Dark Mirrors- The Quest to Find Your Identity11:17 PM
That great and startling question, "Who am I?" began ringing in my ears from the time I was about five years old. At recess on a typical school day, I would gather up all the females from school that I could muster, arrange them in battle order, and in true William Wallace style, would strengthen their hearts and summon their courage, calling them to fight our common enemy, the boys. Then with one final call to battle, I would raise up my arm and with a mighty shout begin the charge. The boys, of course, ran wholeheartedly into battle. Suddenly and without warning, I would hear a chorus of female shrieks, only to turn around and find that my troops had begun to desert me. Usually by this time, I was captured by the enemy, taken to a secure location, and held under guard so as to prevent any further uprisings. From my prison, I could see that life had returned to normal, and that the rest of the girls had resumed playing with their dolls, and were now cavorting with the enemy.
It was around that time, that I began to see that I wasn't like the other girls. I never did get what the hullabaloo was about with playing in fake kitchen and was deemed by my peers "an abusive parent" to my baby dolls. Most of my time was spent up a tree, envisioning myself as an Indian princess, spying out the land, or leading her tribe into open battle. As I got older, the question of identity only became more and more muddied. As a teenager, I twigged on to the fact, that it is unnatural for women to have roles of authority, and the glorious battles they were meant to fight are all to be fought on the home front. It was explained to me time and again, usually from the pulpit or girl's devotionals, that a woman's job was to help her husband in his calling; he was the one who would do the Lord's bidding, and live his life valiantly. Leadership is an unattractive trait in a woman, it makes her seem too strong, and scares the men. Feistiness and fire are also intimidating to men, don't ever let them see you too passionate on any subject. Suddenly, the outlets for my passionate nature became very few. I threw myself into theater and music. When I was onstage, I could live every part of me underneath the mask of performance. In costume, I felt fully alive and free. Who in the world could have known that the true acting really began when I was offstage? Of course, the stage lifestyle became a drug to me, the drug of effortless freedom, where every emotion can be channeled into one gloriously outrageous performance. I even went so far as to get my degree in performance at university. I was going to move to New York, go on the stage, and continue to live my life vicariously through the characters I played. That was when God stepped in, and threw me the curve ball of a chance to live in Ireland (a long held dream.) Suddenly, a one off year of ministry became the calling of my life. On one of my last days in Belfast, my pastor had a meeting with me. "Rachel, you've been here for a year and I feel like I don't know you. You always seem so calm. Nothing ever disturbs you. Even the way you sit, portrays this huge wall you've built around yourself." It was the first time in my life somebody called my bluff. Those few minutes of absolute truth changed my life.
The reality is, the truth of who you are and who you are meant to be, is lying in the hands of the living God. Once upon a time, He dreamed you up, and breathed you into existence, on more than just a mere whim, but because He was fascinated with the idea of you. He's had since before time, to think up your character: your likes, and dislikes, the dimple in your chin, or the way your hair parts unevenly to the side. He was always involved in the idea of you, and He's made dang sure that you existed at this present time. He knit you together in your mother's womb, and He calls you fearfully and wonderfully made. His thoughts toward you are more numerous than the sands on the seashore, and were you to try to count them, you'd spend the rest of your life just trying to do so. When wrestling with your identity, He is the obvious choice of who to put your questions to.
However, when you come before Him, instead of asking, "Oh God, who am I?" kneel humbly and say, "Oh God who are you?" because that is the real question you will need to be asking the rest of your life. As A.W. Tozer puts it, "What comes to our minds when we think about God, is the most important thing about us." The tricky thing about God is that as you start to find out who He is, and to seek Him with all your heart, He will turn that mirror about so that as well as seeing Him, you will start to see yourself. You will catch a glimpse of who you are from the depths of the heart of your Creator. Is there anything more stunning than that?
Perhaps you may be asking yourself why it's so important you know who you are at all. You play such a small part in the grand scheme of things, surely you can't matter all that much. Think of it this way, if you possessed a jewel that you knew was of great worth, wouldn't you have it valued? And if you found out that it was worth more than you could have ever imagined, wouldn't that change how you lived your whole life? Another reason to know who you are is for the sake of everyone else around you. If you are not sure of who you are, you will forever be useless to the body of Christ, completely chained by your insecurities, and bound by a false sense of humility. You were born to be a hell raiser. Or perhaps a heaven raiser perhaps. You were born to do something only you can do, and until you find out whether you're a foot or an armpit in the body of Christ, you'll be slacking on your job and everybody else will suffer the consequences, including you.
Maybe you're like me, you've caught glimpses of who you are and learned that that person wasn't "socially acceptable." Or maybe, you've been living in a state of confusion your entire life. Whatever the case, it's time we start busting out of our insecurities and start living like we mean it. Who knows how much time we may still have left? I submit this humbly, fully realizing I am in the moment of decision myself. Will we go fully after God, asking Him to reveal Himself to us, and in turn letting Him show us our real character? Are we ready to face the real mirror to our souls? Or will we forever play the role we have concocted for ourselves? I happen to think, He's a far better story teller than I am, and any character He made up would be far better than one of my own imaginings. I can guarantee you the search for who you are and who He is, will be a journey, and you will find yourself doubling back and covering old territory a time or two. At times you may feel like a lonely wanderer, but, in the words of Tolkein, "Not all who wander are lost."