Who Am I?Mar 02, 2021
As a little girl when I was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
My answer for many years was, “A cheerleader.”
As we become older and graduate, the question changes to, “What do you do?”
This question traditionally evokes answers of a job title and place of business where we work. For most of our working careers this is a commonly asked question when we meet others. It’s an easy question to ask when we don’t know what to say. It’s a good starting point to find out more about the person.
In American culture there is a high importance put on what a person does for their profession and the company they work for. The significance of the job position can begin to alter our thinking from what we do to earn a living to an identity of who we are. The value can start to embed in our minds and reposition what was previously a job to earn money to pay our bills to a form of being the most important thing in our lives. It can overtake us.
This transformation from “what I do” to “who I am” is where I got lost within a job title as it became my everything, my identity. The position within a company meant who I was. I was the; manager, salesperson, motivational speaker, author. My “who I am” was always tied to a job title.
As my walk with God deepened, my priorities began to reposition to see how my worth and value in God’s eyes was much different than mine. As the blinders of the world loosened, my view was becoming clearer as I wanted to focus on being a wife, mom, daughter, and friend. During this time a gnawing question came to me daily: “Who Am I?” Am I a wife, mother, house cleaner, motivational speaker, author, friend? The question increased with intensity and became more frustrating as it never left my head.
On a day of total frustration, I reached out to a mentor who graciously listened and then suggested that I sit quietly and journal my question on paper to see if any answers would come to me. Sitting with my journal and pen I wrote out the words “Who Am I?” on the top of the page. The question appeared larger than life. I did not know who I was. I could only identify with the many job titles and by the skills I was able to do in each one. As the question raced in my mind, the answer was dependent on who I was around and what I thought would impress them and possibly help me get some additional business out of our conversation. I was like a chameleon, blending in with the environment adjusting to protect myself, my reputation, and my identity. Ultimately, I was becoming exhausted with these attempts to figure out what would be the best answer for the specific situation. Throwing my hands up in surrender, I knew I needed God to answer my question, “Who Am I?”
God has never taken my pen and written the words for me; I have had to go through the process. Getting to the answer was going to take action, so I began to write and these descriptive words flowed out of me: creative, positive-minded, sensitive, hard-working, authentic, spunky, caring, loving, a leader, action-minded, dependable, trustworthy, a go-getter, and honest. It was a great list of adjectives. But it didn’t take away the sting of the lurking question, and I walked away from the journal frustrated.
Eight years later, as God would have it, I picked up that journal and there was the page with the big question “Who Am I?” printed in large, bold letters. Below it was the many expressive words. Why was I back to the same place in my life asking the same question which seemed bigger than life as each letter jumped off the page – WHO AM I?
During those eight years many changes happened in my life including my personal relationship with God and how important it had become. My love for His Word, the quiet time I spend daily with Him, and the studying of His truths have penetrated my heart and changed my thinking.
Now, as I sat staring at the question “Who Am I?” it seemed to have changed. By eliminating the question mark and flip flopping two words, it says, “Who I Am.” The entire context changed the long-standing question. It was life changing as it jumped off the page to say “Who I am” versus “Who am I.” It is now a statement, not an unanswered question. It’s a statement of faith grounded in God alone. The heaviness of a wondering question has changed to a freeing statement of “This is who I am."