Recently, I found myself in the company of a friend who simply wanted to talk; I listened. Perhaps at first, I worried, doubting whether I had the wisdom or not to pursue any thoughts…
As we sat, under the stars (quite literally within the borders of a camp site), fireworks shot into the sky, and after a prayer, many things were very lovingly and equally discussed. One of the questions? Who am I? What is my identity?
F is for frustration. Often, within ourselves, we can reach a state of confusion (especially as young adults) during our journey to find ourselves: our home, friendships, inner emotions, as well as those intimate foundations. Perhaps, a stimulus unearths a strange feeling that we struggle to familiarise with. Or, I ask, have you ever struggled to befriend somebody, and wondered why?
I don’t know about you, but I regularly become overwhelmed as I ‘search’ to discover more about myself and who I really am – I get frustrated! My perfectionist ways cause me to jump to conclusions; eventually I discover an opposite answer (or a few), hitting the wall of frustration once more…
The thing is, a couple of nights ago during this blessed star-gazing hour, God began to reveal such a beautiful promise to my sister (in Christ) and I…
As Christians, we have faith in an awesome God who created each one of us – we are God’s masterpiece! All of our traits, emotions, and purposes, He chose. He knows our thoughts before we even think them – never mind say them! In psalm 139, it talks about how God knows us, and formed even the most inner parts of our identities: God cares!
Perhaps that’s just it – God spent time creating every tiny bit about us whether we like it or not. We ourselves, chose neither our families, nor our features. Most importantly, we didn’t create ourselves and therefore, this may explain the long, continuous journey, of frustratingly, attempting to understand ourselves.
Think of it like this: when an artist paints a portrait, he studies every detail, he layers paint over the undertones, he labours, pouring love into his picture… The artist knows his intentions, and the times that he struggled to capture a certain light. But what about the viewer? They see the portrait as it is, and yes, over time, as they study it, they may gain an insight. However, unlike the artist, they don’t see everything: the pencil marks, the type of canvas, the emotions that the painter experienced whilst creating… Why? They didn’t create it.
In the same way, although we can try, we will never fully understand everything about ourselves. But God does. We don’t have to either – that’s what grace is for! It’s OK to feel frustrated, but know that God chose and designed everything about you: the things you understand, the things that hurt, the people you can associate with and those you can’t…
It’s beautiful, don’t you think? And as we sat under the stars, we began to smile – what a mystery God is! How wonderful are our unique identities, and (now that we have been reassured) how excited are we to continue, to allow Him to reveal pieces of these to us? For the rest of our lives!
So embrace the mystery of frustration, know that you’re chosen, and take small steps as you continue to discover who you are, in Christ.
What has God revealed to you recently regarding identity?
*disclaimer: the friend in this photo is not the same friend I chatted with.