We love the movie Moana around here. I mean, LOVE IT. Even Lou! He loves it so much, he thinks he wants to move his pale, freckly wife to a burning hot island somewhere…
Connor and I especially love the song ‘You Know Who You Are’ from the scene with Te Fiti. It’s a short song, just over a minute long, but it’s got some really deep meaning. Since we’re the emotional ones in the family, we both get choked up every. single. time.
I think it’s against copyrights to use lyrics, but I’m going to anyway (I’m a rebel like that)… ‘They have stolen the heart from inside you, but this does not define you’.
Wow. Doesn’t that just give you goosebumps?!
Also… ‘You know who are.’
When Lou and I were having our big life talk the other night, I confessed to him that I don’t even know who I am anymore. I feel very torn between who I thought I was going to be and the person I’ve turned out to be. All of the plans I made, all of the beliefs I thought I had… It’s hard to reconcile that with where I am now.
Ten years ago, I was fresh out of high school. I was aggressively feminist, pro-choice, a member of the Human Rights Campaign, atheist… I could go on and on, but suffice it to say I was as ‘radical left’ as it gets – or, as radical left as it used to get. It’s a bit different these days… I didn’t want a family or children, and I wasn’t about to waste my life on marriage. Lou and I were in love, but another boy still had a hold on my heart, and a small part of me figured we weren’t going to make it through my first semester of college anyway. Now, I’d call myself a trollop for thinking that way.
I went right from being determined to be a lawyer and a career woman to engaged and pregnant before I was nineteen. Shortly after I was married and a brand new mom. By the time I was twenty-one, we had two kids, a mortgage, two car payments, both of us worked full-time…
That was definitely the beginning of an identity crisis, and I don’t know that I’ve ever really recovered.
Especially after we found Jesus. I was still drowning in who I was supposed to be when I started taking on ‘church girl’ rules. There was a point in time where I didn’t wear a stitch of makeup. Or shorts. I went through our house and ditched anything too…’worldly’, as far as movies or books or music…
I was that Christian mom, because I thought I was supposed to.
You guys. I’m not that mom. No matter how hard I try, that just doesn’t fit me. As much as I believe we change when we become Christians, I still think there’s a core of who we are that doesn’t change. We learn to model Christ while still being who we were created to be.
That doesn’t always look like what we might think. And that’s exactly how we reach people who are just like us, but lost in the world.
Someone asked me a tough question today. If I could go out and do something that rejuvenated me and brought me life, what would it be?
I had no idea. I had to struggle to come up with an answer, which was ‘Go out and work one on one with people through their pain’. It’s true, but…generic.
I could tell you that I believe in Jesus. That I like to read and write. That I like to be very healthy and ‘natural’. That I like gangsta rap from my childhood as much as contemporary Christian music.
But I’m also a bit torn.
There’s a small part of me that still wants a career. That could still be a lawyer or something very…I don’t know…stuffy. Legalistic. Rigid. It’s in my nature to be organized and to plan things and like things done just so.
What used to be another small part of me in the past has become a much larger part of my personality now. A part that I don’t fully understand because Lou and I rushed ahead and didn’t allow ourselves time to grow up. It’s more relaxed and creative… Peaceful and quiet. Reserved, even, but in a way that speaks. Red lipstick and Bob Marley, barefoot and black nail polish. A weird mix of characteristics that don’t quite make sense.
I don’t know that Britt very well yet, but I want to. She has a lot more fun that I do right now. Know what I mean?
Now, I usually don’t put much stock in ‘personality’ tests or quizzes, but there are two I find interesting.
The first is the spiritual gifts test, or ‘Redemptive Gifts’. Here’s a good explanation, and here’s a decent test. First, let me say that I don’t think we should get too locked into this… It’s not a final say in who we are. It’s just a neat way to understand ourselves and those around us, and figure out where we fit into God’s plans.
What’s funny is that I score high in both Prophet (not prophecy, two different things) and Mercy wirings, which are about as opposite as can be. I’m a bit higher in Mercy, and I’ve been pursuing that nature more and more recently, which has helped be discover who I’m created to be.
I also like the personality tests based on Jung/Briggs Myers typology. Again, not a perfect analysis of who you are as a person, but it can be insightful.
I get INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) which is considered ‘rare’. It’s an extremely sensitive and empathetic personality type (like the Mercy). It’s also a personality type that gets stuff done. They are idealists and dreamers, but can also organize the steps to get it done (hello, Prophet).
So, it makes sense that I feel a bit torn between my characteristics.
That still doesn’t define who I am. My personality and wiring have a big say, my experiences have a big say, and my faith has a big say…
But, we are all created very precisely. Life gets in the way of that, and the only way we can really discover who we are is in moments of reflection. We have to stop forcing ourselves into places we don’t fit (a square peg in a round hole, so to speak) and give ourselves grace to let go of expectations. Even our own.
I’m the kind of girl to read non-literal translations and then compare them to a literal translation (as in the Passion and the NKJV). I’m the kind of girl that listens to both Cypress Hill and Patsy Cline (or Reba… love me some Reba!). I’m the kind of girl that desperately loves Jesus but sometimes lets an F-bomb slip out. (I am working on that, though.) I’m also the type of person that can talk for hours one on one and go to really deep places but completely shuts down in a group and comes off as anti-social or rude.
And I’m done being ashamed of that. I’m done trying to force myself into something ‘good’ when it falls short of God’s best just because I feel like I’m ‘supposed’ to do it. There are true calls from God on our lives, but we have to be able to discern what those are… And when in doubt, His yoke will be easy and His burden light. If you’re drowning in trying to keep up, something isn’t right.
This post got ridiculously long and didn’t go anywhere I thought it would… Maybe I got a bit carried away.
Let me try to wrap this up before I hit 1400 words…
As much as I think we have to be careful of ‘just be yourself’, I also think we need to be careful of ‘you should be this’.
Only God can tell you exactly who you are supposed to be, and what plans He has for you. Only He can make sense of all of your traits (good and bad) and gifts and turn it into something beautiful.
Somewhere, deep in your spirit, you know who you are.
Be blessed. ❤