She also has a blog that y’all should check out! Joy With Sarcasm
Every time I’m asked to give a word to describe myself, the first one I think of is adaptable. Truthfully, I don’t really know who I am, most of the time, but I know who I am expected to be, therefore, that is how I act. It’s a defense mechanism of sorts. Probably derived from my constant travelling and having to change countries every couple years, or maybe the contrasting groups and environments I find myself in(school, church, home), or maybe even due to the bullying I experienced as a middle schooler. Whatever the reason is, I have learned how to be Natalie the diligent student, Natalie the responsible daughter, Natalie the sarcastic friend, Natalie the _______ and forgotten how to be just Natalie. Apparently. I’m a workaholic. I find myself signing up and doing so many things as to avoid giving myself a moment to sit down and discover who I am. When I’m busy, I don’t have to think too much and it’s nice. But only temporarily. My drug, volunteering. Not the worst thing to be addicted to but an addiction nonetheless.
If I am to be totally honest with myself, this because I’m scared if I take a long, good look at myself, I wouldn’t like what I see. Most of the time I don’t like what I see anyway. A lot of people think I’m confident, comfortable in my own skin and whatnot but that couldn’t be further from the truth. At times, I feel like a stranger in my own body. Like I don’t like who I am and know I can’t truly change it so I be someone else… ergo Natalie the _____. I don’t have all that big of a self esteem. Stupid things get to me. The fact that in that shirt, my belly looks especially big, those pants make my thighs look humongous. I hate glass doors because I see my reflection in it when I walk towards it and I don’t feel like looking at myself. I find myself looking away or my head dropped down low as I draw near it. As for who I am as a person—you know, the inside—the saying, “You are your own worst critic” rings through. I constantly find myself tearing my own self down about stupid little things I do and say.
Recently, I came back from a reunion with some of the people I went to Haiti with last summer. My leader, one of the most insightful people I have ever met, was talking to be about finding my identity in Christ. As I take time to think about what that truly means, I’ve began to see how beautiful that really is. I think—know—I’m not the greatest person, quite the opposite, but that’s not what God sees when He looks down on me. He sees His wonderful creation, made to glorify Him and serve. He sees His Son, the most perfect being.
He sees perfection.
I’m not gonna lie. Realizing this hasn’t miraculously made me this confident person who is happy and la de da or whatever. However, it has put me on that track. I’m still discovering myself and looking for my identity. Except now, I’m doing it with the mindset of doing it in Christ, being Christ-like. And, at the end of it all, maybe I’ll be able to look up as I walk towards a glass door and smile at myself.