Are you unhappy in your current relationship? Did you just get out of a relationship that you knew was bad for you, yet you find yourself wanting to go back? Have you been single for a while but just can’t seem to shake that one boy from your mind? Stop. Take a deep breath. Hear me out as I lovingly write that you, sweet girl, are looking for happiness in the wrong place. Pure joy, contentment, and peace will never be found in him – the current him, the past him, nor the future him. Pure joy, contentment, peace, and fulfillment can only be found in Him – The Creator of the universe. I am in the process of finding my identity in God instead of man, and wanted to share with you a few truths that He has been teaching me.

1. You are loved.

Let that simple truth sink in before you read any further. Not only are you loved by so many people that you encounter every day, but you are also loved by the Creator of the universe. God sent His son to die a painful, humiliatingdeath for your salvation. Wow. “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” -Ephesians 4:18-19. You are loved so much, sweet girl, and nothing you have done, are doing, or will do in the future can ever change that.

2. You are beautiful on the outside, but that honestly doesn’t matter.

If at any point you have ever felt as if you don’t measure up physically to other girls, I want you to stop reading this, look in a mirror (yes front-facing cameras count) and tell yourself “I am beautifully and perfectly made in the image of Christ – my Lord and my Savior.” I’m serious. Do it. You were uniquely and perfectly made. God doesn’t compare you to anyone else on this planet, so why should you? Our bodies are a vessel and I do believe that we are called to take care of that vessel, but sometimes we get so caught up in how our vessel looks that we forget about what our vessel was made to hold – the Holy Spirit. “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” -1 Peter 3:3-4. Focus on your inner beauty. Focus on God. Your looks will fade (they won’t even last your earthly lifetime), but the spirit you carry inside your vessel will last forever.

3. It’s time to stop blaming him, and start taking responsibility.

There may be a piece of you that dislikes the boy you are with or were with for making you feel the way you do right now. You may envy the way that he can be so confident in a way that you never could. You may wonder why he can never make you completely happy or make you feel totally content. Understand that these feelings are not coming from him, but that they are coming fromyou. Let me clarify – In no way am I saying that a boy treating you badly is ever okay. It’s not. What I am saying, though, is that you putting your identity in a boy instead of the Lord is not the boy’s fault at all. It’s yours. It’s time to do some soul-searching and take ownership for placing your identity in the wrong place. I promise that once you stop blaming him for taking you away from Christ – once you start owning your own mistake – your walk with God will flourish.

4. It may be time to let go.

I did not write that sentence lightheartedly. If you are in a relationship right now and you can feel it pulling you away from God, then it may be time to let it go. That, however, is between you and The Lord. You serve a jealous God who doesn’t want to compete with anything (or anyone) else for the throne of your heart. If you are out of a relationship, but can’t seem to stop thinking about the past or the “what ifs,” then maybe it is time to truly let it all go to God. Dip into your past long enough to evaluate where you have been and learn from your mistakes, then move forward on the path that God has chosen for you. It’s difficult to run in a straight line if you keep looking back.  “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” -Matthew 16:24-25

5. You were made to find your identity in God.

You were created to find your identity in something. That boy, though, no matter how great or godly he is, will never be able to satisfy that longing you feel in your soul for something more. There is a perfect hole in your heart that was made to be filled by the one perfect God. When we try to fill this perfect hole with imperfect people, we end up feeling empty. No person could ever fill that hole in our hearts completely. God can, though, and He does – all you have to do is seek His face. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8.

6. Soul-searching is a beautiful thing.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” -Philippians 1:6. God is not finished with you yet. I pray that He would show you that your worth does not come from any human being or worldly thing. Your worth comes from The Lord. Take some time to pray and think about who you are and who you want to be. Think about where you have been and what you want to change. Make a plan that will help you to stay on track with God. Clean out any part of your life that hinders your relationship with The Lord, and embrace your identity in Him fully and confidently. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” -Hebrews 12: 1-2

7. It really is all about the journey.

Finding your identity in Christ is a process. Seasons of growth and change can be painful.  Learning to be content in the midst of this season is so important to your faith and well-being. Paul gives us beautiful advice in his letter to the Philippians about being content in the midst of hardship. “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:10-14. Through Christ who gives me strength. Not man, not the world, not myself, but Christ.

You are not defined by the name that flashes across your phone screen. You are not defined by the feelings of inadequacy that flood your heart whenever he crosses your mind. You are not defined by the number of guys interested in you. You are not defined by the comments he makes about your appearance and personality. No human being can define who you are, so don’t let them. You are beautiful. You are unique. You are loved. It’s time to stop finding your identity in an imperfect man, and begin the journey of putting your identity in your perfect God. After all, only The Creator has the right to define what He has created.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” -Psalm 139:23-24

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