Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Who am I?" - Man's Description vs God's Definition

Over a week ago on Facebook I posted the following question, "Using one word, how would you describe me??" I greatly appreciated the comments I received and the kindness in which they were given, but God has used them for more than a simple pat on the back. I knew He had a greater purpose - that's why I asked the question, but this morning I've been surprised at what He has had to say.

You see, back in January I posted the same question with the intention of asking it again...basically to prove that man's words can change and we're not always surrounded by the same people. And when I compare the responses from January to May, that's true...only 3 of the 20 plus responses were the same and only one individual commented on both posts.

God clearly showed me what I expected, but like usual He's done so much more. As I reflected on this list of words a few different things came to mind...I thought these people are my "friends", so granted not everyone would be as kind. Some of the comments were left by individuals I see once a week, but most were words from people I don't see very often, which made me think of a story involving Lysa TerKeurst. Last year as we prepared for our women's retreat (where Lysa was our guest speaker) a lady (who was amazed that Lysa was coming to Iowa) said, "You know Lysa TerKeurst is a pretty big deal!!" After sharing that with Lysa, she laughed and simply responded, "Tell that to my kids."

I could do the same and I'm sure, actually I know they could share times when patient, sincere and gracious did NOT describe who I was. All of this reminded me that others don't always know who I am, yes they can see characteristics, but God is the only constant...He knows me. Others can describe me, but only HE can define me.

The other day after helping make rhubarb jam, my oldest two were talking about the recipe - how their aunt might like the jam, but they knew how to make it and what was in it! In a way, I (and you) am like that jam - others may enjoy what I have to offer and appreciate who I am, but God, my creator, is the ONE who knows me and what I'm made of.

Others may describe me as humble, but He sees my heart and knows that is not always the case. Friends may see me as someone who is focused, but He knows the time I've wasted. I could go on, but I think you get the idea - GOD is the only one who can define me, which is why I must continually ask Him who I am!!

Today I'm realizing that there are two sides to that question - sometimes He builds me up with the wonderful answers He shares - I'm chosen, I'm HIS, I'm valued, I'm treasured, I'm beautiful... But there are also times when this question and the answer my Father shares is convicting. I ask Him, "Who am I Lord? Am I humble?" And He shows me what He sees, my heart, one that doesn't always make itself small, one that's not always like Him and that hurts because it is the desire of my heart to be Christ-like.

That's when the grace that flows from our Father comes into play and rather than allowing me to beat myself up with my failure once again, He reminds me of how He defines me - a child that He loves, a daughter whom He forgives and woman who is a work in progress.

I'm grateful for how my friends describe me, but I pray I will continue to focus on and embrace how God defines me!! Will you do the same??

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