Be You to the Fullest

 You are beautiful!

You are amazing!

You are precious!

You are treasured!

You are cherished!

You are loved!

You are an incredible and awesome combination of gifts, talents, past experiences, hopes, dreams and potential all rolled into one.

You are you.  That is phenomenal.  There is no one else like you.  There never, ever, has been in the history of the world.  There never, ever, will be again.  You are here.  You are now.  This time, this place, this you.

These short sentences, when pulled together in my wondering mind draw me to a place of sheer amazement and awe.  Imagine the creative powers of a God who pays such attention to detail that there are no repeats.  Each person is exceptionally exclusive and perfectly distinctive.

So what makes you, the you that you are?

What is your name?  What do you look like?  Where and when were you born?  Who are your parents?  Who makes up your family?  What does your name mean?  What words describe yourself?  What are some of your personality traits?  What are your natural advantages?  What do you enjoy?  Whose company do you treasure?  What intrigues you?  What do you hope for?   What responsibilities do you have?  What experiences are woven into your life’s story?

The answers to all of these questions and more are all wrapped up into You.  They run through you and are parts of who you are.  As I ponder my own answers to these questions, it is easy to see how different our answers could be from each other, making us beautifully You-nique.

So how can you be YOU to your fullest?  How can you be the best you that you can be every day?

I often times ask myself that very question.  Usually my answer is this, to encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm.  To offer Passionate Encouragement & Prayer to Uplift People (PEP UP) for Joy.  To live a life of loving God and loving those who are in my life.

That is short answer, but daily can be really hard to live out.  Some days I want someone to encourage me, much more than I want to offer any encouragement.  Some days I want to just hide from people.  I want to put a sign on my door and a message on my voicemail that says “All requests will be immediately denied.  Please consider this a NO answer to whatever your inquiry is.  No further response or consideration will be given.  Thank you.  Good bye.”

Those tend to be days where I feel horribly ineffective.  I hop from one task to another, not really wanting to do it and quickly getting distracted by other things.  Here and there I make a half hearted and distracted effort.   Today is kind of one of those days for me.  There are so many things tugging me in so many directions that I just want to drop them all.

But, my word of the year is Perseverance (second year in a row).  So I press on and I take on the most important things on my list.  There are plenty of items right by my side on my desk screaming for me to stop writing.  All tasks that want to be done.  Tasks promising some silly sort of accomplishment if I do them right now.  It can be so hard to focus.

In my Bible I carry a piece of paper that a scratched a few quotes and sayings on that really help me to focus.  I carry them in my Bible because they are like a deep breath before diving into God’s word.  I wanted to share them with you today.

“We’ve been called to a hard world.  If we turn our backs on it, we forfeit our assignments.  Face out, beloved.  Be brave.  Be bold.  Love big.  We won’t be here long.  Take the torch of the gospel to land of souls and shadows.”  Beth Moore.

“Soak and soak and soak continually in the one great truth of which you have had a vision; take it to bed with you, sleep with it, rise up in the morning with it, continually bring your imagination into captivity to it, and slowly and surely as the months and years go by God will make you one of His specialists in that particular truth.”  Oswald Chambers.

These are just quotes, not scriptures, but to me they are personal motivators that turn me towards scripture, like a friend who can point the way.

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed.  Instead, they put it on a stand, so those who come in can see the light.”  Luke 8:16 (NIV)

We should not hide the light that we have received.  We have a torch that God has given us.  We can shine vibrantly.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:23-25

The passage from Hebrews would be, as Oswald Chamber’s put it, my “one great truth of which you have had a vision”.  It’s what I hold to, meditate on and continually am learning from.  In the quote, it talks about months and years gone by, that is so true.  This was no thirty minute revelation for me.  I have been mulling over this verse since at least early 2009, perhaps even before then.

In 2009 I wrote this in a journal:

“At the end of my day, I want to know that I am enough. That I am okay for who I am and on this day that I was true to the gifts that the good Lord gave me.  The Lord is my shepherd and it is His guiding voice I listen for in my life.  I am not always the best about letting go and letting God.  He alone knows all of the potential He built within me.  I long to develop that potential under the good Lord’s guidance.  I yearn to be a disciple in this world as I prepare for the next.”

That seems to be still as true now in 2015 as it was then.  It turns out that I am Julie now, just like I was Julie then.  I was pretty darn amazing then (an absolute work in progress), but amazing nonetheless.  Today, I’m still amazing and still an absolute work in progress with a long way to go.

So what about you?  Where have you come since 2009?  What have you been through?  How have you changed?  What has changed in your life?  What has God brought you through since then to bring you to where you are now?

Now we need to look forward.  What is next?  How can we be the best versions of ourselves?  How can you be you to the fullest?

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29 (NIV).

Keep learning from Jesus, He’s the best teacher around.  The Lord knows you because He created You.  He can give you wisdom, knowledge, understanding and revelation about who you are, and about how much He loves you.

There does not seem to be any better way than to get someone to vibrantly shine their light than to tell them, to show them, to reveal to them how much they are love.

You are loved.  You are cherished.  You are adored.  All because You are You.

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Dear Lord,

Thank You so much for the amazing uniqueness that You blessed each of us with.  Thank You for the unbelievable number of details and the amount of care that You used to bring us each into being who we are.  You are an amazing God and each of us is an incredible testament to that.

Lord, I ask that today You would guide us and lead us in being who we were made to be to the fullest.  Help us not to compare ourselves to others, to struggle in attempt to be something that we are not.  Help our lives to be transformed, beginning in our minds by soaking in Your truths about us and for us.  May we then be able to fully live out the actions that will flow from those thoughts.

Lord, it can seem easier at times to try to fit the mold that others would like us to be put in, but that can lead to such weariness and emptiness at day’s end.  Please help us to be bold and courageous to be who You called us to be, even if it seems hard to begin and especially when it may not make sense to those around us who like a specific mold.

Thank you so much, Lord, for the individual beauty and uniqueness of each of my readers.  I am so grateful to be able to share with them, to learn along side of them and to just being able to be me with them.  They are an incredible blessing.  (That’s right You are a blessing to Me.)   

In the tender name of Jesus, amen. 

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