He made you you—on purpose. You are the only you—ever. Becoming ourselves means we are actively cooperating with God’s intention for our lives, not fighting him or ourselves. God accepts us right at this moment, and he wants us to accept ourselves as well. He looks at us with pleasure and with mercy, and he wants us to look at ourselves with pleasure and mercy too! Accepting who we are includes accepting and being thankful for our imperfect bodies, but it isn’t limited to that. We can accept other truths about ourselves. Our personality is our own. Our story is our own. Our taste is our own. The way we have chosen to self-protect is ours. We have a style of relating, a kind of sin we easily fall prey to, and a favorite way to spend a free afternoon. We already are ourselves. Unique. (Cookie cutters only work well for cookies.)

God not only accepts us, he embraces us. Embracing ourselves is a stretch for most of us, but consider: Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. How can we love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not love ourselves? How can we become joyful women if we are unable to see the humor in our own folly? We do become even more ourselves as we repent of areas in our lives that have nothing to do with faith or love, but God does not live in a perpetual state of disappointment over who we are. Berating ourselves for our flaws and our weakness only serves to undermine our strength to become. 

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