You Don’t Own Me! #UsFatGirls
All of us carry labels: son, daughter, mom, firefighter, teacher, dog-lover.
There are even entire groups now that we can relate to and identify with due to these labels.
Who and what is labeling you?
It was in the 5th grade that I remember receiving my first label. I had a crush. If you recall, 5th grade is when girls hit that “awkward’ stage. And to top off the already hard transition, I decided to let my short hair grow out, which is a messy process. I was was a very smart student. So during any group projects others would pair with me for good grades. On my “label” receiving day, we were pairing up and I had given enough hints and gossip so my crush had gotten word. He wanted it to be very clear he was not interested. So he called me a name. My first label that I took to heart. With my loose teeth and shaggy hair – he called me SHEEPDOG. But what I took from those words were a different label that stuck to me for a long time. The label I put on my heart from his words was UGLY.
Part of why I was so intent on getting this boy’s attention was due to the hard circumstances at my home. I had absent parents. My dad’s work and my mom’s issues made them unavailable to me. Everything in their lives got priority over me. Their absence gave me another label that stuck to my heart = Not Valuable. In my heart, if I was valuable enough and important enough maybe I could have their time, focus, and attention.
So I became the most obsessive overachiever. I worked myself to death to earn high ranking positions, be the best at everything, got rained on with trophies, titles, certificates, and awards. Except it didn’t work. The ones I most sought were unwilling or unable to provide what I needed. It was devastating.
Even after becoming the best of the best in many areas and being recognized by others, I felt unimportant to the actual ones I needed to hear from. This left another label that stuck to my heart. UNWANTED.
But life-change happened for me. I’m so thankful those labels didn’t stay stuck!
Who has the ability to label anything?
Only the Manufacturer/Maker, Owner, or whoever bought something has the ability to label something.
The Maker didn’t give me the labels of Sheepdog, Unwanted, and Not-Valuable. Life and hurts gave those to me. Only the one who Made me has the ability to put a label on me!
I have turned my life over to God. He’s my boss now, gladly. He owns me. When I was in charge, I was a mess. He owns me, and He is safe, trustworthy, and loving. As an owner, only HE gets to label me now.
I could bring my label maker over to your home and start labeling drawers: spoons, socks, medicine cabinet. And even if it’s true, it’s not appropriate. It would be weird. If you bought something – it’s yours, you can do whatever you want and call it whatever you want. You can even take that thing and make into something else. You bought it, you get to say what it’s purpose it.
Jesus bought my life for the price of his own. He bought me with the pain of his own blood. His sacrifice for me gives me a new label: WORTH DYING FOR!
Because God made me, owns me, and bought me, the Bible says: I’m wonderful (psalm 139:14), I have beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7), I am more valuable than rubies (prove 31:10), I’m as valuable as a king’s crown (Proverbs 12:4), I have a purpose (2 Cor 5:14-19), child of the King of Kings (princess), friend of God, Wanted, Sought After, and many more.
Only your creator has the ability to label you and me.
What a transformation to see myself through the eyes of the Creator who loves me?
Sheepdog/Ugly = Beautiful Unvaluable/Unwanted = Worth Dying For
What labels have hit your heart and stuck there? Were they put there by the one who made you?
Now it’s story time – yes, I know you are not 4 years old, but please watch this short story, about labels. I pray it encourages you and starts the process of removing the labels that have hit your heart too!
You Are Special Story by Max Lucado (video presentation of the story)
(Adapted and personalized from a talk by Andy Stanley called “Label-maker” and shared publicly by Jenny at WHC October 2013).