When Others Squash Our Sparkle

“Sara, one day you will be a star!”

I read this written message from my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Sycora on my grade report with a smile. This came shortly after I entertained the class with an oral report on Princess Diana done completely in full costume and a British accent. Her statement was the confident boost my adolescent mind needed.

At home, I lacked the healthy attention most girls require at that age. Since I was a latch key kid, I spent a majority of my time alone. My personality was almost too outlandish to keep hold of friends. I was, with lack of a better word, weird.

My room was where I maintained sanctuary from the outside world. There I dreamed up scenarios with characters, a setting and a plot. My bed served as covered wagon traveling the Oregon trail. I used pillows to stand in for the family members along on my journey. I’d wrap my blanket around my waist like a hoop skirt and light a fire to stay warm. And to add to my illusion, I created dialogue with my imaginary characters.

As years went on, the sparkle Mrs. Sycora nurtured slowly dimmed but my imagination never diminished. I wasn’t as confident to share my stories with others. As I grew older, negativity and self doubt out shined my self esteem. It took a long time for me to understand why my teacher’s message meant so much. Her simple words inspired my 10 year old self to shine from within.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

It sometimes takes other’s positive words to help remind us of our worth. Scripture is now my source of encouragement. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God didn’t make a mistake when He gave me the gift of creativity and imagination. He knew I’d someday realize my talent as a writer.

The world may have taken away my confidence, for a time, but God knew His truth would help bring back my sparkle. When I became a Christian in my early twenties, I realized quickly I couldn’t just sit still with my faith.

I had to follow Jesus with my whole heart and live by the Scripture that strengthened me: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24 NIV).

Naturally, I was lead to speaking and sharing my testimony. Soon, my heart turned to Women’s Ministry. I had been stuck in the darkness of negativity for so many years. Because words of encouragement brought me confidence in the past, I felt lead to share God’s love with women. My hope is that the message of God designing us for a purpose sparks a tiny fire in their heart, the way it has in mine.

As I meet new people, I always feel that tinge of nervousness. Will they find me awkward? Will I say the right thing? But then I take a breath and remember that God planned my life and my purpose. I can’t let worldly opinions get in my way of fulfilling that destiny. God has made it clear: “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11 NIV).

What about you? Have you allowed negative comments from others or perhaps past mistakes to steal your sparkle? To distort how you view yourself and your God-given gifts? Did you know God has a glorious plan for you? One that, when pursued, will bring you more fulfillment than anything else? Join us for one of our Wholly Loved Conferences to learn how to rest more fully in Christ’s love and grace; allow His love to overcome our deepest wounds and insecurities; and discover, embrace, and live out His plan for your life.

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