Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Many Hats, One Unique Light

When I was a student at the University of Missouri, I kept my ID card throughout all the semesters I was there.  I didn’t want to stand in line in the heat in the Brewer Field House.  I also didn’t want to have my picture taken.  My husband on the other hand, went every semester and had a new card made.  He loved having a new card so he could chronicle his journey.  I’ve long since lost that ID card, but I do remember my student ID number. 

When I resumed my educational journey in pursuit of a Master’s degree in 2004, I received an ID card from Trevecca Nazarene University.  I still have it.  When I went to Sioux Falls Seminary, they gave me another one.  Back at Trevecca for my doctoral degree, I received a new one with the same numbers as the old one.  And of course, I have a driver’s license. 

ID cards are useful.  However, despite their name IDENTITY cards, they tell very little about me.  Oh they tell you I am a nerd.  I like to go to school. They tell you I have brown eyes and how old I am.  But they tell you so little about me as a person.  I recently wrote a blog about identity on Sounds of Hope, you can read it here. 

I wear so many hats.  I put the hats on to indicate the role I am in – wife, mother, student, grandmother, daughter, woman, employee, pastor, cook, chauffer, church leader, etc., etc.  But those are roles, they aren’t who I am.  I’ve spent a lifetime of trying to fulfill my roles at the expense of me.

I’m learning who I am.  I am learning what makes me tick.  I am learning that my identity is who God made me to be.  I was sharing with my husband some of the things I learned about myself while living on campus for 9 days.  It was a grueling experience.  However, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am overly conscientious, I learned I am a bit of a perfectionist and in order to achieve the best, I have to know the rules and expectations – when I don’t, I am very frustrated!  I learned that I can come across as snobby, when I am really just shy.  I learned that I can be part of a group and succeed at tasks I didn’t think I could do.  I learned I am a pretty okay person – that I am just me, I am who I am because I am wired that way and it’s okay to be me.

Seems we’re ending this blog with questions for you to ponder this week. 

My question to you is are there times you are afraid to be you because you think people judge you? 

I have – I still do… but I’m learning that it’s just me – my identity, who I am… and there’s no judgment in that … The Creator made you the way you are, with all your uniqueness – Remember the children’s song: This little light of mine – here’s the verse for you today

I’m going to let it shine
Hide it under a bushel NO
I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
Shine ON…. 


Tracy said...

Know what you mean about the hats; think I can relate to that.

Although I'm certain that you know it, just want to point out that it's more than okay to be you - it's great! You're exactly who you're meant to be and I'm sure glad that I'm getting to know you a bit.

When I was younger there were times that I was afraid to be myself; felt like I needed to mostly go with the status quo as long as it was morally OK. I've never been one to want to be the center of attention. As I've gotten older I just care less about what people in general think (I still struggle with caring way too much what my children think). I'm more comfortable with just being myself. Even more compelling, I've learned that I'll never please everyone anyway (and let me tell you, I spent years trying!) But who I want to please is my God Who has given me so much and has good plans for my life.

Joyce Lighari said...

We sound a lot a like Tracy - I'm working on shedding the people pleasing because you are right, you just can't please everyone. Either they love you and accept you or they don't - that doesn't mean you have no regard for their feelings, it only means you don't let their feelings control you or make you feel inadequate.

David-FireAndGrace said...

I have hidden out most of my life. I don't give up too much information unless I feel people want to know me. I am still reluctant to be myself except with a very few people. I am finally enjoying a church where at least I can express my gifting.

I don't really care what people think if they want to judge me. It is more about the chemistry and sincerity of the relationship.

Tony C said...

I think worrying about what other people think is a major obstacle in freely worshipping God each week in corporate services.

God deserves honest worship from our hearts. For some that may mean shouting, others jumping and still others a quite calmness. He made us all unique, so wouldn't our worship be unique too!

Love the ending song...