A few weeks ago a good friend of mine asked me, “Where is God at work most in your life?”
Preface this with the notion that we were meeting specifically to talk about goals and plans and futures and dreams, and being the wise, good woman she is, she asked this question.
“I guess, and maybe this isn’t spiritual enough, but I feel God is at work in helping me understand who I am.” I answered her.
She nodded and smiled. “Of course that’s God.”
“I guess my self and my personality is where I feel most settled. And if that’s an indication of where God is working the most, then yes. It’s in who I am.”
It feels almost silly to say this, but that is exactly where God has been working in me in the last year. Finally, at the age I am, I feel like I’m really learning who I am and who I am not. And I have come to find out, I like me.
I turned 39 over the holidays, on New Year’s Eve. And I feel like 40 is looming closer and closer and closer.
Every winter-to-spring month that ticks off the calendar just seems one step closer to, I don’t know, the middle of life? I find myself saying things like, “before I turn 40” and “I hope I can do that before I reach 40” as if 40 is some kind of crazy benchmark.
But one thing that I believe I’m doing well in my year-before-forty is making friends with myself.
When we become new friends with someone we spend time together, we laugh, we talk, we discuss, or maybe we simply sit. Getting to know someone is sometimes difficult, sometimes easy, but it always takes time.
On one hand I want to chide myself for not getting to know myself sooner. But on the other hand, I believe I’m right on time. I’m that complex, maybe, that it has taken my almost forty years to figure out who I am. Or maybe that’s how it is intended for all of us — to spend the greater parts of our lives becoming satisfied with how He has made each of us.
The world tries so hard to make us into something God never intended. The poet e.e. Cummings said, “to be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing it’s best to make you somebody else is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. never stop fighting.”
Getting to know yourself is only half the battle, I wonder. The other part is to hang on to ourselves.
Let’s today resolve to do two things, if we can.
First, let us become friends with ourselves. It is more than just getting to know ourselves. It’s more than understanding our gifts, our personalities, our fears and behaviors, and the ways our experiences have shaped us. It’s also being okay with who it is we are.
And secondly, let us fight to be ourselves. Once we have made friends with ourselves, we need to fight, fight, fight to hang on to what we’ve found. Be loudly you, unabashedly, beautifully you. Because it really is important.
Where is God most at work in my life? In me.