This year has not been easy. In fact, it hasn't been terribly rough either compared to the millions who suffer on a daily basis from an oppressive government, devastating natural disasters, or lack of clean water. It's been refining, and out of these times of uncertainty, I've learned who I really am. I am a 30-year-old just learning who I am and will continue to relearn this priceless lesson as I journey through this life.
Ready to hear what I've been learning?
I am NOT what I produce or do.
I am NOT what I own or have.
I am NOT what others think or say I am.
Yeah, just one of these lessons is hard enough, but try learning all three in less than 3 months. It has been so worth it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything because I have come to the realization that if I believe...
I am what I PRODUCE or do. Then, I am in a constant state of exhaustion trying to be productive, trying to create the next best design, trying to work for my security. This is a fruitless endeavor because there will always be more to do. And what if you are unable to work whether by circumstances, ill-health, etc., are you going to allow your work to determine your value at times when you cannot work?
I am what I OWN or have. Oh man, I think the American Dream has set us up for failure on this one, but we've all bought into it. When you have everything and never have to say "no" to yourself while shopping, then you may identify yourself with your possessions. You know those possessions end up possessing our souls very easily. What rusts and moths destroy...are those very things worth your heart, your life, your vitality? Will a car, a house, or an outfit price out your worth?
I am what others think or say I am. It's so easy for me to doubt myself and allow other people's condemnations to get to me. Our world is filled with judgement and to escape that would be nearly impossible. At one point or another, you will be marginalized by someone, and it will cause you pain. But will it cause you insecurity? It will if you put your weight on what others think of you. It will if you allow it to. It will if you have no other source of security beyond yourself. But is one man's opinion more important than God's of you?
"Your true identity is not in the hands of other people. Your identity can never be what some other person may think about you. You were fashioned by God in your mother's womb. God knew you intimately before you were born. You are God's beloved child. That is who you truly are." -Henri Nouwen
I AM GOD'S BELOVED CHILD.
This is who I am.