EMBRACING MY UNIQUENESS
EMBRACING TRUST: LETTING GO AND LETTING GOD TAKE THE LEAD

DON'T HIDE WHO YOU ARE...JESUS DIDN'T

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For years, I have worked to stay in the background. I have hidden myself from the people around me and the world. There are many reasons for this, some of which I will explain and some I don’t know how to explain. The lack of self-esteem and a poor self-image often kept me from putting myself out in the open. I didn’t value the person I was, and the image of myself that I saw was not pleasing to me.

For as long as I can remember, my self-esteem was always up and down. I had my good days and my bad days. There were days when I felt beautiful and days when I compared myself to others and felt less than beautiful. I always felt like I was smart, but certain situations and circumstances made me feel less than capable.

Fear has also been a factor in me hiding myself. I was afraid of how others would perceive me, which led to me not being myself completely when others were around. At the time, I did not know I had ADHD. Looking back, ADHD played a big part in how I conducted my life early on. Had I known I was neurodivergent, it may have made a difference in how I conducted my life. Come to think about it, it may have made things worse.

Growing up in the Christian faith, mental health or any illness dealing with the mind was frowned upon. This leads me to my next reason for hiding myself: fear of rejection. Being rejected is the worst feeling. The feeling of not being accepted or looked at as strange is a lonely feeling. Who wants to be rejected? Why is the church so hush-hush about mental illness? Why do they look their noses down on people who deal with things such as ADHD and Autism?

This brings me to my next and maybe final reason: shame. Because the church has made having a mental illness or being neurodivergent as something to be ashamed of, it has caused neurodivergent individuals to feel ashamed for who they are and cause them to hide their unique qualities because they are not often embraced. All of these things have caused me to hide who I am from the world around me. I have hidden my talents and downplayed what I could do and what I know because oftentimes, I’m not taken seriously.

This year (2024) is all about me…my health, business, and family. I refuse to stay in the background, no matter how fearful I am about stepping out of my comfort zone. I know what I have holds value and should be displayed and not hidden. Last year, I graduated with my degree in psychology. I was excited, but I didn’t want to tell anyone because I felt it was insignificant and no one would care either way. Truth be told, I have a hard time celebrating myself.

Let’s think for a moment… Jesus was rejected, talked about, and pushed aside. This didn’t keep Him quiet or cause Him to hide the fact that He was the son of God. In Hebrews 12:2, it says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

In this scripture, we find a profound lesson: Jesus didn’t hide who He was despite facing immense challenges and ridicule. He remained steadfast in His identity, knowing His purpose and worth. As a Christian woman, wife/mother, author, life coach, and entrepreneur, I draw strength from His example.

So, why would someone hide who they are? The reasons are multifaceted – from low self-esteem to fear of rejection and societal stigma surrounding mental health. But why shouldn’t we hide who we are? Because each of us is uniquely crafted by God, with inherent value and purpose. We shouldn’t hide our talents, quirks, or struggles, for they are part of what makes us beautifully human.

What are some common reasons people might hide who they are? It could be societal pressure, fear of judgment, or simply not recognizing their own worth. And for individuals with ADHD like me, the struggle to fit into societal norms while battling a neurodevelopmental disorder can amplify these challenges.

But here’s the thing – hiding who we are robs the world of our authentic selves. It deprives us of the opportunity to connect genuinely with others and to live out our God-given purpose. As I embark on my journey of self-acceptance and empowerment, I refuse to hide any longer.

Let us embrace the words of Hebrews 12:2 and fix our eyes on Jesus, the ultimate example of unwavering authenticity. Just as He endured the cross without shame, may we boldly step into who we are meant to be, shining our light for all to see.

This is the year to celebrate ourselves, to embrace our uniqueness, and to step out of the shadows. Don’t hide who you are… Jesus didn’t. And neither should we. Embrace the “ME” God Made.

Let’s Chat!

  1. How have you navigated the tension between societal expectations and your authentic self?
  2. What role has faith played in your journey towards self-acceptance?
  3. Have you ever felt pressured to hide parts of yourself due to fear of judgment? How did you overcome it?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

 

Coach Kenya Joy❤️

 

 

Additional Links and Resources:

The "ME" God Made Community

The Total Makeover

Coach Kenya Joy - Coaching Blog

The Total Makeover Store

 

 

Kenya Johnson, M.P.G.C

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