6 Words That Shaped My Life

High school was not kind to me.

Although there are a few fun memories — cheering for the freshmen basketball team, attending a zany psychology class, passing drivers training — I’m glad I never have to return to those four agonizing years again. Ever.

Mostly my adolescent days were filled with intense loneliness, rejection, and a bottomless longing for acceptance and love.

I’ll never forget the day I thought I finally was on my way to high school recognition. A fellow classmate shared she saw something written about me in the girls’ bathroom. Really? Me?!

I ran to the south side of the building as quickly as my clog-​wearing feet would take me. I couldn’t wait to examine what someone had taken the time to reveal publicly about me!

I pulled open the heavy wooden door and scanned the chipped bathroom stall’s exterior. Then I spotted the six words that would shape my life for the next two decades…

“Cindy is a fat red cow.”

And on that dreadful day those six words attached to me like a sticky, descriptive name tag.

As the years went on, I may have appeared happy and self-​confident. But beneath the cheery smile and bubbly personality, remained an injured and insecure young woman meticulously attempting to cover up the pain, and striving to protect herself from ever being hurt or teased … again.

I wonder if you can relate, sweet friend? What labels have attached to you over the years?

  • Not good enough.
  • Stupid.
  • Ugly.
  • Fat.
  • Not wanted.

Thankfully my story has a joyful ending. In 1996, in the midst of a drug and alcohol addiction, I was introduced to Jesus, and surrendered my life to Him. As I began to study the Bible, I quickly discovered God says I am….

  1. Accepted. (Romans 15:7)
  2. Beautiful. (Ephesians 1:3)
  3. Chosen. (1 Peter 2:9)
  4. Loved. (1 John 3:1)
  5. Enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  6. Forgiven. (1 John 1:9)

My dear sister, you are too!

In Christ, we have been given new, Truth-​filled, life-​giving labels to wear. We all have.

Regardless of where we have been. Regardless of what we have done.

And in Christ, not only are the old labels erased, they have been replaced with power-​filled words of Truth. Only God can do that!

What label are you wearing today? Did you put on “loved,” “significant,” “courageous” — or are your old labels trying to impact your new days?

May we say “no more” to not-​nice nametags, lying labels, and sassy self-​talk. Instead, may God infuse us with a fresh, red-​hot faith to “put on” Truth each day. His Words are always a perfect fit!

About Cindy Bultema

Cindy Bultema loves the Lord, loves life, loves her family, and loves to celebrate! With nearly 20 years in ministry, Cindy has trained leaders and created programs within a variety of settings. Cindy lives in West Michigan with her husband, John, […]

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  1. Rosemary Turgeon says:

    Awesome! Thank You for Sharing! People can be so mean! So Thankful for these Truths! Our Identity in Christ is Amazing! So Thankful for how God sees us!

  2. Tina Wilson Hunt says:

    Thanks for sharing so genuinely…a message that needs to be shared.

  3. Kitty Diane Johnson says:

    Listen to DEREK SANDSTROM's song (from Penna.) he wrote — WORTHLESS!! He even has t‑shirts with the chorus printed on them. He prob thought I was nuts when I told him he should print a version w/​ the letters backwards; so we can look in a mirror and read it to ourselves instead of those old, hateful mind tapes! "I am not worthless; no, how can I be? When the maker of the Universe has died for me…"

  4. Amen!! <3 Great Story <3 Because of Judaism we have Christianity in our Judeo-​Christian Nation USA <3

  5. Beautiful post, thank you for writing this!

  6. Thanks for sharing .I know all the good words and some days they work /​ when the anxiety hits the old ones come back , most times a talk with Jesus fixes everything , but there are times i go right to the worst of the… I guess the word is trauma . Depression and anxiety for me is an up and down battle. but im going to keep standing on his promises

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