Do you ever struggle with identity? Who you are. What you want to be. Who everyone thinks you are? I do. Last year I wrote a post on the lies we listen to about ourselves. Its funny how sometimes we cycle through the things we struggle with. Although Identity has always been a struggle of mine, it often hits me more at certain times then others.
I often listen to lies like: "Why aren't you married yet? You aren't skinny enough. You aren't smart enough, talented enough. You haven't done enough... today, ever! Your worth is based on whether you do this or don't do this. You need their acceptance. You can do more." Some of them are so so subtle that I don't even realize they exist until someone calls me on it. I am sure we all have those lies spinning around our heads.
Since last year, I know I've grown a lot in this area. Hec, I think i've grown a lot just in the last two months. My need to please isn't nearly where it was in the Spring... Winter... oh and definitely the fall. But this week I started to feel the inner workings of doubt crawl back in. The little voice that says you aren't good enough.
The difference is funny to me. Last year, I blamed society for feeding me some of the lies I was believing. Now, I am realizing that no one is feeding me these lies except for myself. They aren't true. They aren't God's expectations. Even if on some level, they are, there is a grace and love that flows from God's love for us that doesn't use those expectations like nooses around us but rather guidelines to help us grow in deep unity with him.
I am a results driven person. I like to see proof of my efforts. I also crave acknowledgment for those efforts even if it comes in minimal forms. It will often cost me time, energy and even my health. The need to know I am accepted and understood through acknowledgment of my efforts is crucial. If the right amount of acknowledgment doesn't show then I do more to add on to what I am doing so that one day, maybe, someone will notice.
I had a friend tell me once: "Your worth is not defined by what you do!" BAM. Right to the heart. So much of what I do and how I function is in little moments like that. Areas where I think I am doing what's expected of me but underneath its more about losing respect or favor if I don't do it, even its at the expense of my wellbeing.
I mostly find myself wrapped up in numbers. My blog is where a lot of my energy lies lately. Seeing the numbers shoot up, meeting new friends, etc. Some days i will see the numbers go down. Those days I wonder what I did to make them go away. Or what didn't I do to keep them there. Remembering that the reason I write on this blog isn't about the numbers but about the voice. Its about writing and meeting new people. Its about bringing joy to people. Some days its even about processing out loud. Its not about fake numbers that reflect someone's desire to win a give-a-way.
The Lord has been using moments like that to show me my worth is not defined by what I do or what people think of me. Its not defined by the items I check off today or the money I bring in tomorrow. It’s not about the number of friends that show up on my facebook wall or the readers of this blog. Its not defined by who I take pictures of or what I write.
The following verses really showed me who God is in my life and how much he loves me and wants to see me grow and flourish! He is fighting for me. Sometimes we think no one is on our side, no one understands. God does even if we don't feel it in the moment.
The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91