"She's just so comfortable in her own skin."
No, those words were certainly not spoken about me. It was from a commentary I listened to on TV, a comment made by a writer on one of the characters.
"I think that girl just knows who she is," my husband said as we talked about what that phrase means. "She wears her identity well and is unashamed."
Yeah that makes sense, but it's still foreign to me.
Maybe it's because I've never known the feeling of being totally at ease in my own body or mind.
Maybe it's because God has spent the past year deconstructing the girl I thought I was supposed to be.
I'm starting to realize that maybe I've spent my whole life just wearing my skin the wrong way.
I suppose I thought that being comfortable in my own skin looked like a more outgoing personality. Being extraverted, put together, and a little more decisive.
But the thing is, I'm a deep thinker, pretty messy, and prone to introspection.
Instead of giving myself grace, I've grown up cutting down the things I believed to be faults about my own soul. I was left like a stump of a tree, as I continued to whittle away at this girl named Jeana.
I wish I could say I'd spent the past year growing tall and strong in spirit and confidence. But really, I've spent all this time laying down the insecurity about who God made me to be.
I've spent the past year learning to be myself in the presence of Christ.
This sweet healing came from having a friend named Jesus simply come and sit beside me. As I've sat in the presence of my Savior, I've found there's only one expectation I need to clothe my skin in: to know that I am loved by God.
It's taking a long time —or at least, longer than I'd hoped — to let the roots of my identity in Christ run deep.
To look at this girl I call myself and say to her,
"You are enough for Him, so you are enough for me, too."
Messy, slow, and everything in between.
After all, it takes a lot of slow to grow. And I'm learning to be okay with that process, too.
So, I don't know if you can relate to being unsure about your own skin. To shaping and reshaping yourself, even though the Maker who says we're formed from the clay has already called you fearfully and wonderfully made.
But I do know this: we have a Father who is not trying to shape you or me into a "somebody."
When we don't feel comfortable in our own skin, it's not that something on the outside needs to change.
It's the heart wearing the skin that needs time and space to grow into the identity it already owns.
For me, that healing came from a year of rest and waiting —no work, no art, and more rest than I ever believed I could need.
If our hearts are like seeds, sometimes they must be planted in the dark by the hand of Jesus. We wait, we let him water the ground we sit in, and we wait some more. And when the time is right, the shell breaks, the roots sprout, and we finally break the ground, growing upwards into the somebody that God intended for you and me to be.
But it's a process.
A slow one.
But friends, the end is worth it.
Because when God is the one crafting our lives, we know that we can trust the work of His hand to produce exceedingly more in and through us. Not only for our own lives, but the the Kingdom of God as well.
So if you find yourself in the middle of the waiting, a time that feels like you're buried in obscurity, or you are simply unsure of the next step, let us remember His promises to us:
"Then I will sprinkle water on you and make you pure...I will also put a new spirit in you to change your way of thinking. I will take out the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender, human heart.
"Then I will command the grain to grow —I will not bring a famine against you."
Ezekiel 36:24-26, 29 ERV
Let us remember the skin we grow into is clothed in this identity: you are a daughter to a very good Father —a father that you can trust to always heal and always provide.