by Emily Morris
The world is dark. We know this — even if we never turned on our televisions, if we stayed away from advertising, media, books, news. etc. — we would still know this. Because we can feel the effects of it. We are impacted by it. Friends betray us. Gossip steals our identity. Death brings heartache. Words may not break your bones, but they certainly can break your spirit. We are told by the very same Marketing Machine to be unique and interesting…but also to be thin (enough), wrinkle-free (enough), fit (enough), smart (enough), and clever (enough) to be accepted and to fit in.
Even as kids, we didn’t need to be told the world is dark. Eventually, we got there. When that line is crossed from being secure in simply being a kid, to all of a sudden needing to be the “right kind” of kid.
Eventually, this darkness moves beyond appearances and becomes a gamble for your identity, your sense of self, your freedom in being [just amazing] you.
It is easy to get lost. It is easy to forget that there is a journey of self-discovery to be made. It is easy to get swept away by the next season in life, or the dream career, or the perfect spouse, and continue moving along in life while being (almost) happy, (almost) content, (almost) secure. But when you are still or quiet for too long there is that ever-so-quiet, yet ever-so-present sense that…you’re missing something.
Maybe even missing yourself?
We are a culture with impeccable numbing, diverging, and diluting skills.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
Though the world is so dark, the weight of it at times crippling…there is still light!
Though I have technically been a Christian for most of my life, the darkness and weight of the world, my mistakes, my history, the jabbing words of others, that sinking feeling of unworthiness, the pressure to be “cool,” to be a certain sect of beautiful has often been more than enough to keep me from clinging to Christ in finding my identity.
The past few years have been a whirlwind of excitement, heartbreak, painful discovery, healing cry sessions, peaceful surrender, violent fighting against surrender, soul-searching, and one very long journey to self-discovery that I didn’t even know I was on until I suddenly realized that I was me. A unique person allowed to have my own thoughts, feelings, opinions, and style. It was not until I no longer felt like a ball of clay others were adding to, adjusting, taking away from, and manipulating themselves that I truly found me. When the movement stopped and there was no more poking and prodding, I suddenly found myself – as I am designed to be.
Getting to a point where you claim that ball of clay and recognize every scrape, jab, and beautiful curve is made beautiful and lovely by your Creator, well that’s simply breath-taking.
Believing that you have been bought with a price*, that you are a co-heir with Jesus Christ**, that you have been wonderfully made*** with intention, and that the Holy Spirit gives us a spirit of freedom****
…this is when you have truly found yourself.
Your identity is not bound by the expectations of others, the harsh words that have been nailed upon your soul, the whispers, the lies, the disappointments, the failures, the injustices, or even the achievements — they do not make you who you are.
Your identity was sealed before it was ever tainted.
The Perfect Creator and Artist didn’t accidentally mess up when painting you into existence.
You are perfectly made, wonderfully, brilliantly shining, unique YOU. That no one else can be.
God is love. God’s Holy Spirit lives within you. Love moves, breathes, pulses throughout your being.
Let that love be the light that you cling to today and everyday.
Embrace it. Receive it. Give it.
Because no one else can be or love just quite like you do.
*for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor. 6:20
**Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17
***I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
****For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1