This year so far has been one of conversations, of thinking, of beginning to define myself.
Something that often crosses my mind is this thought: Who am I?
And I can go through the surface things. I can say I’m a college student, a sister and daughter, a musician, a writer. But are those things enough?
I’ve been playing with this idea, of being rather than doing. Focusing on who I am, not just what I do as the definition of me.
On my own, I can do a lot of things. I can write articles and play music and be kind and use my mind. I can. But if I am to place my entire value, the sum total of my worth into these things – where will I be when these things fall away?
Who will I be when the inkwell’s dry and I don’t write anymore?
Who will I be when I lose my voice and I cease to sing?
Who will I be when I’m at a loss for creativity – when I’ve defined myself by my creations and I do not create anymore?
I want to be more than just one title.
I write tweets sometimes, that go along the lines of “You have value.” And that’s something that none of us can afford to forget.
But the lines blur, sometimes, between who we are in Christ and who we create for ourselves to be.
When people say, “You’re amazing,” it’s usually after we accomplish something impressive, or do something important. It’s wonderful to be recognized for something we’ve achieved – but when we let those things become who we are, and only who we are, we often miss out on the greater work that’s happening inside of us.
We are not just “good,” we are new. In Christ, all of our blemishes have been washed away and they no longer define us; His holiness does.
Sometimes it’s hard to find that line between His goodness and ours. The difference between relying on His Great Work and our attempted great works.
So where is the differentiation found?
I believe we find it at the beginning – at our very own starting point.
When you wake up in the morning, what’s your first thought? Your first coherent one, a pondering one, regarding the day?
I believe it’s essential to ask ourselves this question, “Who will I be, today?” And I don’t mean to ask what façade we’ll adopt, what mask we’ll paste to our faces, but who we will choose to be in a world full of falseness – false hope, false intentions, false lives lived – and in a world with One Way to live differently than that falseness.
Will we look to our identity in Christ – our goodness found in Him – or seek to build our lives upon shifting things, upon nice intentions, and inadequate effort?
I don’t mean to discourage from building a beautiful life, a fulfilling, meaningful one – but instead I want to encourage a life built on the foundation of Christ, because it is then and there that value, and meaning, and purpose flow out.
When I ask myself who I want to be, and find the answer, I allow myself to rest in the person God has defined me as and find freedom to pursue my potential upon that established identity.
I build who I am, yes. But only because I am who I am because I have trusted Christ. Only because I try and pursue new, meaningful adventures because I feel the Spirit leading me. Only because I am living in the gratitude to the Jesus who spilled His blood to rescue my soul and make me clean.
It’s not because I on my own have anything spectacular to add to the world; it is because without Him, I am no one, and in Him, I find true purpose – the purpose that He created me with.
So who am I? I am more than a writer. I am more than a student. I am more than an artist or musician or leader or coffee-drinker or texter or stargazer or sister.
I am more than any and every one of those things.
I am a Child of God. I am His creation, and His beloved.
And in that identity, I have the freedom to be every single one of those things, or none of them. It doesn’t matter all that much.
For all these titles are the mediums with which we use to live out the purpose God has placed on our hearts; different mediums for different seasons, I say.
Right now I’m a writer, but in a few years that may change. And honestly? Though it’s taken me more than just a day to come to this conclusion, I’m perfectly happy with that.
Because even as a writer – writing does not define me. My value in Christ does, and that is unshakable.
If I never write another word, sing another note, take another test, read another page, I still have the same amount of intrinsic value.
And I think that is one of the most beautiful blessings we ever could ask for.
So what now? We have this value, this concept of inner worth that comes from outside ourselves…but what do we do now?
Friend, go live.
Go follow the Spirit where He leads.
Try new things. Write articles, do experiments, test theories, encourage friends, splatter paint on canvases, seize new opportunities.
Pursue that purpose. Live. Dream. Love. Do. And find your value in something so much deeper than just a title. You are worth so much more.