Who are you? This isn’t just a song by The Who or the theme song to one of my favorite t.v. shows it’s a question we should be asking ourselves not just once but every day…sometimes multiple times a day. Why? Because while the core of you stays the same, who you are is ever changing. Just as where you are right now isn’t where you were five years ago, 6 months ago or even an hour ago who are now isn’t who you were before.
We meet people, have conversations, encounter situations, have near misses or have accidents that all chip away at the veneer we so artistically and painstakingly put together to keep us safe and secure. Every once in awhile someone actually gets all the way through that veneer. That’s our moment of truth. Our fork in the road. Do I let them stay there? Do I allow who they are help shape me on a deeper level? Or do I quickly push them out and being the work of patching up the hole they created?
Staying on the surface is so easy for us. Mainly because it’s comfortable and it gives us a reason to be able to say “nobody loves me”, “I’m so alone”, “Why don’t I have any friends?” Basically it’s an excuse to blame others for how things are turning out in our lives. About six years ago I was driving home from church school and I was hit with an overwhelming sense of loneliness. I began to think that I didn’t have any friends and that no one loved me. Logically I knew that wasn’t true but I was so in my feelings it took me days to get out of it.
To be honest this feeling of loneliness was always there as a low hum but it would get louder the closer it got to my birthday and the holidays. But instead of drawing closer and closer to God and others I became more and more withdrawn. I kept going to church and to work but day by day, year by year my thoughts became more of a comfort than spending time with God and with friends & family. I became a pro at faking fine not only with others but with myself. Everything came to a head towards the beginning of last year. It became harder and harder for me to get out of bed each morning. I went to work, did just enough and couldn’t wait to home and back to bed.
I was reading bible plans, listening to gospel music and listening to preaching. I was attending bible study and being taught the Word of God but every Sunday I would come to church and break down. Eventually I came to the end of myself and realized that something had to change. I called my doctor and got medication for depression & anxiety. I called a therapist to talk through things I should have dealt with a long time ago. But most importantly I continued to talk to God. Bit by bit I began to become more like myself. I began to laugh again. I began to have the desire to help out in church again and my desire to write came back.
However, I still found myself asking who I was and what He wanted from me. This question of identity is something a lot of people struggle with regardless of age, race or gender. I believe that’s why God is constantly telling us how much He loves us. I recently had a conversation with my brother that I’ll admit was hard to have but it was necessary. He challenged me to accept that God loves me. Accept that I am worthy of love. Accept that I am more precious than diamonds. Accept that Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross was not for me to just exist. Accept that my life has meaning and a purpose. Accept that I am a child of God and I challenge you to do the same. After that conversation, I went and saw the movie Overcomer. One of the characters was asked to read Ephesians 1 and 2 and write down all the things that God says we are. I decided to read it and discovered that He says I am chosen, I am loved, I am holy without blame, I am adopted. He takes pleasure in me. I am accepted. I am redeemed. And that’s just in the first seven verses of chapter 1. But here’s the thing these statements don’t just apply to me. God’s word applies to everyone who chooses to believe it and that includes you.
I intend to live with these words in my heart. What about you?