This is probably the most transparent I have ever been. I have actually been aspiring more and more daily to live in authenticity and transparency for a few years now but especially since God led me to do videos last year because I can’t put on a façade for people. It is just too much work that I don’t have the time or energy or care to do. That’s not me, nor will it ever be.
For as long as I can remember, I have identified myself based on things about me and people associated with me, things I have accomplished, and things that have happened to me. For example, I am my mother and father’s daughter, I am a sister to my brothers, an aunt to my many nieces, biological and adopted, and a sister to my very close friends who have become my family. I am also a college graduate and I have a Masters. I am in law school so I am also a student. I am a Software Developer as my job title stipulates. I am a best friend to some people and probably a nemesis to others (I’m kidding). I am a survivor: I survived childhood molestation, the trauma of kidney disease and transplantation in my early twenties (I can’t believe I can say early twenties now either ) and I am the surviving daughter of my deceased father. I have also identified myself based on my appearance: I’m brown skinned, short-ish with long-ish hair. All of these "things" are how I have described myself. I omitted this last one, that I am a Christian, because I prefer to say I am a follower of Jesus and a believer in the Most High God. Another title I have is being a member of the Baptist church, although I personally don’t ascribe to denominations. In looking at me, I see how I allowed these things to box me in and its shocking that it has taken me this long to get past these "things" to understand who I really am. I am truly grateful to have been getting to know me and I love who I am now and who I am becoming.
God told me to "live" this year. It is only March and as I read more books, read the Bible more, pray more, and write more of what He shares, I shed those things I thought were keys to my identity and I really peel back layers as to who I really am. I’ve learned you cannot really live if you don’t know who you are. A person will say one thing and do another because they do not know who they are. And through this experience, God has solidified my belief that you cannot really learn and discover who you are without getting to know Him because He created you. Society tries to impress upon you its standards of beauty, identity and acceptance to try and make you conform to the ways of the world. It has been in my leaving social media and spending more time with God and myself that I have come to question everything that used to mean anything to me. I have realized how much value I gave things that didn’t really serve any true purpose. I’ve seen how much time I wasted, not getting things done by being distracted (I’m much more productive now!). Don’t get me wrong, I have not mastered distractions, I’ve just been learning to acknowledge them for what they are and pray for focus and help when they are more than I can overcome alone.
I have had to question every single thing I believed about myself, everything I thought and was taught to believe as truth. I’m grateful that God has given me the strength to do this, to uproot the lies and things I believed that were hindering me from becoming the woman He wants me to be. I’m not done yet, but I know as long as I keep my eyes on Him, He will be sure to get me to my appointed destination.
I don’t know where you are in your walk with God. I want you to know though, at some point you will have to walk alone. Just as Jesus stole away daily to spend time with God and spent 40 days in the wilderness alone with God, it is okay to be alone with God and to allow Him to show you who you really are. It was in the wilderness that Jesus spent time with God so that after He finished fasting, He was able to defeat Satan with every temptation thrown His way. It is only in allowing God to show you who you really are, that you are able to walk into His planned promise for your life. You are more than just your body or your appearance. You are more than just your denomination or belief system. You are more than your past and your current set of circumstances. You are more than what your family members see and say you are. You are more than that addiction, that rape, that childhood neglect, that surgery, that teenage pregnancy, or that dropout. You are more than that failure, whether it was a business venture, a job, a marriage or relationship of any type. You are more than your sexual orientation and what you feel about yourself. You are more than the effects of bad judgment calls. You are MORE. You can choose to allow these external and sometimes internal influences to mold who you are or you can choose to put an end to their control over you. Stop letting the lies keep you in a box and away from your destiny. Boxed-in living and thinking gives you a warped sense of reality. Opening the box and allowing the light to shine on everything you once knew shows you just how limited you have been.
The only way to overcome and surpass these mere boxes or labels, is to pursue truth and get truth into your spirit. The truth says, I am more than a conqueror. The truth says I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. The truth says you are more than what you should eat or what you will wear. The truth says that God loves you with an everlasting love. The truth says you are wonderfully, fearfully, and marvelously made. The truth says that we are made in the image and likeness of God. The truth says that God cares for us. And so, believe the truth today! I now rest in knowing that God loves me too much to leave me the way I was and desperately wants me to become who He designed me to be. Join me on my journey to me, by taking your own journey to discovering and becoming you.