It has been three years since we moved into this house. Three years, and I still have not done a lick of decorating. I painted a bathroom before we moved in, and that was it. There are a few things hanging on the walls, but not in any cohesive fashion, they are just ‘there’. I look at it and it feels unfinished, as though someone just moved in and hasn’t finished unpacking yet. It lacks depth and warmth, it says nothing about who lives here (other than that I hate to clean).
This isn’t a new feeling for me, I have spent most of my life feeling unsettled, not knowing who I am or what I like; always looking to other people to get some sort of clue about myself. My appearance, my home, my thoughts; I’ve never really stepped up and owned any of it. Look at my ‘About’ page and you will see that I am still trying to figure out who I am.
I won’t go into all the reasons why I am this way, they aren’t important. What matters is how I deal with it, because I want to be myself. I want to feel that I am uniquely and wholly who God created me to be. I know that I will never be truly ‘finished’ until I stand in his presence, but at the same time I need to be true to what he has placed in me.
I’m learning that there are several keys to being who I was created to be. The first is to set aside thinking about what everyone else does, or what everyone else thinks. I’ve spent my life being afraid of looking or sounding stupid and so I fit myself into a little box that is much too tight; quite frankly it’s getting a little boring in here. That was one of our challenges when looking for a church. I didn’t want a ‘box’ church; I wanted a church that coaxes us out of our boxes to live wildly and passionately for God. Now that we’re there, I’m finding it hard to move out of my box. I may not be scrunched up in it anymore, but I’m having a hard time stepping out and kicking the box to the curb.
The second key is to quit trying to copy others. I look around me and I see the giftings of others and think “Oh, I want to do that,” or, “I wish I were more like they are.” And so in the past I’ve tried to copy others. I’ve taken on their personas and tried to be them. Oddly enough, it always falls flat.
So I’m stuck here, trying to finish the walls of my house; trying to finish the walls of my life. I don’t know how my house will end up, but I do know I have this promise about my life:
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)
He who began a good work in your will carry it to completion. I may not know what God has created me for; I may not know my purpose here on earth, but he does. And if I am faithful to listen to his voice; if I am focused on being who he created ME to be and not someone else, he will be faithful to continue to mold me into who he wants me to be.