“I’m trying so hard to blossom into who God created me to be,” said one of my She Blossoms readers. “But I don’t even know what that means anymore…and now becoming who God created me to be is harder than ever. It feels impossible. I want to stop trying.”
Good for her! She should stop trying to be who God wants her to be. Instead of trying, straining, pushing, gritting her teeth and doing everything she can to blossom, she should stop. Take a deep breath. And relax into who God created her to be.
Are you struggling with the same problem? Maybe you see other women growing, thriving, flourishing. Maybe your daughter, sister, mom or even a coworker is becoming who God created her to be. You love her and are proud of her success…but you’re a little jealous. You want to blossom — and maybe you’re even trying harder than ever — but you’re getting nowhere. That’s okay, because I have good news! It’s time to stop trying to be who God created you to be.
My husband and I are having an ongoing conversation about trying to be a good person, do the right thing, and follow God faithfully. He’s trying to be a Godly man, and he says it’s really hard. Of course it’s difficult! Trying to become anything is like the proverbial “ugly duckling” trying to grow into a swan. It’s not just hard…it’s impossible.
How many flowers try to blossom? Seeds don’t try to sprout, apples don’t try to turn red and delicious, babies and puppies don’t try to grow big and tall…and you needn’t try to become who God created you to be. But you do need to participate in what He is doing in you and in your life.
It’s time for us to stop worrying about blossoming into who God created us to be. Instead, let’s surrender and let Jesus lead the way. “Come, follow me,” said Jesus in Matthew 4:19. He didn’t say try to follow me, or do the best you can to become who I want you to be. He simply said “Come, follow me.” Let’s not make it more difficult than it needs to be.
How Stop Trying to Become Who God Created You to Be
In the first verse of Genesis 49, Jacob gathers his sons together so he can tell them what will happen in the days to come. He shared some good news, some bad news. I suspect none of it was a big surprise to any of Jacob’s sons; they knew what they did, how they lived, and who they were. What strikes me is how different each man was, and how they became who God created them to be — without trying hard.
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project — and I’ve been trying hard to “do it right.” My goal is to write a blog post for every chapter of every book in the Bible; this is my 49th blog post, and I’m finally learning how to follow Jesus to the cross. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, but I believe I’m doing what God created me to do: read, think, and write. I am blossoming…and He is pleased.
1. Know who or what you’re trying to be
Jacob shared a snippet of each of his sons’ lives in Genesis 49. He gave us a glimpse of his sons’ personalities, temperaments, decisions, and activities. These men were raised in the same clan and tribe, experienced the same lifestyle, culture, family dynamics, difficulties, losses, successes and joys…yet they were very, very different men. Jacob saw who they were — and he accepted them for who they were. Jacob allowed his sons to be who God created them to be, and he blessed them accordingly. His sons became who God created them to be, and accepted their father’s blessing.
What — or who — are you trying to become? I tried for decades to be perfect, strong, independent, impassive, and even unapproachable. I wanted to protect myself, to be like Wonder Woman or the Littlest Hobo. I wasn’t trying to become who God created me to be because I didn’t think I was good enough. I didn’t know that He loves and accepts me for who I am right now, in light of Jesus. It wasn’t until I learned to see myself the way God sees me that I stopped trying and simply started following Him. What about you…who or what are you trying to be? Start there.
2. Accept where you are right now
Genesis 49 contains 28 verses and 12 brothers. Jacob mentioned each of them by name, mostly in unflattering ways. And yet none of them objected, argued, or fought to be someone they weren’t. This isn’t surprising; Middle Eastern culture upheld fathers as patriarchs, heads of the family, leaders of the clan, not to be trifled with. Jacob was the father who told his sons who they were and how their lives would unfold. His sons had long ago stopped trying to be loved and accepted. Now they simply listened to their father’s words and accepted who they were created to be.
How do you feel about who you are today? Learning how to accept yourself — with all your flaws, mistakes, warts and weaknesses — is a lifelong process for many women. Many of us haven’t learned how to accept and love ourselves for who we are. We don’t know how to stop trying to become who God created us to be. We strive to be better, to change, to grow and blossom. Everything we see tells us to change, make improvements, be better smarter faster and more productive. Instead of relaxing into and accepting who God created us to be, we keep trying to change. And we keep failing.
3. Learn how to be blossomed by God
“Joseph is a fruitful vine,” says Jacob in Genesis 49:22. “a fruitful vine beside a spring; it’s branches climb over the wall.” Joseph became who God created him to be — and certainly not by trying! Joseph listened for God’s voice and followed His call. Joseph obeyed, surrendered, and accepted everything God brought into his life. Like Jesus, Joseph became exactly who God created him to be…and He didn’t try hard. He simply followed. And God made Jesus a fruitful vine beside a spring, with branches climbing over the wall.
What circumstances — good and bad — has God allowed into your life? Those are seeds. He will grow those seeds to help you become who He created you to be. The key is learning how to work with God to nurture those seeds, how to give your burdens to Jesus, and how to rest in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. The hard part is trying to do it all yourself. But yes, I admit that it’s painful and often difficult to surrender to God’s will for your life. Trusting God goes against our nature; we’ve been fighting Him for thousands of years. But oh, how sweet the fruit that blossoms when we surrender!
“I am like a tree planted along a riverbank. My roots reach deep into the water. I do not fear when the heat comes, or worry in long months of drought. My leaves stay green and never fail to produce fruit.” – adapted from the prophet Jeremiah.
Are you trying to become who God created you to be? What would it feel and look like to stop trying so hard? Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below.
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.