Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who am I?

Starting in September, I have been involved in a class which has been walking through "Your Best Life Now" by Joel Osteen, chapter by chapter. Along with reading the book, we have been answering questions in a study guide and journal that accompany the book.

The first section of the book was about expanding your vision, expecting more from the Lord, getting your hopes up. I found that part of the book was encouragaing and exciting. My very dreams were being transformed as my negativity turned to hope and faith.

Then we came to the next section, which was much more challenging. It was about having a healthy self-image. When it comes to self-image, it was as if mine was plagued by stage 4 cancer, not at all healthy; more like near death. I have always struggled to figured out who I am, what my purpose is, why God created me the way He did, and so on. I can only ever see my faults, my shortcomings, my sin and never see the benefit of being me or how i could possibly bless others. i compare myself with those around me according to an unreasonable standard and I always find myself to be a failure.

One particular question in the study guide truly challenged me. It reads "Describe in fifty words or less 'the person God made me to be.'" The group leader expounded on the question by saying "Not what you DO, who you ARE."

if someone asked you "who are you?" you might say, "I am a parent, an employee, a friend, a spouse. I lead a bible study. I homeschool. I clean my house. I counsel others." or any combination of the above. But those are all things you DO, not who you ARE. It took me a long time to be able to answer that question.

Who am I?

Then another question in the study guide REALLY challenged me. "Do you like yourself?" Boy is that a tough one.

After pondering those questions one night, I had a wonderful revelation that more intricately described what "being me" truly means and whether or not I liked that person. This is what I realized that night:

What I do is not a reflection of who I am. If I sin, that does not change the fact that God created me to be me and His creation is GOOD. If I "am" a drug addict, wife, mother, daughter, teacher, leader, missionary, alcoholic, pastor, abuser, or friend, those are things I DO, they do not define who I am. They may describe me, but they do not define me.

On the other hand, if I do NOT do something, I am no less me than I was the day I was formed in my mother's womb. If I don't clean the house, read my Bible, pray, take a shower, cook dinner, or spend time with my family, I am still me. I can love me reguardless of where I "fall short" because I am made to be me and to depend on God to fill in where I lack.

How do I lack? Is it according to my standards, God's, or someone else's? If I am made to be who I am, I cannot lack, I can only be. A standard is based on things we DO, for a person cannot be measured any other way. One cannot say "I am 63% me today." I am always fully me and nothing can change tht. When I grow and become more Christ-like, I am still 100% me, just a new, transformed me. I am not a better me than yesterday, or a different me than I will be tomorrow. I am a new aspect of fully me.

I am changed to the world through my flesh. As those chains break off I may look different, I may move more freely, but those chains are not a PART of me. I may do what I have never done, feel as I have never felt, move and think like never before, but none of this has added or subtracted one cubit of who I am.

My physical body will change, but I don't change. My personality, dreams, desires, and passions are a part of me. They don't change with time. They may enhance or fade as seasons come and go, but the basics remin constant. It is what makes me unique.

Because of all this I CAN love me! I don't need to seek out my shortcomings as how can I fail to be myself? I don't need to see what I do or don't do as a reflection of the GOOD creation that I am. God sees ME and loves ME since He knew what he was doing when He made me. I cannot question His creative work, I can only marvel at it. My battle is not against ME but those things of evil which control me. I need not fight against myself but rather that which brings me down. I love me - I can, I will, I do - that will not change. Thank you Lord, for making me, ME!

As I move ahead through this class, I look forward to even more revelation and transformation to come my way.

Until then, I will continue to be me.


Tracy:D said...

How freeing that is! It means that we are not doomed to live with our failures forever and that we are able to grab hold of great things if we want to.

I just had a vision of clothes shopping. I wear clothing, but my clothing is not part of me and who I am. I am free to discard the 70's plaid pants and opt for some sleek New York City 90's style... or vice versa!

Underneath it all, I remain who God created me to be.

Love this concept and how you shared it. :)

Niecey said...

You're a drug addict? I knew it!

haha, just kidding. Thanks for sharing this. How powerful. I could do with a soul searching/reflection time personally. I think being a mother and being so immersed in what you DO all the time, it can be easy to lose yourself amongst it all. And then it can feel uncomfortable to stand in God's presence because he knows us so well and we don't really even know ourselves and it feels like being all naked and vulnerable. It's important to feel comfortable in that deep part of yourself that God wants to spend time with, so we're more likely to open it up and share it with Him.

lady mommy said...

Nicely put Niecey! (wow that's tough to type lol) Aren't we all adicted to something? My drug of choice is my laptop...sigh.