This is the first post in a series of posts, coming from amazing friends all over the country. These are all centered around the question “What does discovery look like for you in relation to identity?”
The first of our series is written by someone I have admired and looked up to for years. Dominica is one of those people who just radiates the love of Christ; the transformation He has brought about in her life is clear for all to see. She is pursuing full time ministry, and will be working at a church and changing lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts this coming year. Her words are powerful and her wisdom is unending. Enjoy this post from my sweet friend, Dominica.
We are all on a journey; but we all have different destinations, yet one goal. Our goal is to discover the person that God has created us to be. Sometimes I think we have this preconceived notion that at a certain point in life we will have it all together. Like maybe, just maybe, when we find “the one”, or when we graduate college, or when we turn 25…maybe that is when we will finally find ourselves, maybe that is when we will completely figure out who it is that the Creator has created us to be. The thing is, finding who you are is not something that can happen in a couple of hours, a few days, or even a month. I have found that it is a never ending discovery of unveiling the person that God has created you to be.
The picture I create in my mind is a block of clay. In order for the artist to create his masterpiece he chisels away one piece at a time, breaking off unwanted and unwelcomed pieces as he goes. With each falling piece he is one step closer to his masterpiece, to the finished product. The artist pays attention to the detail as he meticulously chisels away each piece and uses his hands to carefully form the curves and edges of his sculpture. He knows the beauty inside of the clay even when others cannot see it because he knows what the finished product will look like.
I think this is how God molds us. As we intentionally live our lives for Him He carefully chisels away until we are wholly His masterpiece. He pays attention to the details and He knows what it will take to mold us into the person He wants us to be. God sees the beauty inside each person even when the world’s eye is blind to it. The best part of all is that we are in the Artist’s hands, we are being molded and shaped by Him through every trial, every JOY, every relationship, every adventure, every prayer, everything.
In my own life this discovery has been a long and winding path. I look back on my life and I still do not quite know how I got here – a 24 year old with a Master’s degree heading out to the north shore of Boston to work at a church plant, pursuing a lifetime of ministry with absolutely nothing holding me back. If you knew my background then you would be as amazed as I am. Nobody in my family has ever pursued full time ministry, in fact most of them are not believers…but that is another story for another day.
I have wasted far too much time searching for my identity in all the wrong places. I spent years trying to find it in men, in friends, and in material things but nothing worked. When I looked everywhere I could and thought all hope was lost…I found Jesus. I found the One who made my soul come alive; who offered the love and acceptance I so desperately wanted but never knew I needed.
During this past year I have felt God chiseling away more than ever, molding me into the person He has created me to be. I have found that most of my growth is through the trials and the pain, crying out to Him when all hope seems lost and my faith is wearing thin. Oftentimes I find that God places me where I could never be successful on my own. He calls me to do things that are completely out of my comfort zone, over my head, like I’m drowning in these thoughts of God why in the WORLD did You call ME to do this?! Yet He is there…molding me with His loving and faithful hands.
It is in and through those times that I discover the woman He has created me to be. It is in those times of desperate despair, where I am convinced I cannot go on any longer and the only logical thing to do is to sit on my bed and eat a bowl of ice cream instead of facing reality, where He molds me. He carves off those unwanted pieces and sometimes it is oh-so painful. Yet He holds me in His hands and He never loses control and out of this pain comes overwhelming beauty.
Each day I choose to place myself in His hands. As the sun sneaks through my window and the birds begin chirping my eyes slowly open and I breathe in. I stare up at the white ceiling as the sun begins to form shadows across my room and I am filled with gratitude: another day. It took me awhile to get to this place and each day it is a decision to discover more of who I am, more of who He is. I wrestled with the world’s standards, the lies I was always being fed that I was not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough… I was just never enough. Now I know that it is true, I am not good enough; but Jesus is and it is only in Him that I can truly be found.
In order to find yourself I am convinced you need to go to new places, meet new people, and try new things. If you continue to do the same things you have always done you will always get the same results. It is time to put yourself to the test, to take a leap (or even a plunge) of faith and just go for it. To find your identity in Christ means creating a dependence on Him, living so closely with Him that you cannot go a day without talking to Him. It is waking up every morning and He is the first thought to cross your mind. You crave that moment you sit down, Bible in your lap and pen in your hand, ready to learn from His Word. It’s like falling in love each and every day with the Savior of the world and every morning it feels brand new, like you just met yet you have known each other for all of your life.
The process is long but the Master’s hands are always at work, chiseling away in His sovereignty and grace. Though the world convinces us our identity is to be found in the things of this world they are terribly mistaken. The truth is, we are only satisfied when we are found in the Savior’s hands, allowing Him to take control of our lives and shaping every area He so chooses. When we let go and let Him work it is only then that we can see who we really are: His masterpiece.