Thinking Out Loud

New Year, New Identity.

Looking at your life now, did you ever think this is what it was going to look like a year ago?  2 years ago?  What about 2 years from now? What do you want your life to look like? I’ve learned that life is one big question mark, but I have the ability to put an exclamation point after it! I want to live life in excited expectation for the future, not anxiously overthinking “what if’s”.

adult back view beach calmness
Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com

4 years ago I moved into college, 2 years ago, I graduated online. Here’s a quick crash course on what happened:

Moved to VA Beach for college fall of 2015. Lasted 2 semesters after becoming the shell of who I was (that’s a book in and of itself for another time…).

Moved home to Bowie, MD with family. Attempted to move back to VA Beach to work at a juice shop (of course) and finish my degree online. Got in a car accident. Totaled my car. Had to move everything back home. Walked to work all summer long to make money.

Moved out to Berlin, MD on the Eastern Shore. Rented an apartment that flooded my first night there. The welcome party included cockroaches and other creepy crawlers, including wasps (which I’m highly allergic, by the way). Worked 3 jobs as a full-time, online college student leaving no time for friendships or relationships.

Graduated (by the grace of God) that December.

Moved to a house near Ocean City, MD after my apartment became a health hazard 6 moths later with a roommate. Discovered the house was bed bug infested (anyone else see a trend here?) Lived out of my car and at my aunt’s house for weeks while we got it treated. House went up for sale and sold 8 months later.

Forced to move back home (again). 

I could go on and on with stories of how nothing in my life went quite as I had planned, about how Murphy’s Law seemed to be all too real, but each of those experiences has shaped me in new ways from the inside out. I’ve learned to trust God more, rely on myself less, and surround myself with loving people who deeply care for me even when I wish to be left alone or pretend I have it all figured out.

Today was the unknown future this time last year. Evidently, I’ve never done well with the unknown. I like to plan, be prepared, chart the waters, and captain my own ship. Throughout my life, God has painfully reminded me of who is truly in control, whose plans actually come to pass, whose intentions are always good. In the midst of life’s storms, the power of God is most greatly revealed.

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39
open hand reaching out above sunlit ocean water
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Here I am, back at home as the independent, workaholic, busy bee who just wanted to move to a shoreline and live at the beach. Having said that, I’m grateful to be where I am. I’m grateful to be who I am. I’m grateful for the growth I’ve experienced in every way over the past 4 years. Looking back, I see how far I’ve come…and it’s a humbling sight. Looking ahead, I see how much farther I still have to go…but it’s full of hopeful expectation.

I’m thankful for God’s timing and I’m blessed by the relationships I’ve made since moving home. Not many will know who I was 4 years ago, but everyone will experience who I have become through that painful, yet fruitful, timeline.

I’m in a state of becoming. Becoming the Beloved of God. Being the Beloved of God. Walking wholeheartedly in that identity of Belovedness. Learning that in order to become the Beloved, I have to accept the fact that I already am the Beloved. I can’t do anything to earn that title. I have been called, chosen, and claimed by Christ alone.

I am Beloved.

“When our deepest truth is that we are Beloved and when our greatest joy and peace come from fully claiming that truth, it follows that this has to become visible and tangible in the ways we eat and drink, talk and love, play and work.” ~Henri J. M. Nouwen.

I will forever be learning to embrace this identity without reservation in all aspects of my life. Living in full surrender of myself. Sharing this surreal sense of purpose, this gracious gift from above, this intimate relationship of being the recipient of true, unconditional love; even in the midst of my complete brokenness. What a Savior. What a Lover. What a good, good Father.

In Christ alone, my hope is found.

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