Why I Am Okay With Not Being a Normal Girl

I am not normal. There. I said it.

It’s taken me a long time to reach this conclusion, but at this point in my life, I’m pretty comfortable with saying it.

As a teenager, I made a dangerous prayer. You know. The kind that impacts your life in unprecedented ways and then, one day, after something crazy happens to you God reminds you of that prayer.

Yup. That’s me.

I prayed that God would use me. I asked Him to give me a life that was not normal.

I started my journey with God at a very young age. I was only 14 years old. I made some drastic decisions in choosing to say “Yes!” to Jesus and I haven’t looked back since. From that point on, I felt called to live a life that clearly displayed my convictions.

I don’t regret following Jesus, but in this day and age, it can be really difficult to hold fast to what you believe in.

This is what the Bible tells us about this world:

“If you lived on the worldโ€™s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on Godโ€™s terms and no longer on the worldโ€™s terms, the world is going to hate you.”

John 15:19 (The Message Version)

Ouch! Enough said.

God has chosen us out of this world to be completely different from it.

We are not of this world. We are not meant to blend in with other girls. We are not meant to conform to society’s view of how a woman should dress, speak, and behave. As women of God, we are meant to stand out!

For years now, I have seen God answer that prayer I made to Him when I was just a teenager. My life has taken some crazy turns but I’ve seen God do some amazing things.

In choosing to not be normal I’ve had to go against the current of misguided opinions, contrary believes and even against the labels that others have tried to put on me.

It can be hard to live with so much conviction in your heart, but the marks that we are able to leave on those around us makes it all worth it!

While it may be tempting to want to change ourselves in order to please people, in doing so we miss the opportunity to glorify God by not displaying the treasures that He placed inside of us.

When we are called by God to carry out His purposes on this earth, we have to be willing to be set apart.

My life may not look like a regular 23 year old’s life, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is such an incredible adventure to go where God leads me to!




Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering๐Ÿ˜‰) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

Always praying for you,

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If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘‡

Between Two Mountains, There is Always a Valley

“Alright, here is the plan God,” I found myself writing in my journal with determination. “By the age of 21, I want to be offered a full time position at my local church working with youth. At age 23, I will meet the man who will become my husband.ย  We will share identical callings and passions. After dating for about two years, we will get married by the time I am 25. With the perfect man at my side, I will travel to different parts of the world preaching the Gospel fearlessly. I will be happy, successful and most importantly all my dreams will have come true.”

I closed my journal, gave myself a short pat on the back and smiled naively at the plans that I had traced out for the next seven years of my life. I had convinced myself that God’s sole purpose was to bring about my happiness. Needless to say, the things that I had founded my happiness on were highly superficial.

For years, I believed that as long as I lived a good, quiet Christian life within the four walls of the church, God would take care of all my troubles. I believed with all my heart that hard times were a sign of God’s disapproval of me or that Satan somehow had gained a foothold in my life.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The last two years of my life have been a whirlwind of broken promises, lost hope, disappointment, confusion, transition..and yes…heartbreak. I have sat countless times at the edge of my untidy bed wondering, “Is God really good?” I have drowned my pain is tears, begging God to take away the frustration and anger. Yet, I still remained in the valley.

Through all that I have been going through in my personal life, education, career and ministry, I could still hear the voice of God say, “Between two mountains, there is always a valley.” This simple phrase has kept me standing when the winds have threatened to sweep me off my feet. I even wove this whispered truth into the lyrics of a song I wrote as an anthem of hope for my life.

I have realized through the processing of my character that though I make plans for my life, God’s purposes are still going to come to pass just as he desires. Regardless of what I want.

My favorite verse reads:

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
ย ย ย ย butย it is the purpose of theย Lordย that will stand.”

Proverbs 19: 21 ESV

around the bend

Sometimes we’ll find ourselves in seasons wondering about what’s waiting just around the corner.

It’s hard to think that anything good can come from our pain and sorrow. Even our disappointment.

Throughout the last year or so, I’ve had to make some tough decisions. At times, I never felt so unsure about my future. Why would God place dreams in my heart just to snatch them away from me when I was so close to reaching them? Isn’t this what HE wanted?

Though at times I’ve felt lost and insecure, I have learned to yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit; the very breath of God on my hear as He whispers truth back into my agonized heart.

I’ve realized that God’s plans always come to pass just as He declared it, but the process doesn’t always look the way we thought it would.

Regardless of whichever part of the wilderness you find yourself in, remember that God is tracing out a path for you even when you are so low you can’t see the end of your trouble.

As I stand on this new mountaintop, I am thankful for the valleys I crossed.

God will once again take you up the mountain but the valley is preparing youย  for the climb.

Rejoice, sisters! Victory is in sight!


 

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering๐Ÿ˜‰) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

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If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘‡

 

The Battle In My Own Mind

Ahhhhh, the mind…

Have you had an interaction with someone, and walked away thinking…

Did they like me? Did I say something wrong? Why did they give me that look? Was there something in my teeth? Maybe I did say something wrong? Why don’t they like me? Oh well, fine. I don’t like them either.

And the person whom you were talking with has walked away thinking none of these things. They might not even remember much of what you spoke about.

Our minds are always playing tricks on us. It’s always telling us that we’re not good enough, pretty enough, loved enough. But I’m here to tell you something different.

What if I told you that there is truth out there that is objective, final and life transforming? What if there is a place that you could always take your mind to and find healing? Wholeness? Freedom?

There is a God whose truth exists to set us free from the thought patterns that run rampant through our mind. When we continually fill our minds with lies, those lies begin to breed weeds into the delicate corners of our hearts. As we take in more and more of the same soul-damaging lies that we are offered, we will never know true freedom.

You don’t have to settle for a life in which you believe that you are ugly, incompetent, unwanted and unloved. All of these are lies!

bible and flowers

There is darkness that wages war for the right to our souls. How do we stay on the right side of this war:ย  winning victories everyday in our minds. Our thoughts do not have to be aligned to the words of the prince of this world.

Here is how I’ve learned to take every thought captive to Christ in my ownย life.

1) I read the Bible…a lot.

I believe that the Bible contains truth about who I am and what I’m meant to do in this world. God wrote Himself into a book that I may discover his attributes and fall in love with him through its pages.

2) I intentionally fight against thoughts that do not align with the Bible (God’s infallible word).

If a thought pops into my head that I know is in conflict with what God has already shown me about Himself and his nature through the Bible, I make an effort to battle the thought with words of truth. Sometimes I am even so bold as to speak those words of truth out loud.

3)ย I pray and declare the truth of God over my life.

By memorizing scripture and breaking it down, I allow my heart to soak up truth like a sponge. When I am squeezed, only truth comes out of my mouth.

Fighting battles in the mind can be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like dark forces are opposing you and you are powerless to stop them. But, dear sisters, nothing could be farther from the truth. You have a God who has given you a sword to wage war against the enemy of your soul. Wield it.

You are going to be just fine!



 

Carla and paola flowers

Hello there!

Our names are Paola and Carla. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.

Although we are young (23 years old if you’re wondering๐Ÿ˜‰) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.

Thanks for reading, sis!

 

Always praying for you,

Signature

 

 

If you need prayer or this article blessed your life in any way, please let us know below! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘‡

 

Overcoming Anxiety and Fear

Battling anxiety and fear are such private struggles, wouldn’t you agree?

I mean, when was the last time you sat down with a friend and blurted out every irrational, silly, ridiculous fear that has grabbed at your heart for years. When did you ever express how your fears keep you from seeking out that dream job, or working in ministry, or entering into relationships. Have you confronted yourself concerning the toll fear and anxiety has had in your life?

Probably, not ever.

We try to hide our struggles with anxiety and fear probably because we are ashamed to admit how we feel. We have been raised within a culture that instructs us to hide any signs of weakness. Yet, God can’t free or heal us of anything we are not willing to expose or confess (James 5:16). There is grace to conquer our battles, and ultimately, Jesus has already won the war.

Can I be honest? Personally, in this season of my life, God has pushed me to conquer my fears like never before. I know I’m not the only one who’s grown tired of being told what to do by fear. If God is calling me to do that one thing, I will do it with or without fear. Regardless, I’m obeying God.

I want to encourage you, dear reader, to confront those things that have paralyzed you for years. It’s time to use our voices once again. Unafraid. Unashamed. If God is calling you to a certain job, position, or country, just go! Do that which the Master has already appointed you for. If God has called you to serve faithfully in one area, then don’t let fear of commitment or getting hurt keep you from submitting to Godly authority. If God has called you to serve for a season, or even the rest of your life, in the missions field, then book the plain ticket and go. It will be scary at first, but it will be worth it.

I know this is a shorter post for me, but I needed to give a small introduction to what we will be speaking on the next couple of weeks. This message has been burning in my sister’s and I hearts for weeks and we can’t wait to share God’s message of hope for those struggling with anxiety and fear.

I want to leave you with one very special announcement. Paola and I (Carla) will be hosting our first ever Facebook and Instagram LIVE event where we will speak on this very subject. This is going to bless your life! Join us on February 21 at 7:00pm EST!

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Written by Carla Lopez, Co-Founder of Empowered Beauty

carla

Why I Journal

Hi Girls!

I’m so excited to share this blog post with you because I’m sharing on something that is so important to me. Journaling can look many ways, but essentially the important thing is to record your journey with the Lord so in the future you have something to look back on. I can’t tell you how cool it is to look back on the prayers and thoughts I wrote over the years, and see how God has moved in my life.

I started journaling back when I was in high school.ย  My sister and I along with a friend went to visit the school nurse to ask her about sponsoring us for Christian club on campus. The conversation took off and she randomly began speaking to us about how she liked to journal her prayers. It sounded so interesting, so I decided to do the same.

It was a way for me to place my thoughts on paper and figure out why I was feeling what I was feeling. Many of my prayers to God for certain seasons of my life are written down in the pages of my old journals. I’ve been able to look back at those prayers and see how today some have been answered, and how others are yet to be fulfilled.

Just a few weeks ago God stirred my heart to go back to an old journal and I literally cried my eyes out. I was able to see how God had worked in myย  heart back then, and it comforted me to know that He would work on my behalf even now.

So, dear sisters, I want you to encourage you to begin to keep a journal of what God speaks to you. God is always speaking to us, but many times we simply aren’t listening. A journal is a great way to write down what you are seeing around you. Often times, God is at work and it just takes some time to see it. Other times, God has been working in our lives but we just don’t remember.

Joyce Meyer has a great saying that always helps me out. She says, “I’m not where I want to be, but thank God, I’m not where I used to be.”

Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to do something that may be a little different, but honestly is a great way to connect with God. Journaling has helped me to understand myself and God’s work in my life. Try it!

 

Written by Carla Lopez, Co-founder of Empowered Beauty

carla

I Thought I Knew God…And Then This Happened

“My life is not my own, to you I belong.

I give myself, I give myself to you.”

– I Give Myself Away by William McDowell

I absolutely love this song! Those words specifically have been a personal motto for my own walk with God. See, I began serving God at around the age of twelve, and I haven’t looked back since.

ย My walk with Jesus started off pretty shaky, but, the day I gave him my heart, I gave Him my life too. At this point in my life I attended church regularly. I had even joined the youth worship team along with my brother and sister. Every free moment I had, I spent in church. I knew that this was where I would find the true meaning of my life.

I was desperate for a real change, to feel my heart beat with new life. Years worth of struggling with depression and low self-esteem had me worn out. I was done fighting. I needed an answer.

That’s when one night at a youth service my life was forever changed. I remember running to the altar call, feeling my heart pounding inside my chest. Desperation gripped at my heart like nothing I had ever known before. I don’t remember the words that were spoken by the pastor that night, much less the songs that were sung. All I remember, was running up to the front of the room, desperate to hear something, anything from God.

As the ministers got busy praying for the young people who passed up, a young man made his way over to me. I closed my eyes and I expected him to say a simple prayer and continue on his way. Yet, he didn’t just simply pray and walk away, rather he spoke words to me that I will never forget.

He told me, “You are not alone in your pain. God sees you. He loves you.”

For some, these words are anything but revolutionary. They are simple truths. For me, though, this was the turning point in my life. Up to this moment, I had believed God was some distant man, up in His throne, feeling disappointed in me. He was way too busy to care about the details of my small insignificant life. I believed He simply didn’t care.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. God did care. He cared so much about me that He spoke to some stranger in a small youth service so that I could hear Him for the first time.

I believe that, like me at some point, there are many girls that have never experienced the love of God. They have never been introduced to God as a Father. Look at this bible verse:

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons (and daughters), by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:15 (ESV)

It is believed that the termย Abbaย in Greek is a form of sayingย Daddy.ย It is a term of endearment meant to address someone whom one shares an affectionate relationship with.

Did you know that you can know God like that? The one who created the heavens and the earth, and set the Earth on its axis. You can know Him as your Dad. That’s crazy!

So, if you didn’t know that you could have this type of relationship with God, now you do. God loves to hear about our day. He loves to see the great things we accomplish, and is even there when we fail. He hurts when we hurt, and rejoices when we are joyous.

ย He simply cares about every aspect of our lives, even those that we neglect.

I encourage you to take time to get to know God. Just like any relationship, we have to get to know Him for ourselves. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you as a father. He is not intimidating. He never stands us off.

If you have never had a father in ย your life, God really wants to be there for you. Maybe the men in your life have failed you, but God is not human. He is absolutely perfect and he never fails.

You are not fatherless. You are a daughter.

 

By Carla Lopez, Co-founder of Empowered Beauty

carla

 

Setting Boundaries in Romantic Relationships

Today I want to tackle the topic of setting boundaries in romantic relationships. Some us might have never heard of this before, but for some of us it may be something we have heard time and time again. Yet, many still don’t understand what this even means, or what it should look like.

Let’s start with a simple illustration:

A fence is used for many purposes. A fence might be used in a farm, or even someone’s back yard, to keep animals and children from wandering past what is safe and familiar. This fence can also keep out animals or other dangers lurking beyond. Essentially, the fence is a boundary to keep what’s good in, and keep the bad out.

That’s exactly what boundaries do. They are meant to protect, guard, and keep safe. Now, notice I said fence, not a brick wall (we will discuss that towards the end).

So, you ask,ย  how does setting boundaries in my own life keep me safe?

Great question. Here’s what’s up. God does have a lot to say when it comes to finding a husband or a wife. Look at what Genesis 2:24 says;

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This means that sex has been reserved for a married couple because it signifies the becoming of one. Sex is one of the very first boundaries that should be set in a romantic relationship. See, it is a powerful thing, and a dating relationship is not committed enough for something meant for marriage.

Now that we have that clear boundary in place, let’s go about other practical ways that we can set boundaries in relationships. Before dating, we must consider what boundaries we would like to set in pace. I encourage you to write these down and figure them out before dating. If you are already dating though, I encourage you to analyze if the boundaries that are currently in place are adequate.

The bible is very clear about reserving sex only for the covenant of marriage, yet, what about hugging, kissing, or even just holding hands? What about going on dates alone? These are boundaries that you must figure out with the Holy Spirit. Obviously, these type of things cause butterflies in our stomachs and we must be careful to not take things farther than they should go. Sex is not only reserved for a physical act, but even just looking at a man or woman with lust is considered sinful (Matthew 5:28).

Infatuation has a funny way of making us leave our brains at the door.

Pray and seek outside counsel about your relationship and what boundaries are appropriate for you. When one enters into a new romantic relationship, it’s important to be wise and encourage input from the most important people in our lives. Perhaps you might figure out that staying out late alone is leading to certain unnecessary temptations.

Also, holding hands is leading to other things such as inappropriate touching. If at any moment you begin to feel uncomfortable, even with something as simple as a peck in the lips, then maybe God is convicting you to set some stricter boundaries such as only kisses in the cheek or not kissing at all.

Trust me, God is always speaking to us about what will keep our hearts and minds safe, yet many times we reject His wisdom because it’s not what we want to hear. Maybe, certain people in your life might be pointing out character in flaws in a boyfriend that seems more than perfect. Take time to listen to these concerns that are probably coming from the people that love you the most. Maybe it’s time to step back from this relationship and set a time limit on how much time you spend together. This will allow you time to reflect and look from the outside in. You might be surprised what you find.

Please hear me out. I’m not expressing that we should become brick walls, rigid and overly strict. It’s completely normal to have a desire to date, but dating needs to have a purpose. As daughters of God, respectable young women, we must make that very clear to any young man wishing to pursue us. We are treasures, not trash. If someone wishes a deeper relationship with you, they must be willing to respect boundaries set in place for the protection of your heart.

God’s original design for romance has always been with the end result of marriage.

I hope that this article has made the topic of boundaries just a bit clearer. Ambiguity is never from God. He wants us to be sure of what we are looking for in a romantic relationship because we deserve that.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.ย 

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

With much love,

Carla, Co-Founder of Empowered Beauty

carla

P.S. Be on the look out for more posts on dating and relationships!

 

4 Books You Need to Read in 2018

Hey sisters!

As a teenager I loved reading novels about vampires and mysteries. I remember I would read five hundred page novels in two days. I was obsessed trying to escape my real world problems with fictional stories of romance and danger. When I came to Christ though, He asked me to give that up for my own good. Jesus was asking to confront my fears and insecurities once and for all. This is when Christian books were introduced into my life.

In this blog I want to share some of my favorite books that have literally changed my life. I read most of these books as a teenager and they are absolute must reads. In the list below I share what each book is about and how they personally impacted me.

Enjoy!

1) Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Honestly, this book ripped me apart and put me back together. Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but it really confronted a lot of weird lies I believed about God. Francis Chan is a former lead pastor who gave up his life as the pastor of thousands for the sake of educating the church on the need to leave conformity. Here he dives deep into what God’s love for us is really all about. I read this book as a teenager struggling to connect with God and this really helped to understand the extend of God’s love.

2) The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

I remember reading this book back in 2011 while away on a youth retreat. Every night before falling asleep, I would read this book and journal on it. This book was written back in 1948 so it is a bit of a hard read, but completely worth it. A. W. Tozer never finished school but taught himself how to write by reading famous writers and praying. God gave this man such a talent for communicating that ’til this day he is one of the most influential Christian writers.

3) Outrageous Courage by Kris Valloton and Jason Valloton

This book I read in my third year of college after coming back from a missionary trip to Mexico. In this book the authors tell the first hand story of Tracy Evans, a missionary to Africa. Here she tells her stories of persecution and near death experiences as well as the supernatural miracles she witnessed on her trips. This book really shook up my faith. It convicted me to live for Jesus in a more radical way. Tracy Evans came from a dysfunctional home yet God has done wondrous things with her life. It is absolutely inspiring!

4) Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis Majors

Now this book I also read after coming from back from my first missionary trip to Mexico back in 2014. Here Katie Davis Majors tells her story of how she was led by God to leave her more than comfortable life in Texas after graduating high school, to go to Uganda, the poorest country in the world. She went on to adopt over a dozen little girls as her daughters and start a nonprofit organization. This book really ministered to my life and taught me a lot about obeying the Lord’s commands.

 

I hope that you read one of these books in this new year. I want to encourage you to set a goal of how many new books you want to read this year to grow in your faith and relationship with God.

Remember that the best book you can invest time in is the Bible, God’s own message to you.

Love always,

Carla, Co-Founder of Empowered Beauty

carla

 

Why Being Young Is Not An Excuse

Iโ€™m young, and God doesnโ€™t care.

Donโ€™t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT)

Though I have read this bible verse countless times, I have never had to hold unto these words as I have this year. From new ministerial positions, to graduating college, I have felt too inadequate for it all. Worst, is the feeling of being unqualified. Fortunately, God knows that if He calls us to something, it will always feel too big.

See, many young people use their age as an excuse for foolishness. Just because we are young, doesnโ€™t mean we get to be irresponsible with the way we live our lives. I want to take a closer look at the five areas mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:12, and hopefully, how we can become an example to others in maturity.

1) Speaking

And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

James 3:10 (NLT)

Being careful with the way we speak lets the world know that we are not just anybody. It is a sign of wisdom and maturity. It is better to think twice before we speak before we say something we will regret.

2) Living

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.

Proverbs 19:3 (NLT)

It saves us so much heartache when we ask wise people in our lives for their insight before making big decisions. This is especially true in dating. We canโ€™t blame God if we didnโ€™t even ask for His opinion in the first place. Whether itโ€™s about what college we will go to, who we will date, or what church to attend, ask Godโ€™s opinion. It will be worth it in the end.

3) Loving

Many will say they are loyal friends,

but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Proverbs 20:6 (NLT)

How we treat people tells a lot about who we are. Building healthy relationships is a sign of maturity. Criticizing and talking down to others is not the best example we can show others of who Christ is in us. Think about that!

4) Faith

At one point in Jesusโ€™ time on earth, his disciples tried to cast a demon out of a boy. They were unable to because they didnโ€™t believe. The father asks for Jesus to help, this is what he responds:

โ€œWhat do you mean, โ€˜If I canโ€™?โ€ Jesus asked. โ€œAnything is possible if a person believes.โ€

Mark 9:23 (NLT)

Jesus goes on to tell the disciple that this spirit would only come out because of prayer (Mark 9:29). Prayer is so important. It connects us to God, and what He is doing. If we donโ€™t pray, our lives wonโ€™t have direction. Eventually, your faith must become your own.

5) Purity

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT)

If we have accepted the call to be daughters of God, we must understand that we no longer belong to ourselves. We canโ€™t dress like just anybody, because we arenโ€™t just anybody. This means we are Kingdom royalty. Respecting our bodies through modesty, means respecting God as well.

There you have it! It is so vital that we mature in these five areas so that others can see God shining through our lives. I encourage you to pray specifically and ask God to help you grow in these areas one by one. Most of all, I pray that you will overcome the fear of being too young.

Many Blessings,

Carla, Co-founder of Empowered Beauty

How To Be Yourself

I do not claim to be an expert in psychology or sociology. I can’t say that I am somehow fully qualified to give people advice concerning learning to better manage their thought life. But one thing I do claim, what I have learned through being processed by the Lordย I want to give freely to other young women.

I recently took a family psychology class at my college. Our professor instructed us to take a personality test online, which although I thought was pointless, I complied with. I tested as having the most rare personality type on the planet; a mere 1% of the earth’s population actually understands me. What?! This explains a lot. Or does it?

This personality test told me what I have known all along, I cannot be defined. I cannot be boxed. Why? Because God created me unique and He did so for a purpose.

I cannot be defined.

What would happen if us, as young women, decided to stop comparing ourselves to each other and embraced who we are? What if we stopped wasting our efforts trying to be like one another and actually learned to highlight our differences and capitalize on them?

While looking up the meaning of the word identity, I came up with one overarching definition:ย Identity is the state of remaining the same under varying circumstances.

Identity is the state of remaining the same under varying circumstances.

What does this mean when it comes to being fully ourselves around others, specially in social media?

It is no secret that I grew up as a very shy girl. One of the underlying reasons for my shyness was that I felt that if people saw who I really was, they wouldn’t like me. I truly believed that who I was was, not good enough to be loved. This caused me to retreat deep within myself, shutting people out until I felt safe. I used my timidness as a safety blanket to hide myself from the world. While this made me more independent it also caused a lot of loneliness.

Some people may not struggle with shyness but many of us struggle with opening up and being truly ourselves with people. Some of us cover ourselves behind an obnoxious personality while others simply retreat quietly. Either way, for our own emotional health, it’s important to allow others to see us for who we really are.

Here are just a few tips that helped me overcome my shyness!

1) Never, ever compare yourself to anyone.

The number one killer of self-confidence is comparison. When we start focusing on what others have that we may lack, our perception of ourselves is drastically impaired. We begin to feel the need to be more like someone else than ourselves to receive approval from others.

2) Don’t focus so much on yourself.

When we put too much emphasis on ourselves we begin to pick ourselves apart. By pointing out our flaws, we allow insecurity to settle in and makes it home in our hearts. Instead, look outside of yourself, celebrate other people and step out of your comfort zone!

3) Don’t take yourself so seriously.

I am a very, very serious person. While I love to laugh, most of the time I am very quiet and tranquil. God speaks to me in very humorous ways just to remind me that I should never take myself too seriously. Life is fun. Embrace new situations freely and openly.

4) Accept who you are, and embrace it!

We have all been made different for a reason. It is vital to fulfilling the purpose of God over our lives that we embrace our uniqueness. As my favorite author, Lisa Bevere, puts it: “No one has ever or will ever walk the earth that can represent God like you can.”

 

By Paola Lopez, Co-Founder of Empowered Beauty