Who am I?
Who does the world see me as?
If today was my last, what would I be known for?
What would be my legacy?
Maybe you’re like me and have thought about this a time or two. I’ve come to realize that everyone has some sort of expectation. Whether it be in a work setting, within our family or friend circles, or even just the first impressions we have with random people in our day to day lives.
If you’re in your twenties like me, maybe these statements or questions sound familiar to you:
“Oh wow, you graduated from college a few years ago? You still haven’t found a career to settle down into?”
“So, no luck finding a husband yet? My friend’s sister’s cousin has someone that I could set you up with!”
“I see you’re still living with your parents, nice. No desire to find your own place yet?”
“Can I pray clarity over you? I’m sure things will get better soon!”
“You’re doing missions alone? Don’t you think it would be better if you were doing it with a husband?”
These are just a few of my favorites. But I’m sure there’s many more that could be added to the list. I’ve had to remind myself from time to time that I’m sure these people really mean well. Most people are coming from a caring place and are just wanting to help. I know I’m probably guilty of doing the same thing.
To be honest though, sometimes I can’t help but walk away from a conversation like that and think, “Am I doing something wrong?” I start comparing myself to the people around me and begin to wonder,” God, why am I not where those people are at? How come I’m not where I thought I would be?” I begin to realize that I have set expectations on myself as well. Whether I notice it or not, in the back of my mind I kind of have a rough expectation of the order in which my life “should” go. First comes the love, then comes the marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage?
God has really challenged me to reflect in this area. Sometimes we try so hard to fit the mold and expectations of others, or even our own expectations; but in the midst of all that we lose ourselves and wonder who we are. I’ve come to realize that every day is a constant act of surrender. Loosening our grip on trying to take control and remember who’s life it truly is. God created me exactly how He wanted me to be. So why am I trying to change that or floor the gas pedal to get there?
It’s exhausting to try to be the person that everyone else(myself included) wants me to be. Now, I’m not saying that we should become lazy and not desire to grow, improve in our weaknesses, and become more like Jesus. That definitely takes time, patience, endurance, and is a good thing. I’m talking more about the surface, materialistic, earthly things that we are trying to change to please others or ourselves.
Each of our stories are different. That’s one amazing thing about our Creator! He didn’t make us all the same. He made us all unique and special. We maybe won’t understand it until later in life or maybe not until we are in Heaven, but God promises that He has an intentional purpose for everything and for each and every one of us. This reminded me of a C.S Lewis quote I once heard:
Do you remember that amazing moment when it finally clicked in your head that you weren’t just Megan, or Ben, or Sarah, or Drew? That your life is so much bigger than that? That your identity in Christ is who you TRULY are! Maybe you haven’t experienced this moment yet. But I pray that we all have this revelation, not just once, but are reminded of that every day.
That’s something that is so refreshing about having a personal relationship with God. We don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to be something we are not. We don’t have to have all the answers. We don’t have to have it all together. He meets us where we are at every single time we approach Him and accepts us exactly the way we are!
God gave me this huge revelation the other day, that I would like to close with. There is only ONE (insert your name here) and God relationship! The things that He is teaching, growing, and challenging you in is not supposed to be the same as those around you. If we were all in the same place in life, our relationship with God would all be the same. Our relationship with Him would not be unique, special, or personal. Our understanding is so limited and simple minded. Sure, on the outside we may see that those around us are getting promotions at work, getting engaged, married, or having kids. From our perspective their life may look “perfect” and like they “have it all together”, but I am realizing that during every season of life there will always be things that the Lord is growing and challenging me in. Maybe our friend needs to get a promotion in his or her job to realize that an earthly job title doesn’t make them feel better about themselves. Maybe our friend is needing to realize that even though he or she is married, he or she can only be fulfilled by Jesus. It dawned on me: There could be so many behind the scene things that I am unaware of. I could use my time trying to figure out why those around me are “getting what I want”, or I could focus on the beautiful things that God is teaching me and showing me presently in my life.
So I would like to encourage you today: Don’t compare yourself to those around you. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t expect to have all the answers and have your life all together. Because the truth is no matter where you’re at in life, it will always be a challenge. In every stage of our lives we will be tempted to put other things before God. Life is not a destination to perfection. It is a journey. It’s an adventure that God wants to personally pursue with you. He wants to continue to show you who are in Him. The people around you DO NOT define who you are. They shouldn’t be telling you where you should be in life or who you should be. Allow the Lord to speak all of that to you in HIS PERFECT TIMING.
To God All Praise and Glory,