“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
My husband does not have a good sense of direction; he is what I like to call directionally challenged. I remember one time being in Cleveland, his hometown mind you, he could barely get us to our destination. I chuckled a little because even though I had only been a few times –I had to direct him where to go. As for me, I would say I have a great sense of direction. I could go anywhere one time and remember exactly how I got there.
About 10 years ago, I moved to a new city; I had no friends or family around so I had to venture through this new chapter of my life all alone. I had a difficult time learning my way around town; I used to get lost “on purpose” so that I could learn the new streets and highways. About two years ago, I found myself in another new chapter in life that left me lost and in need of finding my way; however, this time I couldn’t depend on my reliable directional skills. This was more than navigating new streets or highways. This time I was trying to find… Me.
My life had changed so much in a short year and a half that I had a hard time keeping up. I had just become a mom for the first time and I was still in the newlywed phase of my marriage. On top of adding these new titles to my life, I was also working on my relationship with Jesus Christ and becoming a better Christian. With so much going on all at once, I struggled to figure out who I was becoming. This unawareness of who I was went on for almost two years and left me with deep self-esteem issues that not only affected my life, but also those around me. My marriage began to suffer, my friendships started to fade, and I felt like I was in a downward spiral as a result. At the beginning of 2016, I made it my “resolution” that I would tackle this problem head on. I declared that I would not live my life with low self-esteem and unaware of the person I really am. I started writing down biblical affirmations and praying over myself, I started reminding myself that as a child of God I was the head and not the tail, above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13). After I began praying over my life that is when I started to find myself in Christ.
God created us in his likeness – “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1-26-27). I’ll admit that for years I’ve heard the phrase “we are made in the image of God” and thought I knew exactly what that meant. My definition of this verse was that God created us to “look” like him not physically, but spiritually and mentally. However, for many years my mind and spirit did not resemble God at all – actually it still doesn’t. One day not too long ago, I got an entirely new perspective on what it meant to be made in God’s likeness by asking myself “who am I? What makes me, me?” Several characteristics came to mind: my sense of humor, my ability to nurture and care for others, my ability to empathize and deeply love others. Then it dawned on me that everything that I am God is and was first. My likeness in Him is what makes me who I am. I felt like I had discovered my identity for the very first time.
People, places, and possessions do not complete you– “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10 NLT). I tried everything I could think of to boost my self-esteem. I thought that if I bought new clothes, moved into a new house, hung out with new friends, or nagged my husband about going on vacations or something, that somehow I could change my attitude—that wasn’t the case. Nonetheless, the problem was that I was turning to everything and everybody to complete me instead of turning to the only One who could. Instead of understanding that I was already made whole and complete in Jesus, I looked for worldly and external pleasures to fulfill me.
Accepting the new me– “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Accepting who I was did not happen overnight. It took a long time for me to receive the change that was taking place in my life. As I rejected the whole idea of this transformation I had the same sinful behavior; I surrounded myself with the company of people who had no desire to seek Christ in their own life. No matter what I did to satisfy my flesh; I still felt lost and unsure of whom I was. God’s word tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 that we should put on our new self and remove the old. It wasn’t until I began to apply this truth to my life that I started to see my likeness in God and accepting who I was becoming… a new me.
Change takes time and evolving is sometimes hard to accept but Trust God’s will for your life. Even if your change doesn’t happen right away remember that “He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).