I recently “found” my identity. No, it wasn’t lost. Maybe “claimed” is a better word. Or “embraced”. I think it all started with this year-long journey I’ve been on, but it culminated a few weeks before last Tuesday, the day I’d been dreading ALL semester: my first ever public sermon delivery.
Backtrack with me, if you’d like, to I don’t even know when. I’ve always been one of those weird people who is kind of out of the box: not too much out of it because it’s scary out there, but not all the way inside either, but I still have friends because I’m SUPER nice.
When I was younger, I always cared about what people thought of me… probably WAY too much. Even in hight school and college. Key folks kept me in-line by saying “are you really going to wear/say/do/work in/major in that?”
” I don’t know,” I’d say. “Guess not”.
“I don’t know” was my answer for so long I started to believe it.
During this year, my trying to connect to the poor by making drastic changes in my lifestyle has proven to be more than just a journey of benevolence, but of self-discovery, faith, and a slew of surprises along the way.
Now, part of my problem I think was not understanding the distinction between purpose and identity. The best answer I could come up with to the question “who am I” were connected to my station in life: teenager, college student, Recreation Therapy Assistant, Social Worker, Case Manager, graduate student.
Fast forward to the sermon. The week before I had to preach, I was super nervous. But then, I thought to myself ” self, why are you nervous? You got an A on the written sermon manuscript, all you have to do is get through the delivery. You have good things to say.”
Well, then I got excited about the words I would be getting to share with my classmates. Then, the discovery. I was nervous, because I was self-conscious about how I would look up there behind the pulpit.
It’s ok, you can say it.
“Sara, that’s ridiculous. Could you BE any more trite? I mean, concern for the impression YOU will make was making you nervous about entering a pulpit and sharing a sacred moment with your fellow classmates? Shallow, much?”
Well, it turns out it’s a good thing my shallowness was brought to my attention. Because it represented a bigger thing happening. It was time to let go of the old Sara mentality (made fun of in grade/middle/high school for being dumb at math, so I let myself believe I was an idiot) and embrace the new Sara (competent student, good writer, and apparently, pretty good preacher 🙂
Once I decided that I really like the person this project has brought out in me, I was way less nervous, and excited to share my good news with my class.
Of course, I won’t pretend that my legs did not go numb for at least 10 minutes afterward.
Anyway, interesting how things like that work out, huh? I think so.
SO, who am I?
I love Jesus, my family (including pets),my friends, Christmas,mission work, playing the piano, The South (you know, southern hospitality, small town USA, that kind of thing), and owls, in that order. There are more things I love too. Lots. I buy all of my clothes online (www.thehungersite.com, http://www.globalgirlfriend.com) and each purchase funds at least 25 cups of food. I don’t like to eat out as much as I used to, because I’m always more conscious now of people who don’t get to do that and only get limited amounts of the same food every day. Acts is my favorite book of the Bible. I have kind of weird taste in clothes that’s been suppressed/oppressed for a while by others’ views, but it’ll slowly make its comeback as I adjust to life on a budget and have money for clothes. I write my own music, my favorite nail polish is dark dark purple. I have no idea where my life is going, but I sure would love to, I want to be a missionary in Mexico, but also a chaplain/social worker/ bereavement coordinator at a nursing home or hospice. Or hospital. Sometimes procrastination is best. SOMETIMES. And I’m on a journey of colliding my soul with the souls of the poor all over the world during this year. And it’s great.
Anything else you want to know about who I am, just ask.
” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, (s)he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17