I used to relish the idea of having it all together. In fact, I was so bound to the notion that I would piece together other people’s lives to create the best version of mine. What I ended up with was a Frankenstein monster of a mess. How would I rid myself of the toxicity of former mindsets, actions, and consequences?
Before I entered into the security of my identity, I lived a semi-reckless life. By this, I am referring to allowing others to yo-yo my emotions, refusing to change because I perceived harm done to me, and acting out in ways that were less than my character. Additionally, I often wished to be someone else, to have different life experiences, and would secretly hate on people because of their success. While successful in my own right, I was unfulfilled. These feelings did not cease until I surrendered my will for his, and started on an identity quest.
Once I wrote an article about how my natural hair journey for the Huffington Post. The piece short handedly chronicled my experiences with growing my hair from three inches in length to where I am now. I spoke about insecurities, self-hate, and actions that were birthed from them. While I wrote retrospectively for that piece, when I started growing my hair, I did it because I was tired of the transitioning process. Transitioning for the hair encompasses the time period where there are both relaxed hair and unrelaxed hair on the head. The process is difficult because the individual is between two stages–not fully in one, but not completely out of the other. However, now looking back on the actions that surrounded the decision, I recognize the hand of God in the situation.
Similarly, my identity consciousness functioned in the same way. I did not know who God created me to be, but I was aware of his tug in my spirit. I wish I could say that it happened suddenly, but it didn’t. I was rebellious, I didn’t want the responsibility to change, nor did I want to be great–though I am an overachiever. Thankfully, God didn’t stop because I attempted to sabotage my life, he was persistent, and I am grateful.
When God began to reveal to me who he created me to be it started with prophesy. I grew up in a church that operated in the prophetic, and on my journey to discover who I was, I migrated back towards that type of teaching. After several prophesies were released over my life, a greater hunger to know who I was consumed me. From there, I started to pursue God in the same way he came searched for me–while I wasn’t lost, my true identity was. I would go to him and ask him to show me what he had in mind when I was born, who did he say I was, how can I trust him?
When he started to show me whom he envisioned, it wrecked my life. At the time, I was still flirting with the idea of being luke warm and on the fence about my faith. While my spirit desired all that God had for me, my flesh wanted the things of the world. Needless to say, when I would try to go back to my old habits, a fierce conviction would overtake me. In fact, one time I was doing something that I shouldn’t do, and I heard the Lord say “Look at you! Why must you sabotage your life? This is a disgrace!” ME? A disgrace? Dang. I had never heard the Lord speak to me so harshly, so I knew I needed to get right.
Honestly, the hardest thing I had to combat on this journey was to choose a side. I either had to completely sell out for Christ, or I would potentially miss my opportunity. Anyone who knows me, knows that I despise missed opportunities. If there is something to be gained, I want to gain it! However, in order to do this, I had to make a conscious effort to do right. This meant go against certain things that I once stood for, stop entertaining conversations, going to various places, and stay clear of temptation because I was not on stable ground.
It was like God challenged me to take a stand, and stick to it. Granted, the position was challenging, it was contradicting in the areas I hadn’t resolved yet, and it commanded that I be accountable to people I didn’t know yet, but were coming. In essence, the small circle of people who I allow access to me got even smaller; but I had to be ok with that reality.
Though discovering my identity completely uprooted and destabilized my life, it gave me something greater. I now have the capacity to be filled with wisdom, esteem, and courage. I have the ability to speak on things that once bound and threatened my life. It gave me a new life, one that I searched for consistently but couldn’t find.
God’s construction plan may look harsh at first glance, however, if you’ll trust him, he’ll give you beauty for ashes.