Hi everyone! I hope you had an amazing week! I just got home from Indianapolis, Indiana, where I was at an FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) Cluster Meeting! We got to attend lots of workshops on various topics, hear two motivational speakers, and explore downtown Indy! The message the speaker gave last night stuck with me, so I wanted to put my own twist on it and share it with you all.
Her introduction started out with, “I am the AMAZING Tei Street!!!” My first thought when reading about her in our booklet was, “Oh, she seems full of herself and conceited. She just goes around and calls herself AMAZING.” But I quickly learned you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. I went into the session hoping it wouldn’t last too long and came out wishing she had spoken a little longer.
I learned that there is a big difference between being conceited and being confident…and between being arrogant and being AMAZING.
When Tei was a child, she saw Houdini on TV get his arms and legs tied up and escape from the water before he drowned. We’ve all heard of this amazing stunt, but Tei had this voice in her head telling her, “You are the amazing Tei Street!” So, she decided to try it. With no adults around, she had her cousins tie her up with jump ropes and she jumped into the pool. She had told them she could hold her breath for three minutes, so they needed to go get adults if she didn’t come up before then. Her cousins watched her drown in amazement until one of the older ones ran to get an adult. After she was out and okay, her mother called her “stupid” and a “disappointment”, along with some other things. Tei said that she had never felt so worthless. She lost all of her great dreams, and that voice that told her she was amazing was gone for years. All because her mother called her stupid. Words hurt, y’all.
Question: How many of you all have had someone in authority of you say something that hurt you, something that maybe cut you to the core, something that made you feel worthless or even just less than amazing? I have. It hurts, and those words usually stick with us and nag at our self-esteem MUCH longer than the nice ones do. The person who says them sometimes doesn’t even realize that they hurt you and usually doesn’t intend to make you feel worthless. We do that to ourselves. We let those ugly words sit in our heart and tear us apart. The devil also contributes to this because that’s just what he wants… for us to feel worthless and to feel as if we aren’t good enough to turn to God. But, boy is he wrong.
Tei eventually went skydiving in college. Long story short, when she was falling through the air, the voice came back, but in the present tense this time: “I AM THE AMAZING TEI STREET!” She repeated this over and over to herself as she flew through the air. After that, she had her confidence back. She dreamed, she wrote books, and she went around the country and inspired people to be their best self. She is completely confident in who she is, and she wants everyone else to be, too. She doesn’t want anyone to let those negative words rule their lives like she had done for so many years. That is why she calls herself the AMAZING Tei Street. So, why can’t we be amazing too? We need to start by getting rid of the negativity. We could be affirming ourselves with positivity instead of letting the negativity rule. We need to stop letting those negative thoughts stick in our head by laying them down at the cross and allowing ourselves to be God’s. Because he calls us CHOSEN, LOVED, TREASURED, BEAUTIFUL, WORTHY, FORGIVEN, and HIS CHILD. And what could be better than that?!
If you are feeling like less than enough today, know that you are being deceived and lied to by the devil. YOU ARE ENOUGH. When we wake up in the morning, we always tend to think about how the day is going to go, and we think about how we don’t have the capabilities to do everything good enough. We need to start waking up in the morning telling ourselves that we are enough. When you look in the mirror tomorrow, try saying, “I am the AMAZING (Insert your name here)!” It might sound funny calling yourself amazing, but that’s just because we are so used to criticizing and finding flaws in ourselves. Let’s try affirming ourselves more, and maybe we will get better at empowering others as well.
We need to be careful with our words, too, because we never know who we might be hurting. Tei’s mom was not fully aware of how much impact those few words had caused in her life until a few years ago. Our words have so much power–we can make or ruin someone’s day in an instant–so why not make the best of it and use our words to inspire hope and love. Will you pray with me?
Father, thank you for giving us the ability to speak and have such strong relationships with people we care about. Please help us to use our words to affirm others instead of tearing them down. And when someone says something that cuts us to the core, help us to remember our identity in Christ. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen.
When I was thinking about what God thinks of us, this song came to mind! It’s such an empowering song because it just shows that no matter who knows you or how they treat you, you are God’s loved one.