Finding the real you in all of the tangled mess

She hated the way that she looked and she assumed that everyone else thought she was ugly too. Hair that covered her face, clothes that were baggy to hide what she really looked like, the hat that covered her head. She wasn't a whole lot different that the other girl. That one wore heavy makeup and clothes that fit a little too snug here and a little too little there. Surely, this would make them think she was beautiful.

Another Saturday morning, another headache. He didn't like the taste and hated how it made him feel, but he had convinced himself long ago that if he didn't join in, then he would have no friends. His boys had called the party epic. This morning, he felt tragic. He cried softly to himself as he dreamed of the man he really wanted to be.

She felt dirty and cheap. Again. She loved him, at least that's we she had convinced herself. But here she was again, despising herself for what she was becoming. She didn't know if she could live without him, yet at the same time she could no longer live with herself, at least not this way. Her parents had raised her to believe that love, if it was true, waited for marriage. With him she thought she knew what love was truly about, but was it always going to feel this way?

The language spewing from his mouth would get him grounded at home, but the rules were different when he was with the guys. While it was a little weird at first, he found it easier as time went on - almost natural - to roll the poison of his tongue. Whether he was mocking the smart, nonathletic kids or talking inappropriately to the girls, the more the guys egged him on the more his words dissected. His old friends avoided him and everyday he sat alone in his room feeling empty, convinced he had already gone too far to turn back.

There is perhaps nothing more tragic in this world than one who lives a life that is not really his or her own. You've seen it hundreds of times. In fact, it might just be your story. No one wants to be considered weird or uncool, so on goes the mask and costume of another persona that we feel will gain us the acceptance that we want. Sometimes that can bring success and popularity, but it will always lead to emptiness and regret.

Who are you? Have you let others form so much of who you are that you don't even know the answer to that question? My story is so similar to the ones above and I am not alone. When I look back over my younger years, I so wish I could go back and change some of the decisions that I made.

But then came my rescue and that changed everything.

When I realized that my life was empty, that is was being defined by people and possessions that added no value to who I am as a person, I was face-to-face with just how shallow and hollow my life had become. I knew I couldn't change on my own. I needed help.
Jesus gave His life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. (Galatians 1:4 NLT)
 God knows just how bad things can be. He sees our emptiness and our fruitless striving to make ourselves great and He knows that those things will totally wreck us. From the very beginning, when man chose sin over God, God Himself set a plan of rescue in motion. He sent Jesus - who Himself never sinned - to exchange His life for ours, His perfection for our sinfulness, in order to rescue us from this world - indeed from ourselves. In that beautiful sacrifice we find forgiveness, purpose, hope.

You will only discover who you truly are when in Christ you find who you were created to be.

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