I am ___________.

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM…. ~ Exodus 3:14

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 292

Miles walked: 777

Miles remaining: 223

Days remaining: 74

I am __________. That’s a good fill-in-the-blank question, right? There is such an emphasis on labeling in our lives. Everyone labels every thing. We label ourselves, our friends, family, enemies, strangers, etc. We label the things we have no business labeling – people.

In a word, what am I? I could give you about 50 words maybe, but in one word… I am-.-.-.-.-.-determined. I guess that would be best since it can cover everything. I know, it’s kind of a cheater word. If I would choose to be “nice, funny, friendly, caring, awesome, happy, giving, compassionate, faithful, sometimes lazy, trustworthy, punctual, sincere, yada yada…” then I would be limiting myself. Since I am determined, then I am determined to be all of those things to the best of my ability. I won’t let one word label me, because I am so much more than that.

When I was a kid, I remember my dad encouraging me to be honest and strong. He showed me how to be those things. They are definitely at the top of my list if someone would ask me to describe him. My mom encouraged me often to be nice and polite to others. Those labels start to describe her as well. I think that I encourage my daughter a LOT. I hope I’m encouraging her in the same things that my parents encouraged me but I feel like I’m encouraging her to be so much more. She is truly amazing and I see so many opportunities for her, so I don’t want to limit what she can do or where she can go by giving her a label.

We’ve talked about Taelor’s friends before and you know I’ll talk about them again, 😉  because we have teenagers come in and out of our house and they have no self-confidence. They don’t think they can do simple things, so they sure don’t think they can change the world or any of the things that I encourage Taelor to shoot for. They’ve been labeled. I’ve heard some of the labels that their parents and friends have given them. My blood is boiling just thinking about it… Dumb, stupid, lazy, fat, ugly, worthless, a mistake, a waste of space.

Yeah. It almost leaves me speechless… almost.

Once you’ve been labeled, you carry it with you. You might carry it for days, years, or maybe forever. You either keep believing it or you have to outgrow the label. You have to prove that you’re not that thing that you have been believing for so long. So, years after being a label, you might be an adult that is still trying to overcome it. I have one that I’m trying to overcome. It’s not even a bad one but it’s one that I can hide behind and blame things on. I am shy. I am. I have been my entire life. I dread talking to new people. I really dread going to big public things. I don’t enjoy it at all. I can keep limiting myself and hiding behind the label or I can kick it.

I don’t want to be shy anymore.

I don’t want to use that excuse anymore. I don’t want that word to define me. I’m lucky that one of my worst labels is “shy” and not something more. But I’ve used it long enough and it’s time to break the label. I’m turning a new chapter in my life and there isn’t room for shy. I don’t want to be an adult that’s hiding behind something that I’ve been labeled since I was a kid. I really was shy. Very, very shy. But, I don’t have to be. I’m going to start with baby steps but I want to kick the label.

What’s your label? Fill in the blank… I am _________. Are you carrying around a label that you’ve been given or have lived with all of your life? Are you ready to kick it? Have you labeled someone else? Do you need to take back some labels that you’ve given to someone else so they can move on to something more?

Seeing kids that are growing up with so many labels, I want to be very careful with what I might unintentionally label my daughter. I don’t like to talk when I’m upset because I don’t want to say something that I don’t mean. Of course, I am human and I have said some things when we have had our mother/daughter disagreements. Things that should never have been said. I hope that I’ve remembered to apologize for all of those things because I would hate to be the reason that my daughter thinks she can’t do something, or can’t be something.

Taelor is absolutely 100% amazing.. she shows me this more and more every day! I am so privileged to be her mom and to get to see what she is capable of and where she’s going. I can’t think of anything that she couldn’t do. Some things may be better life choices than others but she has the potential to change the world – one person at a time. A couple years ago, she told me that she was going to do just that.

If I had to give her any labels, I would make her determined too. That’s what I would want her to be, so she can be determined to be the best that she can be at everything!

The verse up top, Exodus 3:14 – Wikipedia says that it literally translates as “I Will Be What I Will Be”.

I like that. I will be what I will be.

I think I might pick a new label.. I will be a limitless possibility! What will you encourage others to be… what will you be?

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