I was 17 years of age, in High School, final year. One of the most significant years for someone to figure out their whole life, well, for most kids. For me it lead to the point of constant anxiety and stress, people would often ask “what are your plans after high school?” and I would look at them with a completely blank stare on my face. I would often give people some fake answer because I wanted to seem “well put together” or like “I had it all together” when in fact on the inside I was a mess. I remember having a conversation with someone and them asking “what do you enjoy” or “what makes you happy” and the big one that I really didn’t know how to answer “what makes you feel like you” all fair questions that generally would help someone figure out where they were supposed to be, although my issue was, I didn’t know who I was. What does that mean? My coping mechanism is to shut down completely. I don’t feel emotions, and I don’t care. I realized that I was in that state for a year or more. So… with new wisdom and prior bad choices… how do you answer this question?
“Who am I” is often a question that is asked after you hit a point in your life where something that you’ve known for so long is no longer a part of your life, or a journey that you have been on for a long period of time is coming to a close. You might find yourself asking this question just under your breath “who am I.” Three words but more powerful than a surface level question, in fact, it can just be a surface level question but ultimately its what you make it to be. I can answer the question in a simple sense, or a more complex longer answer with no definite end. “who am I” in a simple sense, well, I am Samuel, I was born in Nova Scotia, I am the son of Scott and Shari and brother to Seth. These are simple truths that are rooted in that question, these are definite and cannot change. I hit a point in my life where I had to ask myself “who am I.” I was an awful individual growing up in High School, and I did not care for others and ended up being in a state of constant self-centredness. When I was a young child compassion and empathy and caring for others is what I strived for and “who am I” would have been answered in a way that would have been similar to this: “I am an individual that cares for others and loves people really well, I am a happy individual that loves God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.”
I want to ask you simple questions that might help you, as an individual find the answers to this one big overarching question. Who do you think you are, if you took away what society and others told you that you are? Who do you think you are? What are some absolute truths about yourself? Where are your priorities and do they accurately reflect and help you become closer to achieving who you want to be? And last, but certainly not least, what are the definite truths of who I am in Christ?
Now I know what some people reading this are already thinking “what do you know about how I’m feeling and how I’m struggling to find who I am?”. Well, funny enough, I do know. Heres the thing, I have put my identity in anything and everything except Christ in the past, relationships, money and yet again, literally everything except Christ. What I’m about to say isn’t an easy thing to understand if you aren’t a Christian, but I’m going to make a bold statement. Finding who you are in a worldly sense will fail you every single time, finding who you are in Christ will not fail you every time. God made us who we are so we could make known who he is. Our identity is for the sake of making known His Identity. I talked in another post about how insecurities are a dangerous thing; we should be confident in who we are in Christ. We need to realize that sometimes our insecurities is sometimes God giving us a “nudge” to escape the lies of false beliefs of who we are and find the true peace of who we are in Him. Again, many times I have lost myself and tried to discover who I am or mask who I am in awful relationships. That has always been my struggle, to put my identity in the person I am seeing appose to putting it in Christ. Which is dangerous for a few reasons, the first being that when things go south, your hope is in them, and since your faith is something worldly, it will lead to more hurt and anxiety since it is temporary, my faith is now in something/Someone that is eternal. Find your footing in your relationship with Christ.
Even if you don’t come to a definite conclusion of who you are, remember a few things, block out the lies that the enemy tells you, he wants you to believe that your hope is in worldly things, which I promise will fail every-time. Finding who you are takes time. I want to challenge you, if you can’t spend 8 hours alone, no phone, no music, no book, just you, pen, paper and your thoughts, I would say you need to really become comfortable with yourself. When you tear down the busyness of life you truly find that you are left with your thoughts, do your thoughts honour that of who you say you are, and the truths that you know that you are in Christ? There is 3 main categories you can break things down into 1. Who Christ says you are 2. Who you say you are 3. Who others tell you that you are. Now, you choose which one you want to take and run with, I would personally say 1 is the smartest choice, but sometimes you need to figure things out on your own. Kind-of like a child, God is the parent and sometimes He lets you try things on your own, even though he knows the result is painful. Sometimes that’s the only way we learn because we don’t discern the voice of God and listen to the voice of ourselves or the enemy. Rejoice even in the seasons where you aren’t certain because you will grow if you take the right steps, providing that you make the right choices that are God honouring. Rejoice in every season, and enjoy the life and situation that God has put you in, because you’re there for a reason.
So here’s my advice:
Love others well, give generously, praise God, the rest will follow.