Moving has been a lot of things. Moving has been a blessing. Moving has been emotional. Moving has been painful. But most of all, moving has removed so many layers of things that I let define who I was. Who the hell am I when I have nothing that defines me? Yes, even as a Christian who truly loves Jesus, I had lost sight of who I was. And yes, I just said hell.
A couple weeks after moving to Bellingham, I realized I had a lot of things that I wasn't able to fully process. My heart had become heavy with so many different emotions; I loved where we lived now, but I missed my friends. I missed my job, but I liked being so free. I missed my sense of purpose, but I loved that my new job was purely my family. I missed my home. I had prayed and asked for this. I had so much peace over this, so what was this now?
One day before going on a hike with Josh, after shutting him out / lashing out... I finally lost it. I realized in those moments as he asked me to explain what I was feeling... that I had no idea who I was here. Everything that I had let come to define me, was gone. Even the good things took over. I wasn't a hairstylist (for the time being). I wasn't getting that affirmation daily that I was good at my job. I wasn't a life group leader. I didn't have any friends that knew me at my core here. I had no idea who I was. I had lost sight of the fact that we chose to move here to become more like Jesus. I forgot that I asked him to make me less like me and more like him. That he was stripping me of "me" and that it was going to hurt like hell. All I knew was, that it did in fact, hurt like hell.
Josh said, in his most loving, sweet voice, "you know where your true value is found don't you babe?" I balled. I knew. But I also didn't know in that moment. I am found in Christ. I would die to claim that truth, but what does that even mean to live out? My heart cried out, "Lord, remind me, again, who I am to you." As we hiked that day, all I could hear was, "beloved." I am His beloved. And then I realized that I am Israel. No matter what God had done, I have been just like that nation of people complaining and thinking I know how God should actually be doing his job. I am Israel. Thank you Jesus that they are still God's people in all their stupidity. Thank you that the covenant he made with them(and me) was not based on what they could do for him but what he would do for them, without fail.
You know what the crazy thing is, none of this matters without Jesus. That's part of what he was showing me. I can hide and find myself in so many other things than him. It can actually be way easier than chasing after Jesus sometimes. When I finally stopped running from Him, I had to humbly ask my heart in all it's brokeness; What if this was all I ever was? Would that be enough for me? What if my journey became solely about becoming more like Christ, and I had nothing of value or social status to show for my life? Do I truly find ALL of my value in that? Or is it really that I do want that....annnnddddd to be found in other things. My job and my success aren't bad, but the fact that I let myself be defined by them is. What if when people asked me how Washington was, I answered with this story? Is that enough that God be glorified through my flaws? YES.
The truth is, through all my stumbling around, trying to make sense of this all, I have found power in this story. It has forced me to really ask, what does it mean to be found in Christ? What does my life look like if I truly live that out? I know I can't be the only person asking. I am still searching. Prayerfully asking that my joy be found in Christ and Christ alone. That the Spirit always lead me towards my first love. And that scripture be the truth that I always need to hear.
Today, as I was reading and journaling in Philippians, I realized, I know who Christ is, Christ is love. Though 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 may be one of the most commonly used pieces of scripture and we have all heard it at 100 weddings, in that morning light, I read it in again for the first time. Because that is who Jesus is. If I know nothing else, I know who Jesus is. Jesus is that love. And I can, through the power of the spirit, become more like that love.
Where are you found? What holds your value? What runs your life? What does being rooted and found in Christ look like everyday for you, if you are follower of Jesus? Like you, I am on a journey to find out who I am. Figure out what this life is about. And be honest about the ups and downs of it, finding joy whether in the valley or on the mountaintop. Thanks for reading and hearing my heart.