Several years ago I signed on to volunteer with Mothers of Preschoolers aka MOPS. I first signed on as a childcare worker and lover, and then moved up the ranks to mentor mom, one who has “been there, done that.”
In our training, a word I knew but never connected with the who that I am jumped to the forefront of my awareness. That word is “authenticity.” As authenticity relates to the world around me, it means real, honest, truthful, the real thing, nothing hidden. And you probably can think of others.
But I learned a new authenticity in my MOPS training. Although it involved all the above, it specifically meant I had to be the one showing and sharing all those qualities, not some product advertised on TV or sitting on store shelves or hanging on a rack.
As the verse above from Isaiah mentions, God was doing a new thing in me. He was making me accountable for who I am, not only to the persons I was interacting with but with family, friends, and myself.
Talking to a young mother I learned to speak openly about the difficulties of parenting a new infant, sharing the trials I experienced with colic, sleepless nights, a husband who didn’t help, the laundry, trying to balance housecleaning chores, cooking, and baby. I could not sugarcoat the realities of what I had experienced.
This young mother needed to know I knew what it was like to be in her shoes, in her skin, in her days. In order to do that I needed to share who I was when I was a young mom.
What was even harder was sharing about when my first marriage faltered, and the father of my child and I separated. This was something I didn’t willingly share with everyone. However, God placed a young mother struggling with separation and a young child in her arms for whom she had become solely responsible. It was my big test!
I thought long and hard about telling her the truth of my story, but God nudged and I knew she needed to know I truly understood because yes, I had been there. “Be real, authentic” God kept nudging. And I did.
We all need to bravely be ourselves, be authentic always with those around us.
We need to give up conforming to this world, attempting to fit in, or speaking so others believe we agree when we don’t. It means we need to be real, really who we are, really His.
What God wants from us is authenticity — the act of being who He created us to be.
Can you be that for Him, for yourself, for others? Think about your life and if you have a story to share about your authenticity, won’t you share it with us below?
Linking up on Monday with:
Kelli Woodford at Unforced Rhythms
and on Wednesday with: