Here I am, 4,000 miles away from almost everything I’ve ever known. The same topic keeps coming up amongst my peers and professor: identity.
Who am I? What factors create me? What keeps me from who I am? Will I ever actually know myself?
These are the questions that have been swirling around for the past few days. I think they are important questions to ask and I’ve been asking myself these since my junior year in high school. So I’ve created an answer…
Well – I know who I am.
I have always said this, and said it boldly. This statement doesn’t mean that who I am won’t alter slightly or evolve, it simply means this: I am keenly aware of my strengths and my imperfections. I can tell you exactly how I will react to almost every situation. My honesty with myself often makes me pessimistic.
My home, my family, my spirituality, my friends, my boyfriend, my likes, my dislikes, my education, my hopes and my fears all (whether big or small) define me.
BUT – here’s the thing I’ve realized… When I say that I know who I am, it’s based on the (rather accurate) definition I’ve given myself, not necessarily what God says about who I am. I know it may seem rather lofty to insinuate that I know who God says I am, but I don’t think it is. I’ve started to comprehend that He’s already spelled out in His Word exactly who I am.
When I can confidently say that (in a situation) I have no purpose, He reminds me that I’m chosen. (John 15:19)
When I feel that I belong to no one, He claims me and says “You are mine.” (Psalm 50:10-12)
When I know that I’m being worthless, He calls me His beloved. (Deuteronomy 33:12)
When I am deserted, He tells me that I am sought after. (Isaiah 62:12)
Knowing who I am includes more than my realities, but also who God says that I am.
I’ve spent this morning in tears remembering how much Christ loves me. It’s easy to forget since I’m away from the tangible people that show the love of Christ to me. I don’t have those people to depend on and I’m finding His love comforting, now, more than ever.
I visited Wells Cathedral last week and in this 800 year old church, I found a prayer of thanksgiving that the vicars would sing, I can’t help but echo it now:
“Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.”