laying down what's not mine

I’ve always wanted a tattoo – a reminder that will be there with me forever of who I am and who I was created to be.  The problem is – I’m constantly discovering a new facet of what that means in my life.  I find a new word, phrase or image that I want to be my guiding force and it causes me to question if I really want to permanently put any of them on my body.   So I tend to use jewelry for my reminders instead.  I love to find wearable symbols that remind me of who I am and where I’m going in this season of life.  Words, phrases or images that help to ground me and declare who (and whose) I am.
I recently heard someone speak about the significance of wearing your own armor.  She referenced the story of David and Goliath, when David initially goes out to go toe to toe with Goliath they want him to put on Saul’s armor.  But when he puts it on it’s too big and it inhibits his movements.  So he takes it off and goes to face Goliath without it.
The woman sharing this image with us was encouraging us to put on our own armor, not the armor of someone else.  It hit me deep.
So much of the world around me tells me who to be.  From the superficial things: how to dress, how to put on make up, how to do my hair; to the deeper things: how to carry myself, how to be a leader/pastor/writer.  I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to figure out what my niche is – where it is I feel most alive.  But part of the problem is that I’ve let others tell me who to be and what to place value on.
It has resulted in me putting on someone else’s armor.  Sometimes because their armor was shinier than my own.  Sometimes because they told me their armor was thicker and more protective than mine.  Sometimes because I didn’t realize it wasn’t mine to put on.  Sometimes because they were someone I wanted to emulate and therefore I put their armor on to be like them.
But the problem with putting someone else’s armor on is that it doesn’t protect you the way it should.  It doesn’t amplify the places where you are strong and protect the places you are weak.  It isn’t meant for you.
If I believe that God created us each uniquely, which I do, then I also believe that God equips us each for a unique calling on our lives.  The calling serves the same purpose for each of us – joining in the mission of God – but it’s lived out by each of us differently, based on who He created us to be.
So of course our armors are all different.  As I journey through discovering my own armor, I’m learning what it means to pick my way through my own calling and journey.  I’m learning what my armor is, what my battles are, where my path is leading.
These days there are two pieces of my armor that I put on myself each day.  One is a bracelet that says “FEARLESS” which was a bridesmaid gift from my dear Lo.  The other is a bracelet with a feather on it.  The company who made this bracelet says that a feather is the bearer of truth and justice.  As I walk forward into this next season of ministry and leadership, I am choosing to put on these two things – truth and fearlessness.
What armor do you need to put down today? And what armor are you picking up?