I don’t know whether its being in my thirties or the situations happening in my life, but now more than ever I am questioning who I am. The conversations I have had over the last number of weeks have my mind swirling and my heart searching to find who I am. In the culture that we live in today we are constantly told what we have to be. We need to be successful. We need to be busy. We need to have it all. Culture is dictating who we are by what we have, do not have and by what we do. And I’m caught in this. I am allowing culture to dictate who I am and its making me miserable, angry and unsatisfied.
We have bought into this terrible lie and its destroying us. It’s destroying us as mothers, as small business owners and as creatives. Over the last number of months I have become muddled. I have let these lies slowly seep into my life and define who I am. So much so that I need to re-find and redefine who I am. A conversation with a loved one this past summer truly has got me thinking. You know when you meet someone for the first time and after you exchange names and pleasantries, the first question people usually ask to size you up is, “What do you do?” Now I don’t think this is meant to be a trick question but when it is dictated by culture it has already been decided that this question will either leave the person impressed or leave them with a culture dictated negative view of who they are.
Then the conversation moved in this direction- if everything you do was stripped away who would you be? If you were not a mother, a spouse, not a business owner, not a employee, essentially nothing– would you be able to define who you are? For me this was deep and I didn’t have an answer. Who am I? I think I know who I would like to be and what I should be, but who am I?
When living a life fully enveloped in Christ’s love it should never be a question of who we are. And this is what I need to constantly remind myself of. I am his. And he loves me. Done– that’s who I am. I am loved. So many of us have fed into this temptation to believe that we have been shorted or that we aren’t good enough. And I’ve let those thoughts rule my head for far too long.
This is how temptation works within us, and once it has taken root we stop looking at all that God has provided for us. Instead, we begin to focus on what we are lacking or on what we feel we deserve. Questioning the goodness and the Word of God always lies at the root of temptation. ~Lydia Brownback, Legacy of Faith, pg. 4~
I need to get back to the basics. Knowing that I am loved opens up worlds of opportunity. And the opportunities are not going to be what the world defines for us as important. I have the great opportunity of showing his love to all around me. How great is this? We are so incredibly loved, more than we can even imagine. So don’t you think we should be doing this more? We need to stop competing, comparing and compromising who we are. We need to run after Jesus heart with all that we have.
Knowing that I’ll fail at things but am still loved will push me onward. But far greater is this, knowing that I am loved I can thank God in all circumstances. In bad relationships, I can thank him for giving me opportunity. In the moments where I don’t give my kids enough patience, I can thank him for his grace. In my frustrations with situations that I cannot control, I can learn to be grateful in the process.
More and more as we begin to know who we are– loved by a great God, we can begin to transform our inner self to match our outer self. My theme lately has been consistency and authenticity. Consistency is huge for me. I’m thinking more because I am an A Type personality and more of a black and white thinker, but it has me thinking of what consistency looks like in my own life. I loved this quote from Donald Miller from his book Scary Close.
Having integrity is about being the same person on the inside that we are on the outside, and if we don’t have integrity, life becomes exhausting. DM pg 65
Those lies are what makes life exhausting. Lies can tell you that you need to do something to be important. Lies can tell you that molding children’s lives are a waste of who you truly want to be. Lies can tell you that you can define who you are. Lies can destroy your joy. But God’s truth overcomes all these lies.
It is grace to know God’s commands. They release us from self-made plans and conflicts. They make our steps certain and our way joyful. ~Dietrich Bonehoffer~
And so I am turning to learning more about who I am through learning who God is. God is loving, faithful, wise, just and honest. Those are the attributes that I want to be known for- that’s what we need to be striving for!