Hello friends. I am continuing on with the identity series today with my own personal story. First, I want to say that this has been and still is my personal journey. I am by no means completely where God wants me, but I have come a long way.
I think we all at some point in time ask ourselves, who am I, why am I even here on this earth? Who is it that I want to be? I do think some people in life come up with great answers, however I believe that most of us really just don’t know. Far too often we learn to define ourselves through our surroundings, things we have, or own, and I think many of us define ourselves through what we think others, think of us. In reality none of these things have anything to do with who we truly are. I have found in my life it has been hard to discover who I really am, and even when I do, I don’t always like what I find. Thankfully, that is where God comes in. We don’t have to stay who we currently are, God has given us the power to change.
Now I could truly start at the beginning of my story, you know I was born and grew up in the country, blah, blah, blah, but the only thing I will say about that is, when I was young we moved a lot. I was always the new kid, and being an introvert, I always had a hard time making new friends. I grew up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. I have lots of wonderful memories of hiking, cutting wood and our own Christmas trees and living a country lifestyle that comes along with growing up in a small rural town. When I was fourteen my family moved to Fredericksburg and we have been here even since. Being the new kid in high school and having a heavy southern accent had lots repercussions, but I survived and am better for it. I share this little part of my childhood to say this, I already had formed a bad self-image before I ever hit adulthood, as most of us do. But what I really want to talk about is, how by the time I was in my twenties, I had no idea who I was, or who God created me to be. I was totally lost. I had tried to put everything into my life that I thought would make me happy and I wasn’t.
I was raised in a Christian home, was saved when I was six , and had Jesus as my friend for as long as I remember. I have always talked to Jesus as, just that, my friend. My parents loved me, took care of me, and I was a smart girl. But no matter what happened along the way, I still had a bad self-image, and did not know who I was. As a teenager I had an idea of what I wanted my life to look like. I dreamed of the future and made plans for my future self. When I was young I rarely lived in the moment. I was always dreaming about the future and how great it would be. I had lots of ideas of what my life would look like. Now that is not necessarily bad, but I was building up an expectation and image in my head. I wasn’t praying about what God had for me, I was coming up with ideas on my own. Then I set out to make them all happen. A husband, a career, children, a home, even down to the pets that I wanted.
– don’t hide behind a façade. I had become very good
at fooling myself and everyone around me, only
letting people see what I wanted them to see.
I realized that I was not close to anyone.
By the time I was twenty five, many of those things had happened for me. I was married. We had three kids, a house, and we even owned a business. We worked hard. We were young and I wanted to prove that we had a great life. I REALLY wanted a great life. But I was depressed, lost and unhappy. At the time, I was a stay at home mom, and sometimes I thought that maybe giving up so much to stay home was why I was unhappy. We had financial problems, maybe that was it. My husband and I had been married for almost four years and the “in love wild days were gone”, maybe that was why. We had other problems and struggles too, but what I came to realize was, I was not free. I was letting everything around me determine how I felt about me and who I was. I had filled my life with my own image. I was so busy living my life and hiding behind a facade, that I was scared to leave it behind. I was too busy trying to be comfortable and trying to impress the world, that I did not stop to look at and listen to God. I didn’t look at the one who could show me who he wanted me to be. Too busy, to look at my maker, who has called us to him and given us a purpose. Somewhere along the way, I had lost myself. Lost my self through sin, hurt, betrayal, and rejection. Then trying to find my way, I left my true self behind and taken on a false identity, my façade, to keep me safe. I filled my life with things. A house, a car, pets, homeschooling, church duties, hobbies, and even my friends and family. Now all of these things can be wonderful. These things to have, and the people to share our lives with. But if we are defining ourselves through these things and even through our loved ones, we are just trying to create an image. Maybe we are just finding a place to hide. Hiding in a facade we have created. This is where I was, and I was looking at a stranger, someone I didn’t even know, someone I didn’t even like. I wanted that to change. And now I had one question. Where do I go from here?
So the point that I am making is that I had set myself up to fail by creating my own image of what my life and I should look like. I had created an ungodly expectation.
I want to leave you with this thought. How many things have you done or put into your life by trying to create an image of what you think happiness and success look like?
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.