I have been on a journey to really find myself for a few years now.
This year especially, God has revealed so much and it has been incredibly freeing.
Honestly, I’m rounding back to who I was when I hit puberty; I feel most myself in t-shirts and ripped jeans. That girl who defied conformism by chopping her hair off, dyeing it purple and jumping into concert pits. That girl who wanted to just be herself and not care what the world thought. That girl was brave. She still had so much to learn, but man...I want to be that girl (minus the spiked hair).
I spent so much of my young adult life trying to figure out who I was by letting the world tell me who I should be. I believed that my value was wrapped around the size of our paychecks, the brands we wore, the cars we drove and the house we lived in. I believed that our goal in life was achieving the “Palm Beach” ideal. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many incredible things and opportunities that Palm Beach has to offer. However, it is absolutely one of the hardest places to live and not play the comparison game or believe the lie that you need [____] to be a better you (you fill in the blank). Everything I thought I should be, I conformed to it all. I let the world tell me what my worth was and it was a dark and exhausting place to be.
Then one of the biggest blessings of our lives happened, my husband lost his job. Probably not what you thought I was going to say, but it is true! All of a sudden our focus shifted. All of a sudden our conversations were about what is most important in life, what is our purpose here, where is the community we want to be a part of, what does being real really look like and what does bring us real-pure-undiluted joy. We chose faith over fear and it changed everything (praise the Lord for that strength because it was not our own!).
I stopped wishing for the perfect house and decided to choose to love the small, two bedroom apartment we were in. I started finding free parks and wracking my brain for creative things to do as a family and with my toddler who needed to get outside and run. It challenged us so hard. But it brought us closer together, closer to God and through it we started finding our real selves.
We found that we love the outdoors. Beyond sunning and swimming, I never thought much about it before then. But suddenly I couldn’t get enough of God’s creation, wherever we were. Nature walks and bike rides became family hobbies. Simple things became luxuries.
Then all of our hopes, goals and dreams shifted into something entirely different (like wanting to hop into an RV and explore the world with our kids). Our hearts changed and focused more on others, our family and God’s will for our lives and it fueled us.
Sometimes, getting the rug pulled out from under us is what we really need. That shock factor to wake us up to realize we need to change direction. That desperate moment that forces us to let our trust and control issues go and trust in Him alone, because in that moment He is our only hope.
Praise the Lord for those moments that to the world seem like terrible situations, but because of God’s grace and peace that surpasses all understanding, we can find joy and still praise His name. That is how we can reflect His glory, in how we respond to those character defining moments.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
James 1:2-4 ESV
That was the start for me to redefine who I was. I hadn’t realized it, but in the midst of all the conforming and believing lies about who I should be, I forgot who I really was. It’s a process that I hope never fully ends and God continues to show me new facets of my identity through every new chapter in life.
It has already been quite the adventure God has been leading me on to accept and believe who I am as His daughter, my worth because of His steadfast love and what my purpose is in His kingdom. I am really loving embracing the real me (every quirk and beautiful flaw that makes me, me) and finding who she really is.
Have you asked yourself who you are lately?
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Psalms 139:13-16 ESV
- Laura Hignight