Dear Twenty-Something, Tenielle Shenae

My True Name: The Power of the Mind Dear Twenty-Something,

What are you going to do after college? Have you found a job yet? Where are you applying? These are the questions that haunt us in our early twenties. As we begin to navigate the workplace and start creating a foundation for our career, more questions come. Are you dating anyone? A notification pops up on social media of yet another proposal. You feel left out, alone and forgotten. It feels like everyone else has it all together. It appears everyone knows their purpose, except you.

In these celebrations and valleys we can forget who we are. In a world that tells us we are what we do, we strive for a successful career. In a world that tells us we are what we look like, we are constantly working to fit the perfect mold and stay up to date on the latest trends. We can find our identity in several places. We seek affirmation in money, boys, and our next tourist destination in an attempt to keep the aesthetically pleasing Instagram posts. The problem? These are all distracting us from our identity. They are shielding us from our true name and leaving us feeling less than, left out, and alone.

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice,” reads John 10:3-5.

I love how this verse says He calls his own sheep by name. God has given me the name daughter. He calls me treasured, pure, joy, and loved. This is not based on anything I can do. God views me as my eternal self because of what Jesus did on the cross. I know my name, but I often times forget what He calls me.

When I believe the lie an old friend said that I am annoying, then I start living under that name. When I walk in the label of perfect, I am constantly working to please people with my put together life. I fail yet another job interview which leaves me with the lie that rings in my ear, ‘You are not enough.’

In this time of doubt, I need to remember my true name.

You are worthy, known, and loved (2 Thess. 1:11, Psalm 139:1-3, Romans 5:8). This is what God says about me. I know his voice, so I will follow Him through the gate. When I believe anything that tells me I am not loved I am listening to a strangers voice and not my shepherd. I want to run away from the strangers voice because I do not recognize him. What voices have you been listening to that do not align with you are loved?

We need to fight with our minds to be warriors for our worth. In Romans 12:2 Paul says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This means God gives us the power to renew our mind. When you have toxic thoughts that flood your mind about who you are, pray against them. Find a trusted friend or mentor and talk through those lies with them. Allow community to come alongside you and fight against those lies. Then, listen to the voice of your shepherd, know His voice well by spending time in the Word. As God renews our mind, we will approve what God’s will is.

In a season of so many uncertainties and questions, how beautiful is this verse of reassurance in Romans. God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect for you. His will is to give you His best. His will is for you to know and understand your true name. His will is for righteousness. Knowing our true identity in Christ is so much more valuable than knowing the right answers to your interview questions. It is more valuable than knowing what’s next. God is with you, you will not fail.

Tenielle Shenae is a self-worth advocate and public speaker. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations (PR) from Biola University. She went on to travel and work as a PR professional before pursing her passion for speaking. She now hosts workshops to encourage everyone to know and understand they are worthy, known, and loved. When she is not speaking she enjoys deep chats, hiking, exploring with her husband, and talking enneagram. 

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