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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

Confidence of a Four-Year-Old

Michelle is doing a Bible study based on a book called Beautiful Already, and she’s really enjoying the fellowship with the other ladies. I decided not to do this Bible study as I had some other commitments, and I didn’t want to overcommit, but in talking to her about the insights she’s gaining and what she’s learning about herself, it’s made me start to ponder how we all view ourselves and how I view myself.

Geoff and I drove past our town’s football stadium recently on a lovely fall afternoon. Our local college was having a football game, and there were cars for 5 or 6 blocks in every direction from the stadium. People were walking past, in a hurry to get to the game. All of the fans from our town were in bright blue shirts—it was a sea of blue with lovely orange and yellow leaves on the trees in the background. But one little person stood out to me, and he wasn’t wearing blue.

He must have been about four years old, and he reminded me a bit of my boys when they were little, but it was his outfit and his demeanor that caught my eye. He had on a cowboy hat, a t-shirt with some kind of logo or saying on it (we drove by too fast for me to read it), camouflage shorts, and I think crocs. Now, I could be wrong about the shoes, but in my mind, crocs make sense. He was holding his mom’s hand and he was 100% comfortable with himself and the world around him. He wasn’t strutting in an arrogant way—I think he’s too young to really understand that—he was just walking, almost marching, so confidently that he was hard to miss.

Now, when I think of four-year-olds, that’s what I think of. They are little people who are becoming really comfortable with their verbal communication, and they are starting to show their independence, able to make some of their own decisions. And boy, most four-year-olds know what they like and what they do NOT like.

So, in looking at that little boy’s outfit on the way to the football game, I thought, “He picked out his own outfit today!” And that made me smile as he was so comfortable in himself; it was truly beautiful.

We recently made a trip to Arizona, and we spent time with my nephew’s family. I have a beautiful great-niece who is 4 ½ and an adorable great-nephew who is 8 months old. My great-niece has that same confidence. She has a new princess dress (I think it’s an Alice in Wonderland dress, but I’m not a princess expert), and she wore it for three days straight when we were there. She even wore it to dance class even though the other little girls were wearing the standard pink tights and leotard with a tutu. She didn’t even think twice about it–she loves that dress, and that’s all that matters! So much confidence there!

I began to think, when do I feel that confident and that comfortable with myself and how I look in my clothing choices? Hmmmmm . . . That’s a good question. I suppose at night after work when I get home and I change clothes and I KNOW no one will see me, I am comfortable with my Mandalorian sweatshirt with Baby Yoda on it; my cropped Batman pajama pants; and my fuzzy green and red slipper socks that say, “Don’t open until Christmas.” I also put my hair up in the highest ponytail possible, for the length of my hair, and I’m set for a night at home!

But I would NEVER wear that outside of my home (except to maybe run to the mailbox or garbage can). Why is that? I guess I assume that combination of clothing would not be accepted by most adults in a public setting. I would get some funny stares—I do know that! I would not be comfortable having others see me in that outfit.

But even in my regular clothes, I very often second guess myself or try on three or four tops before something looks or feels right. Sometimes I feel happy with how I look and I smile at my reflection in the mirror, but it’s not every day. That super confident walk that the four-year-old in the cowboy hat was doing is not an everyday occurrence for me. I’m usually worried about my backside looking too large or my rolls around my middle showing through my shirt or my double chin sticking out.

Well, I am guessing I’m not the only woman who thinks about these things. Now, honestly, my self-esteem really is pretty good, and I do love me! But, in comparison to that unencumbered four-year-old, I have something to learn or something to remember.

I know it’s really not about outward beauty—I get that. It’s more about who we are on the inside. But I want to explore this idea of confidence a bit. I’m not talking about arrogance, just a healthy confidence. I believe it really does come from the inside, and it’s then just reflected on the outside.

So, for me, I need to think about what God says about me and who I am. I think listening to His truth helps me to see myself in a positive way because God sees me in a positive way.

There’s a song called “Who I Am” by Ben Fuller that I have been hearing fairly often on the radio—I think God is trying to tell me something! It’s a beautiful song with a melody I love, but the lyrics speak to me. It reminds me to think about how God sees me instead of how my critical nature sees me or how others see me. In the refrain, Ben sings, “It’s who I am,” and then while he holds out the word “am,” others sing, “I'm a child of the most-high God and the most-high God's for me.”

I am the child of God, and God loves me. Now, He knows I’m not perfect, and He doesn’t like it when I sin, but He forgives me freely and completely when I ask for forgiveness. And doggone it, He thinks I’m pretty special. I am so special and worthy and valued, that He made me for a purpose, and He sent his own son to die for me. Wow! With God on my side, I should have all of the confidence in the world!

Hebrews 13:6 says, “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” As a child of God, that’s the attitude I want to have. I don’t want to be afraid. Why am I afraid of what others think of me when they are just “mere mortals”?

So, here I go as an unfinished woman but as a child of the most-high God with confidence!

Actually, here’s a picture of me rocking my new sunflower shirt and sunflower necklace! Maybe next time I’ll try a cowboy hat!



Thanks for reading, friends!

Love,

Julie


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