I grew up Catholic and had only known religious rituals and never how to have in a personal relationship with God or how to be part of a church. When I first became a born-again Christian I had never been to a church that wasn’t Catholic.
When I decided to join a church I was a passionate worshipper with lots of zeal for the things of the Lord but God knew exactly where I needed to be. He planted me in a church that was just as passionate as I was, where my pastors allowed me to grow into a more mature version of myself without asking me not to be my authentic self. Yet they taught me how to walk in order and live a disciplined Christian life.
After a few years at my church, as I was called into ministry and started to take on more of a role in the church I started to dress like the other women who were in ministry in my church. They wore skirt suits with blazers and pointed-toe heels. This was back in the early 2000’s
I felt a bit uncomfortable because I’m more of a Bohemian kind of girl, but I figured if this is how I’m supposed to look if I’m in ministry than so be it. I also noticed how they carried themselves in worship, praise and pray – very calm compared to my very demonstrative ways. So I tried to bring it down (to no avail).
One during a 21-day consecration, I came home on my lunch break to spend time in prayer, and I will never forget what the Lord spoke to me that day. He said with a still small voice with my spiritual ear,
I desire an authentic relationship with you. Do not come into my presence with pretense. I want to know you and I want you to know me. You don’t have to be like anybody else. You cannot know me unless you come to me authentically. Do not try to change who you are. I knew who you were when I called you. Other women need to see you be an authentic version of yourself. (Read Psalm 139)
Those words changed my life and my perspective. When I realized I did not have to fit into a certain mold, and that in fact, God did not want me to, I was able to focus on my relationship with Him and growing into the woman He called me to be.
There is abundant grace for you to explore who be who God called you to be and walk in your authentic identity and calling.
This was not a rebellion against order and authority. The Bible teaches us to imitate what we see in other people as they walk out their faith and follow Christ successfully (see1 Corinthians 11:1, Hebrews 6:12). But this doesn’t mean we are to be copycats or try to replicate other women’s personal styles and their personalities.
I gave away most of my suits, though eventually, I grew in my style choices as I grew in ministry, I’m still very Bohemian. I also stopped trying to be like other women. However, I continued learned, and still do, from godly women, and I try to model the good I see in them.
You were called to be you!
Whether or not you’re in ministry, whatever you do, whatever your life, it’s better to spend a lifetime learning how to walk in your authentic identity in Christ than to try to be like somebody else. God called you to be a representation and reflection of Him as yourself, not somebody else. Not only will you free yourself but you will help other women walk in freedom when you learn to love yourself and walk in your authentic identity.