Sunday’s are my favorite days. They are a day of reflection, a day or preparation, most importantly – a day of worship. Sunday mornings are my solace – my peace amongst an ever shifting, dramatic storm that is day to day life.
To be honest, I had considered skipping church this morning because I was feeling utterly exhausted (seems to be that way more often than not these days, unfortunately) and I have midterms this week and so I have a RIDICULOUS amount of school work and studying to do.
But I persevered – I dragged myself out of bed, showered, and made my way to one of my new found favorite spots in Ann Arbor. And I am so glad that I did.
As I have all my study materials for tomorrow’s musicology midterm, laid out on the floor before me, my spotify was shuffling through some recent favorites of mine and it landed on “The More I Seek You.” By Zach Neese. I was reminded of the valuable lesson that was taught this morning.
Our whole lives seem to be comprised of question after question. It starts from a very young age…everyone is familiar with the never ending lists of questions that sweet young souls ask beginning practically from the moment they are able to form sentences. One of the most important questions we will ever ask ourselves is, “Who am I?”
The first half of our lives are spent trying to complete the sentence, “I am…” Our identities are shaped by our experiences in life – the love we are shown, the labels we are given, the day to day interactions we have with the people around us. It is so vital that young people be built up and covered in love.
The people who are fortunate enough to be able to successfully complete the sentence, “I am…” are the ones who get to also ask the second question that typically presents itself later on in life, “What will I do?”
Once you know who you are, you are able to then turn your identity outward and reflect it in the world around you. You are capable and more than just that, willing, to give back and to make a difference in the world. But many people never even get to finish their, “I will…” sentence. Because many of us struggle to find our TRUE identity.
While it’s true that the world plays a massive role in shaping our perceptions of ourselves and there’s no denying that the love we either do or don’t receive growing up will undoubtedly impact us for the rest of our lives, the ultimate test of our identity is our relationship with Christ.
Our identity will lead us to our purpose (or at the very least, what we perceive our intended purpose to be). So, we have to always be on our guard and constantly asking ourselves, “What answers am I accepting and who am I accepting them from?”
There have been countless times in my life where I looked for love in all the wrong places – my identity got so turned around and honestly, torn apart. I looked for validation and love from family members who just slammed doors in my face. I sought out relationships that were damaging and abusive. I tried to force people to love me by trying to prove that I was capable of taking care of them whether they were going to accept my help or not. And ultimately, I resorted to altering my body, my mind, my ideas, beliefs, opinions, and everything that I was in order to try to fit someone else’s mold for my life. I got so, SO lost in the world and all the wrong answers it was giving me.
The sermon this morning was one I plan to go back through during this crazy, hectic week full of stress, tests, late nights, assignments, and commitments. I am going to make a concious effort to let GOD define my self-knowledge and my self-acceptance this week and I am going to refuse to accept answers from anyone or anything else. Will you join me in striving to answers life’s questions and in trying to finally complete my own sentences?!
And I will…
I am who I am in Christ…I’m still trying to figure that out, and for now…I think that’s okay.
And I will…continue to search for answers in CHRIST and in the people in my life who truly love me and accept me for who I am. I will follow where He leads me and pursue love.
“Stop being tormented by everyone else’s reaction to you.”
― Joyce Meyer
“When we live out a sense of who we are IN CHRIST we live our lives based on all we have been given by Christ. This keeps us from seeking to get those things from the people and situations around us. Much of the disappointments and heartache we experience is the result of our attempts to get something from relationships that we already have in Christ.”
― Timothy S. Lane