‘The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be’—Joanna Gaines Shares Throwback Pic & Powerful Message in Honor of New Children’s Book

We know her today as Joanna Gaines, Queen of Waco, Empress of Magnolia, shiplap advocate, and the creator of all things house #goals.

But before Joanna Gaines ever graced us with her luscious locks and design expertise, she was once a little girl, who like so many of us, battled with insecurities and lies.

In honor of her new children’s book, “The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be,” Joanna took to social media Wednesday with a throwback school picture from her childhood.

“The older I get, the more I realize how much time I spent believing the lie that who I was wasn’t good enough,” she wrote on Facebook. “I find myself fighting to get all of that time back—all of the moments I wasted hiding who I was by trying to be something I wasn’t.”

The photo features a 6 or 7-year-old Joanna Stevens with disheveled hair, a missing front tooth, and a scrape on her chin.

“So as I sit here now, with years of living and learning behind me, I want so badly to go back in time to that little girl—a little girl who happens to be half Korean and shy and a little bit self-conscious—to tell her that not only is she good enough, but she is extraordinary. I want to go back and tell her to be kind to herself because the world needs exactly who she was made to be,” the mother of five wrote.

“And believe me when I say that the same is true for you. I hope you find the courage to embrace all that you are—all of your quirks, all of your beauty, all of your brilliance—because the world needs YOU.”

Later, Joanna re-enacted the old school photo and shared a side-by-side of the two on social media.

“Not much has changed and I’ll probably regret this photo but it’s worth saying again kids… the world needs who you were made to be!” she wrote.

The powerful message echoes that of her newest children’s book, “The World Needs Who You Were Created to Be,” which released earlier this week.

“This book is a reminder for kids and adults alike that no matter who you are, where you are from, or what your story is, the world needs YOU,” Joanna wrote on Instagram, sharing a special animated version of the book, narrated by her daughter, Emmie Kay.

In a post on the Magnolia Blog, Joanna says her hope is that the book would be a “declaration for seeing and celebrating the differences in one another.”

“My hope is for each of them to know, deep in their bones, that who they are is good, and that the differences that they see in each other and in themselves are to be celebrated,” she wrote.


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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of ForEveryMom.com! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!