Who am I?

16 Dec

For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking a lot about who I am. The job I’ve had with this race company has revealed to me that things I thought I knew about myself weren’t correct.

For instance, I thought I liked constant change because the jobs I have enjoyed most have been different every day. But this job made me realize that I only like constant change within structure – like different tasks within a 9 to 5 job. I also thought that I liked independence in my work. And I do to a certain extent but I mostly enjoy being assigned specific tasks to complete on a daily basis. I like administrative tasks. I like things that require being detail-oriented. I even enjoy tedious tasks. I did not know this.

These realizations are interesting to me because I thought I knew myself. These discoveries surprised me, which surprises me even more. It’s a weird thing, not knowing yourself. Definitely a result of the fall. While I find reassurance in the knowledge that at least God knows me, I also want to know myself.

As a Christian, I feel like this task is 1,000 times harder than it would be as an unbeliever. I am constantly wondering “Is this thing that I’m doing who I am or is it sinful?” I am at times a morbidly introspective person. I analyze everything. I can’t turn my brain off. So I feel like I have all these ideas and thoughts swirling around in my head and I can’t figure out what is truth and what is a lie, what is me and what is culture or what I think I should be.

I thought that maybe a personality test would help me figure out who I am, since my own mind is of no help. After reading my friend B’s post about personality tests, I took the Basic Personality Test. But during the test, I found myself stumped on several questions – I didn’t know the answer. They say that your first gut reaction is the right one but I didn’t have a gut reaction to either answer. “You tell me,” I wanted to say. I don’t even know myself well enough to take a personality test!

I’ve heard it said that it’s not about who you are, it’s about Whose you are. I’m not sure I entirely agree. Yes, it is a good thing to remind ourselves that God loves us, it’s His opinion that matters, and that we don’t need to be famous or important in the world’s eyes to be precious to God. But if we are supposed to become who we truly are in Christ, if we are supposed to become what we already are, it would help to know what that “what” and “who” are, specifically for us as individuals. I mean, isn’t that the point of personality tests? They’re to help you to discover what your strengths are, for the purpose of cultivating and exercising them.

I’ve always been an analytical person (or I least I think I have…), trying to figure out the meaning and purpose of things. But it feels like my brain has been on overdrive for the past 6 months. I can’t stop thinking. I can’t accept anything without understanding it first, and since there are so many thoughts in my head, I can’t think about one thing long enough to thoroughly understand it, so I can only understand things partially and therefore only accept things partially. I am left with questions and theories half-answered and half-proven, the other half a question mark hanging in the air. Just this week, after volunteering at the church, I drove home joyful from doing something I enjoyed. But I was only 99% joyful. I was fettered by something I couldn’t put my finger on. Even now, I can’t put my finger on it. There’s something unresolved. Something keeping me from being completely enjoying my reality in any certain moment or place. Something hindering the completeness of my joy.

Even my interpretation of this situation conjures up various thoughts in my head. Maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be, since we won’t have full knowledge until heaven. But the way this is makes it hard for me to have joy. Plus, I’m exhausted from thinking, analyzing, trying to figure things out. I just want to accept something and move on, for once! Maybe I’m the perpetrator of this condition – I’m the one reading books, searching for answers. I’m the one entertaining and pursuing all of these different ideas at once. I’m the one continuing the attempt to quell the voice inside of me crying out for answers. I’m the one still listening, still hoping, still yearning for truth.

I have no answers. And if your gut reaction is to say that all the answers are in the Bible, I’ll say to you that it’s not that easy. Believe me, if it were that easy, all my questions would be satisfied. Yes, the answers are in the Bible. But they’re not obvious. And the mystery of the Christian life, added to all of the lies I’ve believed, our culture’s influence, and my own habit of spiraled thinking, makes it near impossible to sort out all of the thoughts in my head.

My only hope in all of this is that God has the answers. He knows what I’m struggling through, will give me insight and clarity when I need it, and is the One who is causing me to wrestle through all of these thoughts, issues, doubts, fears, and ideas – and that for a reason. He is doing something in me. Even when it feels like I’ll never sort it all out, that I’ll never truly understand, I can rest in knowing that God knows me, God is for me, and God will lead me into truth, whenever He wills. What would I do without God?!?!?

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