K L Greenwalt

Penned In His Image - Discovering Our Unique Story

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Becoming Me

This post first appeared on September 12, 2016

“You’re not likable.” My supervisor’s words sliced through my heart like a hot knife. They amplified my greatest fear, rejection.

On The Journey To Becoming Me

I have spent most of my life trying to be who others think I should be so they will like me. It is a painful and exhausting way to live. And it is not the way God intends us to live life.

Words are powerful. They have the power to give life and encouragement or like the words uttered by my supervisor so many years ago, the power to crush and wound.

Their Words

My supervisor made that statement to me during an annual review. He indicated that none of my co-workers liked me. He then suggested a book I should read that would help me be more likable. I kept my composure until I was alone, and then the tears flowed freely.

The tape of those words played over and over again in my mind not only then but for many years after. I’m sure that supervisor didn’t realize the damage his words caused. His motive was probably to cause me to be a better version of who he thought I should be.

However, what they did was reinforce my belief that I was not likable or lovable. And the belief I had to fix what was wrong with me, whatever that might be so that others would like me. I believed the lie that if I never said no and did everything others asked of me perfectly, then they would like me.

My Words

Not only are the words others speak to us powerful, so are the words we speak to ourselves.

Several years ago when God placed a dream in my heart to write, I spoke negative words to myself that resulted in it taking years longer to pursue that dream than it should have. Words like; you’re too old, you don’t know how to write, you’re not a good writer, you don’t have anything to say that others will want to read, your not likable so why would anyone like your writing.

God’s Word

God tells me a different story in His Word. He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (read Psalm 139:13-18). He tells me that He created me intentionally and on purpose. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 NLT. I have to trust Him. Trust that He created me the way He wanted me to be. His unique child with a personality that has strengths and challenges.

The Journey To Becoming Me

The past few years God has been leading me on a journey to become myself. A journey that is about progress, not perfection. A journey that will not end this side of heaven.

I’m learning to get unstuck from my past and allow the painful events to teach me to tell myself the truth. I realized that the truth behind the remarks of that long ago supervisor was that he didn’t like me, and possibly some of my co-workers shared the same feelings. But that is OK because not everyone will like me when I am true to who He created me to be.

I am also telling myself the truth that it is never too late to dream a new dream.

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream or dream another dream.” C. S. Lewis

What Else I Am Learning

I have learned that I am penned in His image, and I have a story. A story He authored and wants me to share.

I have learned that there is nothing I can do to earn His love and nothing I can do to cause Him to love me less. So now, this hot mess of a recovering perfectionistic people pleaser is living for the applause of nail-scarred hands, and so I write.

I also know this truth,  if you are reading this you have had painful experiences in your life as well. But they do not have to define you. You can be who He created you to be. So I invite you to join me on this journey of becoming ourselves, of being who He created us to be. Let’s travel together one grace step at a time.

What painful experience have you been allowing to define your life? Where do you feel stuck? How is God showing you how to become yourself?

About K L Greenwalt

I'm a writer and storyteller. Each week I write about and invite readers to join me on an extraordinary adventure to discover and embrace the unique story God has penned for each of us.



17 Replies

  1. Cheryl

    Wow that was powerful! I know I have struggles…so you gave me the courage to admit to myself what they are and the strength to fix them. Thank you and I will continue to go on this journey with you! God Bless you K

  2. Diana

    This is great K! Keep being who God created you to be!

  3. Teresa

    Beautiful words of encouragement to all! Love it!

  4. Pam

    You are awesome at sharing. I am moved. Kudos to you my friend.

  5. Mabel

    God Bless you for sharing. Looking forward to reading more.

  6. Cathy

    Thank you my bestie for sharing that story. I know it was painful and I admire you for being vulnerable enough to share it with the world so that they can get “un-stuck” too. God is working in my life also to help me to see who He created me to be and not compare myself to others. This story gives me strength to keep moving forward in His plan.
    Love you!
    Cate 😉

  7. Sherry

    Thank you for waking up this Monday morning to your new blog! I think we all feel insecure & ‘lacking’ in some area of our lives Or maybe there have been others who’ve hurt us by their words at some point. All I know is I’m trying each day to be more like the person God made me to be! I need to let go of my perfectionism & have more self confidence. Both of these I’ve struggled with most of my life. But with His help, I know I can grow!!! Thank you for your encouragement & dedication to be the writer you were meant to be! You’re an inspiration to all of us! I look forward to each Monday & walking this road with you:>)

  8. K

    Nice article Kay. Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your venture. Whoever said that was wrong. I have always found you likeable, warm, friendly, and sincere.

  9. Cuz D

    Keeping with your topic: Is it possible to not allow painful experiences to define your life? I have had them, but I do not think I have allowed them to define me nor get me stuck. I know God moves in mysterious ways and I have always felt he has blessed me with a wonderful life. I am thankful for that!

    1. It’s absolutely possible to not allow them to define you. I always thing about the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Especially what he said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20. While I never look back at my painful experiences and say, “I’m glad that happened.” I am glad that through every experience God is shaping me into who He created me to be. That is what I mean when I talk about embracing your story, not allowing the past to define you – allowing God to use the bad for good.