Why Authenticity?

I am a high school Spanish teacher and I also coach middle school and high school girls in volleyball, soccer, and track, and what I’ve learned throughout my time around teenage girls is that it is getting harder and harder to be ourselves. We live in a world surrounded by social media, photo filters, Hollywood gossip and glamour, and comparison out the wazoo! There is so much pressure to be perfect, to have good grades, good social lives, a storybook romance, and while at the same time being on fire for Jesus and never missing church. Ladies, can I just be honest here? That’s impossible!! One of my favorite things about Jesus, aside from His AMAZING grace, is that fact that He looks for persistence rather than perfection in my walk with Him. I’m so grateful for that!!

Another thing I’ve noticed and even felt at times was that as a Christian I had to act like my life was great, and that I had everything under control all the time. I figured I could help other people’s faith grow by seeing that my Christian walk was going smoothly, but then I thought about the ways that I had seen my own faith grow over the years. It wasn’t due to some perfect Christian- in fact, that usually made me feel worse about my own walk and struggles. No, it was seeing my friends or my family go through valleys, dark times, and heartbreaking struggles during which they clung to Jesus and their faith to literally carry them through. And they made it. Bruised, battered, and scarred, but oh so much stronger both in spirit and faith. That’s what has been so encouraging to me over the years.

Knowing how much sharing in those struggles helped be a witness for Christ made me question why it was so frowned upon to open up about trials in our lives. Is it because it made us seem weak? Defeated? Vulnerable? Or is it because we are too scared to admit that we don’t have control and that we need help?

I believe that with vulnerability comes strength. I also believe that authenticity starts with encouraging each other in times of doubt, walking through the darkness side by side with our loved ones. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that we should go through those times together saying,“You’re sinning? Me too! Yay, we can both be sinners together!!” and run off into the sunset hand in hand. What I’m saying is that we should be authentic with our honesty, vulnerability and our confessions of sin so that people in our lives can hold us accountable and lovingly guide us back on the path towards Jesus and His way for our lives.

Sometimes admitting our sin can be the hardest yet most authentic step we take. Trust me, I know from experience. But I’ve also experienced God’s grace for a messy sinner like me and the blessing of having women in my life that encourage me with tough love to be the woman that God created me to be! One who fights against her flesh daily, has to keep her tongue in check, and who cries and laughs in the same breath. A woman who is striving to be fearlessly authentic, fervently on fire and unashamedly untamed for the cause of Christ on this earth!

I hope and pray that you have people in your life as I do to live fearlessly authentic alongside you and to be a spiritual warrior for you. I’m surrounded by teenage girls every day who are broken, hurting, and have never been told that it is not only acceptable to be themselves, but it is highly encouraged because each one of them are GODDESSES and ROCKSTARS!!!! And they are mighty and fierce daughters of Christ who have the opportunity to be audacious for Jesus’ name and His kingdom!

What I’m hoping for this blog is for it to not just be a blog. I want it be a platform that connects young women all over the world through Jesus’ name and the common striving towards being the truest version of ourselves that God created us to be. Eventually, I would love for Fearlessly Authentic to grow so much that we can hold women’s conferences, with guest speakers and testimonies from all over, so that our connection to one another isn’t merely via social media (plus, I’m a hugger!!) 🙂

On this blog you’ll hear not only my story of being fearlessly authentic, but stories from young girls and young women from all different backgrounds and all different areas of my life. And I want to hear YOUR story! So please read, comment, share, enjoy, and be encouraged in the faith 🙂

Just striving to be more me than I’ve ever been before, and I hope you are too!

 

-Jess

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