It’s one of my favourite questions that I ask people. “What have you been learning lately?”
So I ask myself this as a time of reflection and inner growth. I feel like I have been learning a lot. One of the things I have been learning in the last twelve months, alongside with the last twelve hours, is trying to work out who I am.
I feel like I don’t know who I am because I am so busy ensuring that I get it “right” all the time, so I outsource my problems to others. This outsourcing gets the right answer in someone else’s perspective and so I feel justified in putting my next foot forward in the recommended direction. The problem with this though, is that I have up until recently, failed to know what to do or more importantly what I want. My counsellor would constantly ask me to figure out what I wanted in a variety of situations. This irked me. On the surface I said to myself, that being a Christian, this was the wrong question to be asking. But in the last twelve months I have delved deeper and recognised I haven’t even known what I wanted. I didn’t allow myself to think what I wanted due to fear that I would get it wrong.
The thing is that there have been plenty of seemingly wrong decisions in the past. Maybe these were fundamentally wrong because I was answering what I was seeking through someone else’s lens or worldview. And at the end of the day, although my actions affected others, it affected me the most.
What my lack of confidence has looked like has been a flip flopping of decisions. At one time I will be fully gung-ho in one direction, only to question the decision in my uncertainty to go the completely other route. And this often involves more than one flip and one flop.
In the last twelve months and last twelve hours too, I’ve had to work out who I am. What makes me tick? What do I actually like? What do I actually want? It’s actually too vague to say that I want what God wants. And actually most of the time I reckon God leaves decisions in our hands because he knows we are quite capable of making them. I want to follow God and walk alongside him. But that can look like a myriad of different things to different people.
So I’ve worked out more of who I am, and thus worked out what I want. I am a believer in Jesus. That shapes who I am. But within this, I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend. I love inward growth, pampering myself, eating good food, connecting on a deep level with people and sharing with others. Through all these likes I want to connect with God, look after my family, honour my husband and work productively and with beauty and joy.
This still all sounds a little vague. But I’m enjoying what these different facets of me look like in the recent and future decisions I make. Sure, it’s a great idea for most to pause and ask for other’s wisdom. But I think for me, with my level of insecurity and dependence, I need to pull my own finger out and start some trial and error. Because I think that’s what life is, fumbling and bumbling our way through, with some things working and some things not. But even when there are seeming errors of judgement there is still grace and beauty that is worked through. Somehow there is an ability to grow through our faults and be more ready to conquer the future.
I know that the future won’t be perfect, as it involves me. But I’m going to be ready for the fun and learning along the way that it will involve. I’m ready to be seeking forgiveness. I’m ready for the fault to be mine and to relish in that.