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Editor

Steph lives in Watford and works for Soul Survivor Watford Church. She is currently doing a Theology degree in London. Last year, she released her first single called ‘Love’s Song’.

Living As A Queen

Living As A Queen

Q for qualities

Starting the journey of figuring out who you are is a significant part of being a teenager, but it doesn’t have to happen in an instant or at all for that matter until you are older (and even then people are still trying to figure it out!). People grow and mature at different rates; you don’t have to rush or slow down to match the people around you, go at your own pace.

The question is what do I even mean by ‘who you are’? To put it clearly, it all comes down to this:

You are loved by a kind and gentle God, who longs for you to be fulfilled in Him.
You are brave because Jesus Christ endured pain to take away yours.
You are beautiful because your creator is the maker of the entire universe.
You are royal because your God is a king and you are His child.
You are courageous because of a powerful God, who through Him you “can do all things”*
You are strong because you have the strength of an almighty God behind you.
You are unique because you were moulded in your own individual way.

How can I do this?

Firstly, grab a piece of paper and write down all your qualities (some examples: I love to help other people, I find it hard to always tell the truth, I love playing team sports, I hate it when people around me are disorganised). When you’ve finished this, put it somewhere safe and keep coming back to it to add or remove things in order to see how you are developing as a person. Remember though, you can still grow into things you may come to dislike, this doesn’t mean you are not on the right track, it means you are forming opinions! If there is anything you are worried about, always talk to someone older than you who you can trust for some guidance.

Secondly, write down “I am” and then each of the words which followed “you are” earlier on (e.g. I am loved). Looking back at the first task, all these phrases which you’ve just written down are the foundations to which you will see your qualities grow. To find your identity in God and God alone lays your heart down to Him and allows Him to work through you, shaping you into the amazing woman of God He yearns for you to be.

U for unique

Another aspect of figuring out who you are is constantly reminding yourself that only you can be you. One wise person once said -”wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are”; what this means is instead of spending your time wishing you were someone else, use your time to step into who you are. Realising you are unique and that no one can be you better than you can is such an important step in this journey, and will lead you to the great things which God has called you, and distinctively you, to do.

In today’s society the word ‘unique’ is too often used negatively, and this is so wrong. You see a woman walking down the street whose hair is in pink dreadlocks and you’re very unsure as to whether you like them or not so you turn to your friend and say patronisingly “wow, she’s unique” but what you’re trying to say doesn’t actually match what you’re saying. To be “unique” is to take ownership of your qualities, your fashion sense, and your personal identity in Jesus. That woman with pink dreadlocks has quite clearly taken ownership of her fashion sense, and learning from her could be so much more fruitful than putting her down. Likewise, don’t let anyone tell you that your uniqueness is a flaw; being unique is a beautiful aspect of life where you can encourage, empower and excite other girls around you to be themselves.

How can I do this?

Similar to the activity for ‘qualities’, beginning to work out what you enjoy and what exhibits your uniqueness is a great way to begin to shape your love for being unique. In a close group of friends, go around and say what you love about each other (you could either do this vocally or pass around a piece of paper for each person). When reading or hearing them back make sure you make a conscious effort to absorb what they are saying and believe that it is true. Building a strong, loving and familial community as friends is a catalyst for being secure in who you are because knowing the people around you appreciate you and care for you is such a firm base when beginning to truly appreciate and care for yourself.

E for empathy

There is no fresh perspective in life quite like being empathetic; being prepared to understand someone else’s heart not only opens your own but also helps you to be the best support you can be to the people around you. Paul inspires us in Romans 12:15 to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “weep with those who weep”, simply put we should meet people at the level of emotion they are at in order that we can build community together and “live at peace with everyone” (vs. 18).

How can I do this?

When your next in a conversation with someone and maybe they are having a particularly bad day or they have just found out some exciting news, practise putting yourself in their shoes and focus on meeting them where they are at. For example, if I'm having a bad day myself and my friend tells me she's just got into university - instead of saying a blunt "good for you" I try and meet her excitement by putting my problems aside and celebrating with her.

E for equality

Understanding that no one is perfect apart from Jesus is a really important step in becoming the loving and accepting person which God wants us to be. This understanding should reflect through the way you speak, act and behave towards other people. Additionally, never let anyone make you feel like you’re not good enough; you also are loved and accepted by God therefore you should be by others too.

How can I do this?

Well, it takes practise but you could start by making sure that you never make anyone feel like they are unequal to you or anyone else. Gender, wealth and race are just three examples of the way people can separate people from ‘the norm’ of today’s society and this is something which is as God’s people we should always be willing to combat. For example, if your friends organise a big day out to the shopping centre but you know that actually one of your friends is really struggling for money - without sharing it, ask your friends if they want to do something else which you know is less money like going to the park.

N for natural

So I've talked a lot about being who you are and what this means is being natural, being your real self, and therefore being who God made you to be. I really struggled sometimes being natural in school, if you look back to my letter to my 13 year old self posted last week, you will see that I often put up a front in order to hide who I really was. Now there was no real reason for doing this, I was just scared that people wouldn't like the real me so I pretended to be someone that I thought people would like. The truth is... the person I tried to be still had flaws, still had arguments, still didn't please everyone... and so actually it was a lot more effort to try and be someone else than myself because nothing good was coming out of it. In conclusion, save yourself a lot of time by being no one else but you; and if there's people who don't appreciate the real you then just don't include them in your life, focus on the people that love you and want the best for you.

How can I do this?

The best thing to do, is pray. Pray with your friends, at your church, with your family; pray that God would help you to BE yourself, STAY yourself and LOVE yourself.
Here's a little prayer you could use:

Lord,

Thank you for the detail and time which you took to design me and create me. Thank you that you love me and want the best for me. Help me to be the best me I can possibly be and not to be controlled by what other people think of me. Thank you that you love everyone equally and so help me to be more loving, more empathetic, and more accepting of the people around me.

Amen


*Bible verse taken from Philippians 4:13 NIV

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