The first thing my daughter said after school yesterday was this: “I love my outfit.”
It was a cute top, pants, and booties that she and I had thoughtfully selected earlier in the school year, when parents and kids shop for back-to-school in the heat of summer, buying up jeans and long-sleeved shirts for winter weather, only to have those articles of clothing languish in drawers until the cool air of fall blows in. Amused by her simple, spontaneous profession, I asked her if she got a lot of compliments on it. I was hoping she had, because the girl hasn’t recently met a pair of pull-on knit shorts or a school T-shirt she didn’t like. She of the daily princess dresses and tiaras of yesteryear has transformed into a Converse-wearing, straight-hair sporting, hoodie-attired tween whose only rule of fashion is that clothing must be comfortable. I hoped a compliment would make her feel like putting a bit more thought into looking presentable for school.
Her response: “No. I just complimented myself.”
Her confidence floors me sometimes. I was proud and yet envied her of it.
Confidence is not my strongest characteristic. I don’t know why or how; I come from pretty confident stock. My parents are small business owners, boot-strap people who believe in working your tail off and that nothing is impossible. They love life and try everything, have traveled extensively and don’t worry about much.
I rode through life on their tails, and grew up into a person afraid of my own shadow, selling myself short in every situation, fearing that if left to my own devices I would ruin everything and combust, bringing those close to me down with them.
I’m still not sure what happened there.
As an adult I have accepted that I struggle with confidence and work hard to build it up. On a bad day I can’t do anything right. On a good day I can do a few things right. I want to have more good days.
The love of family and friends helps. So does age –angst at 40 causes bad health and wrinkles, and no one needs that noise. But the biggest confidence booster of all? Knowing God and what he does for me, for all of us.
It took me a long time to get there. Some days I forget and go back to my old ways: I mope around, feeling unworthy, helpless. But then I remember.
Be confident in God. He is the creator and sustainer of this world and each one of us. His word is truth, and his promise is forever.
Be confident in what God can do in your life. You can’t do it all on your own, but God can. He can help you do all that you’re meant to do. First you have to trust that he will help you, and give your will over to him.
If you stay in relationship with God and keep his word in your heart and in your mind, you will come to seek his will in time. Your transformation will be sure, and he will grant you anything you ask, and you will do amazing things for God’s kingdom, which brings glory to God.
If there’s one thing that I’m confident in, it’s that God is with me, and that he wants the best for me. It may be only to admit to myself that I love my outfit today. My daughter has that confidence today. I pray that she, along with me, will grow in relationship with God and that our confidence in him will build, and that we will do amazing things for God’s kingdom.
And I pray that for you, too.
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:7-8 (NLT)