Who Am I, Really?

Hey guys! So…I’m still on this Easter kick thing. Yes, I know that today is Saint Patrick’s Day, and yes, he was a pretty cool guy (he was a missionary, not a leprechaun by the way). But Easter just makes me SO happy! I mean really. Forgiveness! Love! Hope! Acceptance! Joy! Peace! I have all these things because of the cross. So enjoy, reflect, and rejoice this Easter because of what’s been done for you.




“Who am I, really?” The piercing words echo in my head. I’ve known myself for almost fifteen years and I’m not always convinced that I know the true AJ. 

Who am I, really?


People say I’m beautiful. But I don’t feel beautiful. 
People say I’m smart. But I feel like a failure. 

know who I am. 

I’m a sinner. I am broken in pieces that I could never fix. I’m not always loving, joyful, or peaceful. My words are not always patient, gentle, or kind.  I am unfaithful. Good does not always define me. Self-control isn’t exactly one of my strong suits either. 

Why am I like this?!

Welcome to Planet Earth. I’m human. I’m an ordinary citizen here, which means that I’m a sinner.

I look at myself in the mirror, and half the time, I don’t even recognize myself. Who is that girl? What makes her who she is?

I don’t want to live behind a mask, trying to be someone I’m not. “Because,” I’ve heard someone say, “the more you live behind the mask, the more the mask defines you.”


Wow. I don’t want to be living behind a mask. I don’t want the mask to define me! I don’t care what people think about the real Amanda, all that matters is that who I am is the real thing. 

So what defines me? Who am I really? Well, there’s a dozen things I could think of…my guitar and piano, my surfboard, my blog, my bookshelf…you get the picture. But those things aren’t really who I am on the inside. 

I am defined by The Cross. 

What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve struggled with not letting my performance define who I am. It’s all fun and games until I get a C. Until I remember I *still* can’t play “that chord” on the guitar. Until I realize I just can’t catch the wave I’ve been trying to. I realize that I’ll never measure up on my own…and I forget who I really am. 

I am defined by The Cross. 

Because of what Jesus did at the cross, I am who I am. I am blameless in God’s sight.

I’ve fallen into the trap in my (actually pretty short) life of making achievement an addiction. When I can’t achieve “that thing,” I forget who I really am. I’m a child of God, because of The Cross. 

Grace covers Amanda. The Cross has forgiven AJ. The love of God has been lavished on her. 

Conditional things – popularity, beauty, money, talent – cannot define me. Because once I fail (which I do), then who am I? What makes me who I am? Popularity dies down. Beauty fades. Money gets wasted. Talent eventually fails too.

Just one thing will stand. 

Who I really am. 

I am a child of God. 

I am pure in His eyes.

I have been counted blameless. 

I am truly, 100% forgiven. 

I am defined by The Cross.

*aj

A Journal Entry: Who I Am, Who God Is

Okay. This isn’t exactly a regular post. (I’ll be back with a regular post next time!) I’ve felt all these things…and yet God has stayed by me. He’s gotten me through and He never changes or lets me down. And I hope that when YOU read them, you are reminded of who God is in spite of you are, too.
God, when I am faithless, you are faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13)
When I am hopeless, you are my hope. (Romans 15:13)
When my heart is breaking, you comfort me. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Psalm 34:14)
When I fail, your grace washes over me. (Hebrews 4:16)
When I am depressed, you care about me. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
When I suffer, you cry with me. (John 11:35)
When my world crumbles, you stand. (Psalm 94:22)
When I am not good enough, you are. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
When I don’t know how to love, you are love. (1 John 4:16)
When I am at a loss for words, you speak truth. (John 17:17)
When I feel ugly, you remind me that I was made in your image. (Genesis 1:27)
When I sin, you are perfect and holy. And you forgive. (Psalm 18:30, 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1)
When I want to give up, you strengthen me. (Isaiah 41:10)
When my friends fail me, you are my best friend. (Proverbs 18:24)
When I disobey and run away, you are my good shepherd. (Isaiah 40:11)
When I am betrayed, I am your child. (Galatians 3:26)
When I am shaken, you are my peace. (Philippians 4:7)
When I am in battle, you give me victory. (Deuteronomy 20:4)
When the world hates me, you have the greatest love for me. (John 15:13)
When even my family fails, you are the Everlasting God and Father. (Isaiah 40:28, Matthew 23:9)
Remember His promises…and draw hope. His love and mercy and grace and faithfulness extend to all.
*aj

A Journal Entry: Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

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For a while there, I *thought* I had it pretty good.

I’ve kept straight A’s, I guess I’m pretty smart. My friends call me a genius. (Trust me, I am not.) People tell me I’m talented, beautiful, and godly. I have a lot of friends, and I guess I can be pretty popular.

At least I turn in my assignments on time. I sit in the front row of every class and my teachers like me.

I read my Bible every day without fail, I teach Sunday school and youth group, and I’m on our youth group worship team.

So I’m pretty good, I thought. (Big mistake. Pride does come before a fall.) My life had become a checklist, and I was doing well. Or so I thought.

But God changed everything.

He said “no”.

“No, AJ, you can’t be good enough for me.”
“I’m not good enough? Just show me what to do!” I screamed.

And he said, “Do nothing, Amanda.”

And I cried “WHY?! You’ve blessed me with talent! With a brain! Aren’t I supposed to use it?!”

And he said to me, “You don’t need to be smart. You don’t need to be beautiful by the world’s standards. You don’t need to do all this for me, because my love for you does not depend on what you do. You are my child, and I love you. I sent Jesus to pay the price for your salvation. And I see HIM in you, not the things that you do. (See Colossians 2:10 “And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”)

“You are to do things for my glory, not for your benefit or to look good.

“Amanda, I love you anyway.”

He loves me anyway.

I’ve spent too many hours crying over feeling like I’m incomplete. But Jesus makes me complete. I’ve spent too many hours stressing over getting an A. But it’s not really that big of a deal. I’ve spent too many hours focused on me. And it’s not even about me. I’ve spent too many hours stubbornly worrying about my problems on my own…when I’m supposed to cast my cares on God because he cares for me. (See 1 Peter 5:7) What did I miss? Everything!

I’m not sure what I was trying to earn. Because I now realize that who I am in Christ has nothing to do with my performance.

And that was a relief to hear.

God doesn’t require us to be perfect. Perfection is impossible! He just requires us to abide in him.

And with his help, I can do that.

*aj

Welcome To My Blog!

 

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Hi! I’m Amanda. Welcome to my new blog, Scattered Journal Pages. I’m really excited to start blogging. 🙂

Look for new posts on Tuesdays and Saturdays from now on! I’ll be writing about my faith and what I’m discovering as a Christian teen in today’s world. Thanks for stopping by!

 

*aj

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