Who Are You, Really?

There is no other developmental process quite like understanding who you are, your identity, and what it means to finally be comfortable in your skin. 

How we learn who we are isn't something that comes easy; more's the pity. 

But when it does come, the revelation of what it means to find ourselves, gain insights into what makes us tick, and stop pretending to ourselves about ourselves often arrives in a flash. 

We might recall the moment like this, "And just like that, I knew..." or "All of a sudden, I realized...."

We don't often pause to reflect on what it really took for us to find the way back to us. Spoiler alert: it took a while, and we weren't the only ones on the journey.  

The great American writer Eudora Welty once wrote: 

Insight doesn't happen often on the click of the moment, like a lucky snapshot, but comes in its own time and more often from within.  The sharpest recognition is surely that which is charged with sympathy as well as with shock--it is a form of human vision.  And that is of course a gift. 

It's just like this when we discover the truth about who we are.  We may feel as though it happened in a flash, but that truth was marinating, waiting, and growing until a time when we would be able to experience it more clearly. 

And the "sharpest recognition" is almost certainly charged with sympathy.  It comes when we forgive our past mistakes, poor decisions, and wrong turns.  It comes when we finally surrender the struggle to define ourselves on everyone else's terms but our own. 

This is when we can also discover how much of the Divine was at work within us all along, bringing us to an incredible moment of self-realization.  

God works quietly in our lives, nudging, guiding, and even cajoling. 

I believe God does this out of love and a desire not to demand or force our love for God. I also think that when we finally give up the fight to control everything, we can see God's hand upon us, never letting us go. 

So, discovering who we are can also be a discovery of "whose" we are. 

The Brief Statement of Faith from the Presbyterian Church (USA) succinctly states, "In life and death, we belong to God."  There is such beauty in this statement, and also great comfort.  

Ultimately, our identity is not shaped by the world around us or our often foolish desires. It is formed by God, who works within, around, and through us. This identity marks us as beloved. We are God's own.  

May this realization bring you joy and, ultimately, peace.  May you come to know who you are, and may this bring hope and a future filled with possibility. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, now and forever. Amen.  


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