Essays on faith: Identity

I think fashion is boring. Wearing what everyone else wears is plain. Imitation is too simple and frankly, annoying. I’m opinionated. I like warm summer mornings, sipping coffee on the porch with my grandma Bette. I love short hair. Writing is healing. I am raising two beautiful souls. My dresser is seafoam green, it belonged to my husbands grandparents. I eat a banana every single day. I have a college degree. I loved living in New York, loved it. My right arm is covered in tattoos. I love hearing people tell me that my children resemble me. I am married to a professor. I hate fashion, again.

This is a small glimpse of who I am, right?

Well, yes and no. We’re taught to take these qualities and extrapolate who we are based on these things. The things we have accumulated, achieved, how we eat, or wear speak for us.

I endlessly tell my husband is that I want to pack up, move to the country, and live free from the influence of the world. It’s absolutely idealistic-which fits. Forget pinterest, facebook, and instagram. It’s all for show anyways, right?! Is any of it real?

My spirit is a tormented one.  For as long as I can remember, I have felt conflicted. I’m more often restless than at peace. My husband tells me it’s a blessing. My heart has been stirred, angry, searching deeply for truth. The past few months of my life have felt a bit torrential at times.

Mediocrity.

Identity.

Idolatry.

Big things. BIG things.

I lead a great life. I am blessed with and by my family (both big and small). My husband has a fabulous job that allows us to have more family time than I ever expected. My marriage is life’s biggest comfort. I get to tinker with writing, explore my interests, and grow a career, while hanging out with my little ones all day. I get to enjoy fancy dinners with my best friend, B. My children! my children are healthy, and thriving. We can facetime… I mean, what gives a little boy (and a nana) more joy?

Still, i’m restless.

We spend our lives building these castles for ourselves, picking and choosing what qualities we want to project for the time being… and then one day, we realize it’s all a facade… inflation of self is an ugly thing. The answer to low self-esteem is to build confidence, right? No, stop the sugar coating!

I’m searching for more.

It does not come down to gratitude. Or thankfulness. Although I could offer more praise, because can you really ever praise enough for your blessings?

While searching for more, I found something greater still. Something more satisfying and worth the pursuit. It is hard to grasp, to convey, to embrace. It’s free, and yet will cost me everything.

My identity is already defined.

One of my biggest fears is reaching my final day and regretting that I didn’t get what God had offered me- promised me… because I was searching, playing the “dress up” game of identity, or just complacent.

Mediocrity is a slow death. Semi devoid of pain, perhaps. But leaving you spiritually bankrupt.

I will no longer have to wonder what “things” say about me. How I’m dressed, my buzzed hair, or that fact that I prefer to not wear make-up! It’s so easy to just follow suit, have small talk with friends about the latest things… But, I crave more.

 

My current meditation:

Now I’m returning to you.

I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing

So my people can experience

MY joy completed in them.

I gave them your word;

The godless world hated them because of it,

because they didn’t join the world’s ways,

just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.

I’m not asking that you take them out of the world

but that you guard them from the evil one.

They are no more defined by the world

than I am defined by the world.

Make them holy-consecrated-with the truth;

Your word is consecrating truth.

In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,

I give them a mission in the world.

I’m consecrating myself for their sakes

so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

John 17:14-19

I’m challenged to learn to live in the world, but not OF the world.

~

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:1-2

Do not conform. Follow the straight and narrow. It leads to life. Fix my eyes.

~

These thoughts are anything from finished. Identity is a constant challenge, at least for me. May God give me grace as I sort my way through the mess, and direct my heart to His. Also, I’m not sure if I can get Matt on board to move to the boonies, grow our own food, raise our babies, and write! But, I’ll keep trying!

~

Hands reach for the sky-

God, draw my spirit to you.

Make these old things new.

~

Dear God, save us from mediocrity. Save us from ourselves. 


2 thoughts on “Essays on faith: Identity

  1. Honey, you are on the right track. You have a great life, you have a man that loves you and appreciates you and all you do and you have two beautiful babies that are being nutured by your love and guidance. Your life is good.

    Like

    1. No question about that! I am overly blessed. My thoughts are more directed at the heavenly realm, perhaps. Looking at how it is easy to rely on those good earthly things we have and forgetting that they do not define us.
      Thanks for the comment. Always good to hear from you. Miss you.

      Like

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