I recently made a trip to Palm Beach Florida. I used to live there, and it remains one of my favorite places to be because it is like heaven on earth. I had to go without my husband and kids on this trip, though I wanted them with me so desperately that I took videos constantly and sent them in an effort to connect them with me, where I was. The entire time, I was longing for them to be with me, and vowing to bring them with me next time.
I thought the reason I went back to Florida was to re-connect with some old friends who are starting a business I decided to be a part of. This is the main reason, to be sure. But a whole HOST of other things happened that I didn’t anticipate or know I needed.
First of all, the business is a clothing line centered entirely around empowering a woman to find her identity. Not as an entrepreneur or fashion model or shopper. Not as a wife, mom, daughter or sister. Simply her. To be her. One of the ways this company has chosen to implement their mission is by designing “I am “ statements that will be on each piece of inventory. Each time an article is worn, the person wearing it is reminded of who they are, and what they are choosing to believe about themself.
How do we do that? How do we say to ourselves, “I am enough,” and yet function, activate, and ultimately do what we’re passionate about without restlessly toiling?
If selling clothing brings success by the standards of this planet, fantastic. If it doesn’t, I’M STILL ENOUGH. I am loved simply because I exist. So are you.
I am brave, but not because I do things that scare me.
I am happy, but not because I get what I want.
I am free, but not because I won’t commit.
I am fierce, but not because of hatred.
I am kind, but not only to receive kindness in return.
I am responsible, but not because I am afraid of discipline.
I am smart, but not just because I study
I am strong, but not because I work out like a beast.
I am good, but not because I avoid bad.
I am determined, but not because I can’t fail. Even though I truly can’t.
I am powerful but not because I hold a position of authority.
I am wealthy, but not because of money
I am beautiful, but not because I had braces and use mascara daily.
I am all of these things because I am His. He has made me and I am His. Because I believe that, I know that whatever he is, IS available to me. If I’m made in His image, then I reflect Him. What’s in him is in me. His nature is part of me. That’s my identity. I have his DNA.
We can say I am…because He said it first. He uttered the original “ I Am” statement. He said it so that we would know Him. And then he followed it with showing himself to us. He showed us love that there is no match for. There is no greater love than laying your life down. He laid it all. the. way. down. He chose to. He intended to the whole time. He didn’t do it because he was weak, or scared, or afraid. It’s impossible for him to be any of those things. He did it for love. He did it all for love. He is love. He did it so he could be with us. He doesn’t want to live without us. We’re that important to Him.
And that’s how he taught me that connection and “being with” is the most important thing there is. He didn’t want to be in heaven without us any more than I wanted to be in Palm Beach without my family. He even provides a way to turn friends into family through him. His family. And when family is not there, and friends have all gone home, he is still there.
I am…never alone. Even when I’m by myself.
He did everything to be with me. There was no price he didn’t pay. He did more than send me snapshots of what it is like where he is. He is taking me there. And he did everything in His power to make that happen. He is powerful. His most prominent display of that power is not in the creation of the heavens and the earth, or even undiscovered galaxies. His greatest display of power was being strong enough to allow his own creation to murder him. Willingly. He is the only one who will ever do that. Because of that he is worthy to receive all riches and power and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. He is.