Written by Natalia Barroso
“I am, because He is” …Every time I look down at my arm, I see a reminder of what I was taught about myself and God in my Discipleship Training School (DTS). It took me three years to get it tattooed on me, but the eternal imprint of those words was made as soon as I heard it, on my graduation day.
What would stick with me for the rest of my life ran much deeper.
On the last day of DTS, all the students were asked to take some time and write a letter to ourselves, talking about what impacted us during our DTS. The letter would be mailed to each person three months later, by our school leader, with the purpose of bringing remembrance to all that God had done in us. As I began to write my letter, I began to think of all that God showed me about His power in my life. Where I would once say, “I can’t take on this physical feat,” I could now recall the times I went rock climbing or climbed hundreds of steps in Turkey. Still, those stories didn’t hold up the weight of the transformation God had initiated. What would stick with me for the rest of my life ran much deeper.
I went from thanking God for what He had done, to thanking Him for who He is, to then thanking Him for who He has made me to be. On paper, I started declaring, “Natalia, don’t forget that God has made you strong. He has made you worthy of love,” and so on. Then I wrote, “You are all of this because You are created in God’s image. He is all of those things first.” As is common when I’m writing, I got lost in the processing, and next thing I know, I was writing the words which are now visible on my forearm: I am, because He is.
Because I was created in His image, by being true to who I am, I am actually reflecting the very character of God.
If I had to communicate only one revelation I had during DTS, it would be the one above. Everything that I am is found in who God is. Because I was created in His image, by being true to who I am, I am actually reflecting the very character of God. In YWAM, one foundational value is to make God known. So often we think of that being related to evangelism missions work; I know I did. Never did I think of simply being myself as a way of making God known. That changes things. I no longer have any excuse to want to be someone different, or to try to change who I am, because I am representing God. Living authentically isn’t just a good idea, it’s a responsibility I have to honor God and to make Him known in a world that is desperate for who He is.