Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waiting to be Revealed

There are so many facets to a personality. There are things we like about ourselves and things we don't. There are qualities that make us seem wonderful and others that drag us down, and no matter what we do, they affect every interaction and reaction we experience. There are so many days where I find myself wishing I could change my personality and become someone else. I tell myself I'm going to worry less, or work harder, or be less emotional.

Last year, I didn't really spend time digging my fingers into my word. I let the year go by without even letting it touch me, this concept of love. I knew I wanted to learn more about it. About His consuming way. About giving out of the overflow. But looking back on it now, there wasn't much overflow for me to give out of.

I've spent a lot of time pushing down my feelings, quelling the desire to be open with others, and generally pushing myself--my heart--away. I've shut myself down just in the hope that no one else would have a chance to. I've been told I'm too emotional, I cry too much, I can't control myself, I need to grow up. I have believed it all, and I've spoken it over myself.

The responsible adult in me wants to point out that there is indeed a time and a place for sharing heartfelt (sometimes ugly, embarrassing) emotions with others, and it's important to be tactful. But the actual human in me wants to scream and cry and dance and jump and flail and collapse in response to the real things happening in my heart. The feels, if you will.

All of this squishing and cramming my emotions down caused some unwanted side effects. You can't kill your feelings again and again and expect them to be intact if it suddenly benefits you to have them. I started to work so hard at not feeling the bad that I ended up losing some of the good with it. I celebrated if I made it through a stressful situation without tears. I judged myself based on how I felt inside, and I would worry so much about what other people thought of my emotions and reactions. And eventually I started to learn that you can't partially kill something. The deep, heartfelt joy will suffocate right along with the grief you're trying to bury. It's all or nothing.

So here I am, one year later, maybe not as well versed in love as I'd like to be, but ready to face a year of identity retrieval. And now I realize that no matter how much I want love to pervade my life, I will not be able to offer to others what I don't already have for myself.  Until I learn that it's ok to be who I am and love myself, I can't really accept all the good, bad, and ugly in others. But the first step in loving myself is knowing more about me.

If you asked me today, "who are you?" my answers would revolve around my job, my husband, my church, what I do, what I own. And those things make up a lot of my day-to-day life, but they do not make up my heart and soul. I believe that God created me uniquely and beautifully, and that He has so much to show me about my own heart. And maybe the most beautiful part in this journey is that in searching to know who God created me to be, I will be better equipped to see, know, and love others.

I imagine the answers to the questions I have will develop like negatives in a darkroom, slowly, gradually, with brilliant results. The time I take to hear and heed the guidance of the Creator will undoubtedly pay off in the end, but it may not bring instantaneous change in my life. Regardless, I'm waiting in eager expectation for God to reveal all He has for me. And I trust that I'm not the only one on this road.

{we know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. not only so, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the spirit groan inwardly as we anxiously await our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. for in this hope we were saved} {romans 8.22-24}

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