Do you ever forget who you are? Does your concept of self get lost in your daily grind?
I’ve been trying to live an other-centered life, but in the process, I forgot who I am. I want to be divested of self, I want to be humble, but God made me who I am for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is. It’s hard to know what God has in mind for me when I don’t even understand myself.
While sorting through old creations of mine - drawings, songs, photographs, and crafts of all kinds - I caught a glimpse of the girl I used to call “me.” I was a writer. I was a dreamer. I was an artist. I was enamored with literature, with the beauty I found everywhere I looked, with the signs of our Creator smiling at me on all sides.
I’m still that girl. That girl has grown into a woman inside me, but I’ve trapped her in there. I’ve built walls and I rarely let them down. My heart is hidden deep inside layers of self-rejection and disappointment and a feeling of un-belonging. I’ve shut myself away and quietly slipped into the backseat. I watch life pass by my window and sit, outwardly content, but inside I’m boiling with stifled passion and life.
I’ve imprisoned myself. Why? Fear, maybe. Or maybe laziness. It takes effort to let people in and show them who I am. Or maybe I’ve been trying to be other-centered but am just going about it the wrong way. Or maybe I have that curious disease so many humans suffer from, that disease of feeling different. Instead of embracing my differences, I turn them into walls to separate me from the people around me. Sometimes it’s a protective mechanism, sometimes it’s the product of arrogance. Maybe the thought process of, “Nobody can understand me, I’m just too different,” is simply a cleverly masked inflation of self-importance.
Whatever silly reasons there are for the walls I have built, I have to figure out a way to tear them down. I can’t live out God’s purpose for my life if I shut myself away from the human race. I can’t be who God made me to be if I never show anyone who I am. I can’t serve the people around me to the best of my ability if I don’t take advantage of the unique characteristics God gave me.
So who am I? Because I forgot. God, help me to remember.
Those moments when you just want to go get a tattoo. Of anything, really.
I think I know what I want to do with my life. I think I’ve always known. But I haven’t realized. Knowing is scary. Now I have to choose what to do. What I want to do might not be stable. It’s different. It’s not traditional. It’s risky. Where do I go from here? I don’t want to be wrong. What if this isn’t what I want and I invest my heart into it and then I’m out of time? I still have time to decide, but I’m anxious. I want to make progress, but on what? I think this is my passion.
Passion is vulnerable. Passion is scary. Passion is beautiful.
What ifs are suffocating.
It’s hard to sleep when I can’t cease to think
These thoughts that cause this melee.
Unwritten words all fight to be heard
I can’t seem to sort through the fray.
If I had time I’d sit here and rhyme
About dreams that just might come true.
But they push and they shove, they make such a fuss
One pen just simply won’t do
To capture the words, these unending words
That come when I’m thinking of You.
"Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. GOD gives, GOD takes. God’s name be ever blessed."
-Job 1:21, MSG
What we build here is temporary; it all gets buried with us. We go out like we came in, naked and humble before God.
We have a finite period of time to make an impact on this earth. The only things we can build that will last are our relationships and the effect of our actions. Even those things won’t last forever in earthly memory. The only thing that will continue to matter through unending time, beyond death, through life, into eternity, is God.
Long after our earthly forms have returned to the dust they came from, long after our clothes and cars and houses and iPhones are gone, long after those who loved and remembered us are buried, long after our names are forgotten by all, His Name will be praised.