Mine would look something like this:
HSP (highly sensitive person)
What does your list look like? Is it full of negative labels or are they mostly positive? Have you lived with many of them for most of your life? Who gave them to you?
As you reflect on your list, can you see God’s design for you in each one? Or do you feel like you are deeply flawed as you look over your labels?
Which areas do you need to hand over to God? Which ones might you need to fully embrace and live into?
Can you see how He is redeeming AD/HD in your life and using it to accomplish great things or do you only see the inattentiveness, distractability, and poor memory?
How might He be using your stubborn tenacity to see you through a trying time?
Can you see how God is redeeming even your melancholy-choleric weaknesses to bring glory to Himself?
Though we do dare not excuse our faults or refrain from improving our weak points, it is beneficial and at times both freeing and healing to embrace the life challenges we are given and to accept ourselves at face value, choosing to believe the scriptural truth:
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalms 139:14 KJV)
What about your children… What labels have you or others given them? How might God be asking you to focus on the positive aspects of these labels as you parent those children He has blessed you with?
After all, like the verse goes: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)
Labels can put us in a stuffy box that leaves us little breathing room. Or we can choose to allow the labels that some may say define us to help us identify our strengths and grow in our areas of weakness.
We can reframe the negative labels with positive words. In Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s book Raising Your Spirited Child, she writes,
“Starting today, you can choose to stop using words that project a negative image of your child. It really isn’t that far a leap from picky to selective, or from obnoxious to dramatic. By merely changing your vocabulary you can alter how you and others perceive your child. You can create a new image that feels good, looks good, and meets socially approved standards. The first step to enhancing your spirited child’s strengths comes with the words you use.”
That’s why I have a list of words posted where I can read it often. Seeing the words, holds high standards, enthusiastic and zestful, energetic, tenderhearted, compelling, cautious and dramatic reminds me to see traits that would otherwise be difficult or frustrating in a new light.
I think this holds true for ourselves as well as our children. If we can reframe the way we think about ourselves and our weaknesses in a more positive way, we have taken the first step toward healthier, kinder attitudes. If we ask Him, Jesus is ready and waiting to give us courage to accept our limitations and to pursue His grace in the difficult moments of our lives.