Almost 26 and finally becoming a “b”

This title may have shocked you a little bit as you may have wondered what on earth does she mean by becoming a “b” at 26? Questions may arise as you may or may not personally know me. Well, I am not becoming the trending “b” that you see in the memes nor am I becoming the sassy “b”. But because I am turning a year over a fourth of a century in a few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about life, in particular, my 26 years of life.

It took me about 26 years to finally realize how worthy, how beautiful, and how loving I am. (Please don’t mistaken me to being conceited here. Let me explain.) My entire life, up until this point, I’d always struggled with low self-esteem, never believed in myself, and consistently played “second best.” You can say I didn’t love myself for who I am. In my defense, I would say I had a pretty normal childhood. I was never popular, but I did have good friends. I was pretty shy and kept to myself–quiet and soft spoken–an introvert most would consider, but I was very passionate about certain things: books, art, poetry, writers, Jesus, movies, etc. I had five siblings and my parents were always loving and caring toward us all. But I don’t know why I had neglected myself so earnestly for so many years.

What do I mean by becoming a “b”?

“Be bold, be brave, be brilliant,” I heard. 

Growing up, I was taught to be polite, respectful, and modest. You see, this is my culture. For example, when you are offered a drink of water, it is polite to decline the first offer. Then after a few relentless offers, you finally accept. This shows mannerism. Another example is when you attend a party and find the best seat in the house, but then an elderly woman enters the room, you ought to get up and sacrifice the seat for her. This shows respect. Lastly, when relatives congratulate or boast about your accomplishments, you deny the honor. This shows modesty. All of these cultural traits are self-denying and center around a distinct trait: humility.

I’ve wrestled with humility my entire life. The Bible talks about humbling yourself in several books: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” I believed, and still believe, that having a humbled heart is often seen by peers as weak, but it is actually strength. Sadly, I had adapted to the lie that low self-esteem equals humility. But I’ve come to understand that I can be humble yet confident in the Lord. I can have self-esteem yet humble.

I can say with confidence that I will be turning 26, am beautiful, worthy, and loving.

I wish I could say that this realization happened in seconds or that it happened just as easily as I had written this; but it didn’t, as I’ve already stated above, it took over a fourth of a century. It took many, many years of pruning me to understand. I honestly want to believe that the older you get, the more wisdom you receive; however, wisdom simply doesn’t just come with age like a gift you unwrap and then install. Wisdom comes from listening, experience, and well, wisdom really comes from God.

Just a couple weeks ago, I received a conviction to be bold, brave, and brilliant. (If I were to share my story, it’d take pages. But it is a testimony that is dear to me and has changed my life. Maybe I’ll share it some day.) I wholeheartedly believe this conviction came from the Lord. Knowing me, I am pretty meek because I had believed it was humility. But as I was praying on a particular day, I heard, “Be bold, be brave, be brilliant.” I realize now that to be bold, brave, and brilliant is an act of humility as I will serve the Lord with my life.