Some people appear naturally confident in themselves from a young age. They are not afraid to make fun of themselves, or embrace their unusual quirks. They seem to float through life with a smile on their face and a leap in their step. I, on the other hand, was off in the corner hoping no one would see me. I was terrified that others would see the dorky person I was. In my mind, I had nothing to hide – except everything.
This was especially true in high school. Take my sophomore year for example. I was so embarrassed of who I was that I put on a ridiculous mask to hide behind. This was the year I dyed my hair Electric Blue. I had grown out my hair to about 6 inches all the way around, then had a “professional” (In reality it was my mom) shampoo my hair with blue ink that looked like it came straight from a crayon box. In my mind, this expression was much safer for me to show than the fact that I liked shopping, or that my best friend was a girl, or that math was FUN. No, blue hair it was. They used to call my twin brother and I “M&Ms” because of our hair colors (his was green). I am laughing even now as I reflect on this pivotal year in my life. Instead of accepting all that God made me to be, I chose to imitate something I was not in attempts to draw attention away from the more personal aspects of my life.
I find it comical that ridiculous ideas like dyeing hair blue become reasonable alternatives to fully embracing the person God created, quirks and all.
Last year I began to dialogue with God on the topic of “identity”. Understanding your position is part of this teaching, but the core conversation revolved around His desire for me to embrace all that He created me to become. To go into detail on this topic is a book worthy project, but I want to touch one aspect here.
Psalm 139:14 says,
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well.
What a statement. In this psalm, David is expressing the magnificence of God, yet he injected this sentence right in the middle. What possessed him to do that?
Read that verse again “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully, and wonderfully made…”
It seems that in the process of celebrating God’s greatness, David gained insight into how great God made him. The Hebrew words here are Yare´ (meaning “reverential fear” or “standing in awe”), and Palah (meaning “distinct”), which describe two ways he was made.
Do you see it?
As God made you and I, He was impressed. There is a great respect from Him towards us because He finally made a “being” capable of intimate relationship with Him. Until God made man, no other creature was given the capacity to house the incredible nature of God that David so eloquently describes in this psalm.
He created man with the ability to become one with Him. Better yet is the encompassing element that He MADE each of us. When you make something, there is intention associated with the project. I have never accidently created something, and I have never intentioned myself to create and failed. When I go to make something, there is a reason; otherwise, why use the effort? In the same sense, God MADE you. He was intentional about EVERY personality, quirk, and desire that He placed in you. Imagine, here David is dancing before the Lord as a king, and all of a sudden it hits him. God uniquely pieced him together to overcome the challenges he would encounter through out his life. God made David to shepherd flocks of sheep. God made David to kill a bear and a lion with his hands. God made David to slay a giant with some cloth and a pebble, and God made David to rule over a nation. He created David to be a valiant warrior, and a fanatical worshiper.
Identity is two fold:
1) You are POSITIONED in Christ as a Son
2) You are COMMISSIONED by Christ to express your Sonship to the world around you
I am so inspired by David’s revelation. From this perspective, challenges in life are divine obstacles that expose how powerful we are with each new victory. As we acknowledge and embrace our unique traits through God’s eyes, we become unstoppable in overcoming life’s difficulties. No hurdle is too great, or demon too powerful to prevent us from winning the prize set before us.
We must learn to fully embrace all that God has made us to be, trusting that He really knew how to best impact the world through our unique desires, quirks, and passions – no matter how weird they might be.
I challenge you to embrace those desires and begin asking God how to use them for His purposes.
What quirks, desires, passions, talents, and motivations has God equipped you with to successfully overcome the challenges before you?
How has God called you to demonstrate your identity to the world around you? Think about your vocation, relationships, and service opportunities.