You’re only 11 years old and yet I am beginning to see the bruises left by society’s labels for girls; from comparing yourself to others and deciding you don’t measure up, you aren’t as good.
And it breaks my heart.
But I am resolved that it doesn’t have to continue, that together we can demolish the world’s benchmark and bust out of that box you are trying to put yourself in. We can drown out the voices of others so you can hear just one voice, the only One that matters. Because I have my own scars from years, and years of wearing other people’s labels and trying to fit in their boxes, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let that happen to you.
So here’s the thing I most want to tell you, my precious, sweet girl:
You are strong.
You are brave.
You are loving.
You are funny.
You are fast.
You are clever.
You are a leader.
You are (fill in the blank with whatever you want to be).
Because YOU get to decide who you want to be, no one else. No one else has the authority to place labels on you.
You are made in God’s image and that makes you precious, and valuable, and free. It makes you a conqueror.
He created you to do great and marvelous things in order to honor Him. He wants you to show the world just how wonderful you are because it is a testimony of His great power and love that He created someone as spectacular as you.
God does not set height and weight requirements for being His beloved daughter.
He does not require straight A’s or straight hair to win His approval.
He will never suggest you quit because you are not the fastest, the prettiest, the most graceful, the smartest, the tallest, the funniest, the most popular.
In fact, He has already put you on the team. You’ve made the cut. He’s called you according to His purpose; His plans. And He wants you, desires you, to come and be a part of His team.
Just. As. You. Are.
So, little one. Here’s what I want you to do for me. I want you to repeat after me:
“I am wonderful.” (Psalm 139:14)
“I am precious.” (Isaiah 43:4)
“I am strong.” (Proverbs 31:25)
“I am not afraid.” (Joshua 1:9)
“I am never alone.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
“I can conquer anything.” (Romans 8:37)
Then I want you to go find your Bible and highlight those six verses listed above and read them regularly. Remembering that the only labels you should believe are the ones found in that book. The only voice you should listen to is His voice.
(And maybe, sometimes, your mama’s voice, too. Because she knows a thing or two.)
And then, once you’ve read those verses over, and over, and over, then you kick that box you’ve been trying to fit into out the door. Put it in the trash pile, and don’t ever take it back. Because the only label I ever want you to wear is this one:
I am His.
This story originally appeared on Neither Height Nor Depth