• abbyarend

learning to soar. part three.

I am excited to write this. I am literally smiling as I am typing because Authenticity is such a beautiful thing and it deserves to be spoken about AND lived out.

So I have a story for you all. Get ready for a laugh.

When I was in kindergarten, my cousin and I would meet up at the water fountains by our class. Why? No idea. Seriously no idea. But one day I got to the water fountain to meet my cousin. I was wearing a pink polo shirt and yellow sweatpants. My cousin asked me what every normal human would ask,

“Abby what are you wearing”

and my answer

“my mom just told me to be myself”

To be yourself, what a concept.

My six year old self was wearing the strangest combination of clothing one could think of. But I liked it, so I wore it. I felt confident in it, so I wore it confidently. All that mattered was that it made me feel like Abby, it made me feel like me.

Authenticity is defined as true to one's own personality, spirit, or character.

Something so simple for a yellow sweatpants and pink polo shirt wearin six year old. But not so easy for this nineteen year old college girl.

As I shared in Learning to soar part one, when I first got to Ohio, I kept a lot of my faith to myself because I was afraid of what others would think about me. I wasn’t fully true to my own spirit or character, out of fear of what the world would think. I wasn’t wearing my yellow sweatpants and pink polo shirt anymore. I was wearing what everyone else was wearing. I was blending in rather than standing out.

As you might be able to tell, I never really struggled with being myself. Then I went to college. And a lot changes when you go to college. You meet knew people, live in a new place. For me, I was playing college volleyball while also balancing academics at a school thousands of miles away from anything I had ever known. And I wanted to fit in, honestly who wouldn’t ya know?

But I wasn’t created to fit in, and you weren’t either.

My sweet, unique and original friend,

God made you.

He created YOU.

He took a mold,

formed your heart and soul,

and then got rid of that mold.

Because no one else could fit in it.

He knit you together in your mother’s womb.

He created you fearfully and wonderfully.

There is not one ounce of you that isn’t created with the greatest type of Love.

You were created by Love himself.

And He created you, to be you.

What I have learned over the past however many years is that authenticity takes vulnerability.

It takes saying “hey this is ME, this is who God created me to be.”

It takes courage.

It takes a heart that is guarded,

a soul that is rooted,

and a mind that is set on things Above.

It takes confidence in God, in His promise, and in His Love.

And sometimes it takes wearing yellow sweatpants and a pink polo shirt.

xoxo, abby

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