Each day of your life is a step in the process of becoming who God created you to be. It’s funny how God already knows who you are today and who you will become, but often we struggle to see and accept ourselves.
Something I’ve found interesting when I read or watch biographies of people is how they go through periods of trying to “find themselves”. Often they go off on a solo adventure; they travel; they challenge themselves to take a big risk or accomplish a goal. But I’ve found that “finding myself”, understanding who I am and who I was created to be is something I can do without leaving my home, if I do it with God.
Now I’m not saying don’t travel! See the world! It’s one of the things I’ve been fortunate to have been able to do a lot of and it’s been a huge part of what has made me the woman I am today. Traveling for me has opened my mind to understanding diversity, seeing for myself that God created a vast world full of lots of different people and cultures and nature and landscapes - oceans and deserts and forests and everything in between. It’s helped me see things more through His eyes. But “finding myself” is something that for me has happened mostly at home. In a quiet little corner, sitting in a chair, with a cozy blanket, spending time talking to Him in prayer.
Who I Was
I remember the year I graduated from high school and started college. I had spent most of high school trying to fit in. I would let my “real self” show every once in awhile, but I spent a lot of energy trying to dress in a way that people would like me, talk in a way that people would think I was cool, behave in a way that fit with whatever social circle I found myself in. I learned to be a chameleon who adjusted herself in different situations to be accepted and acceptable.
I’ve never really fit into the expectations that others have had of me. I shared in a blog post a few years back about how I’ve never really fit in. It was exhausting and eventually it made me question who I was. When you spend your life changing yourself for other people, you start to forget who you are, what you like, what you want. So I was excited to start college. I remember feeling like I could reinvent myself and get a fresh start.
When I say “get a fresh start,” I mean that I wanted to change how others perceived me. This was all before I had a deep personal relationship with God. The extent of my Christianity was going to church on Sunday. So in this season of my life I was focused on who others thought I was and who I wanted to be. I never asked Him who He created me to be.
It took me years and years to realize that what makes me different is what makes me special and not something to be ashamed of. It took me years to unlearn the masks I wore to fit in.
Who I AM
I had a desire to be fully seen and heard, but I wore so many masks that I’m not sure how I expected anyone to be able to see or hear the real me. This had a huge effect on my relationships with friends, family and co-workers. And over the years, I’ve gone on more than one quest to figure out who I am.
I am a complicated woman who loves simple things.
I am a lover of people and making others smile.
I am affectionate and need lots of affection.
I am a homebody who loves to travel.
I am a talker who loves to write.
I am a giver who can be selfish.
I am a peacemaker who’s pride can cause unrest.
I am humble but also desire recognition.
I am these things and so so much more. As they say….it’s complicated. In order to be fully seen and heard, I’ve had to let people see and hear me. Not the me I think they want to hear, but the real me. Even the parts of me that seem contradictory. I have to take off the masks and lean into my positive attributes while being honest about where I’m still a work in progress.
Most importantly, I have to be okay with who I am. I have to not stand in judgement of myself. I have to love me and know that today is a snapshot of me at this moment in time - I’m still perfectly imperfect and on my way to becoming who God created me to be.
Who I Want To Be
I started out talking about how I think you can “find yourself” at home. A grand quest or adventure to places unknown is not necessarily required.
As I’ve developed a personal relationship with Jesus, I’ve realized that figuring out who I want to be is figuring out who He created me to be. That is something you can do anywhere - all you need is some time with God.
It could take a day, weeks, months or even years, but if you spend some time seeking His clarity, He will reveal Himself to you and show you your own heart.
He will reveal who you are.
He will shine light on what He loves about you.
He will convict whatever you need to change.
He will light your path for becoming who you are meant to be.
You might be reading this and thinking…”that sounds good, but how do I start?” So I want to share some practical questions you can ask yourself and Him.
Who am I? How would I describe myself?
Am I being too soft or too hard on myself? Am I being honest with myself?
How do other people perceive me? Is it in alignment with how I see myself? Why do they see me this way?
What masks might I be wearing in different areas of my life that influence how others see me?
Why do I wear these masks? What am I afraid of revealing about myself?
What does God’s Word say about me?
How have the experiences in my life influenced who I am today in a positive way? How did God use them to mold me?
What positive things could come out of being more myself?
How can I live each day more authentically me?
What are my hopes for how I will grow and change in the future?
How does who I am relate to God’s Will for my life?
These are just a few of the questions I’ve pondered. I hope they help you.
You can’t find yourself without God’s help.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Ephesians 2:10
Why search the world when you know who already has the answer? He is the one who created you for a purpose, for His purpose. He doesn’t want you to try to hide who you are. Don’t hide his masterpiece. Instead, set aside some time to find yourself in Him.
Have you tried to “find yourself”? Share your story and comment below.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.