Having your identity in something other than God has been a hard hit to my ego. I will not lie, and you know this. If you finished that sentence with ‘man’ at the end, we are now best friends. Anyway, I found myself in many turning points in my life when I endured those one-day moments. You remember those right? I put my identity in things that gave me no value. Have you ever done that before?
I had to learn the hardest way ever that I cannot put my identity into the things that I do but into the one who created me. I play softball for around 14 years. It was everything I ever did. It was a love and passion I had never felt before. I may have had a small spell of hating it but that probably had to do with a lot of different teenage hormones going on. I have many accolades from softball. I won’t go into the full extent of everything. But I had a plan, I was going to eventually try out for the USA team, all I had to do was get through those four years of college. But I would not make it that far. A lot of people I had been around believed that I just couldn’t cut it and that I was in some way kicked off the team that I was on. Not a lot know that I was forced to quit based on my own health. By all means, I was not sick, and I wasn’t dying. I went through a lot those 14 years of softball. I had injury after injury. It was not until the very last injury that I was taken out of commission. I ended up needing my first rib removed (don’t hear that a lot huh?) and a week after that surgery I would have to get my lung drained of a liter of water because my body was essentially drowning itself. To say going back to softball after all that would have been difficult is an understatement. When the decision was made that I would not be returning to that field, I was broken.
I lost who I was. I felt like I just got out of a long-term relationship and my heart was broken in a million pieces. I couldn’t watch softball for a couple years. I couldn’t talk about it without crying. I could probably still get upset about it, but I know that’s not who I am anymore. This broke me like no other. Have you ever gotten out of a relationship and felt like you couldn’t trust yourself or trust the other people around you? This is what happened in a sense. Ever since this happened, I found myself staying away from things that I could build a passion for. I strayed away from the things I always said I would do. I just knew in my heart that if I ever went with my passions again, they would just be snatched up from under me like they never even happened, and I would be left with a gaping hole in my chest all over again.
I know that’s a little dramatic. But think about those one-day moments and how those absolutely changed the course of your life for either the good or bad. Sometimes people bounce back from these kinds of scenarios with a fire lit under them, ready to take on the world. While others like myself, break. Kudos to those people who bounce back. I hope to surround myself with people like you so that some of that fire can rub off on me. The fact that one whole day could change the course of your life is mind blowing to me. When I think back, it breaks me a little bit more that I let a sport break my spirit. I have searched and searched to feel the passion I did when I played softball. It’s hard to say, but I will never find that again. That person is dead and gone. Does that mean softball may never come back into my life? Absolutely not., God has a way of working things back into our lives. But letting go of that past life was everything I needed to do for myself in order for me to move into something new. I may not have found the passion I had for softball in something else, but I found a new passion that restores me and gives me peace about everything that may or may not happen in life.
I have this nagging feeling that you may be a smidge like me. That you may be attempting to bring back something that you felt in the past. That you are constantly searching for who you are in this world? As much as I don’t want to, the past must stay in the past. You won’t find what you had in the past because it is supposed to stay there, in the past. Nowhere else. We are so certain that we need to bring the past into the present with us and that just isn’t the case. What if we brought the laws of the Old Testament into the world now? Do you think the world would look a little different? Jesus came to show a different light, to show THE LIGHT, which brought on a different perspective in the New Testament. It is time to let the Old Testament you go and let Jesus come. It is time for you to bring in the new light.
You are allowed to let your past shape you but what you aren’t allowed to do is dwell on it. I know so many people who bring up the past constantly. As much as I love a good story, I mean I read a lot of books and wrote those most random stories growing up so trust me I love a good story. But do we need to hear them all the time? We can let our experiences from the past shape us, but we cannot allow them to define us. We cannot allow it to be something that sways our decision making. That’s how we end up in those identity crisis situations. I don’t know about you but that is not a place I want to be anymore. I want to know who I am without a shadow of a doubt. I know the past is enticing to think about and usually that is one of the only hands the devil likes to play. He knows that if he gets you thinking about the past then he knows he could probably cripple you for a bit. Stop you in your tracks and remind you of all the mistakes you’ve made back then.
Just that notion alone is why it is so important to know who you are and most importantly WHOSE you are! You don’t need to have it all figured out. You don’t have to have your identity down pack, but you need to know that God would not have put you in a place where you will not thrive. I feel like that is something we should be aware of. I’ve probably said it about a billion times. I just need it to stick. You are constantly sitting there thinking that you aren’t qualified, that you can’t finish whatever God has put on your heart or whatever God is leading you to and I can promise you anything that you can.
I know the past is something that is hard to let go of. Trust me! Who in their right mind after ending their softball career takes three years just to watch the sport? You can’t tell me that I’m not just a little bit crazy. You are going to have to process whatever it is that you need to get over. If you have to go have a good cry, then that is exactly what you are going to have to do. I took a very realistic approach to my healing process. I went to the very first softball field that I ever played a game of softball at, and I stepped on that field and just cried. It was as if I had lost someone when that part of my life was over and in a sense I did. I lost the person I was planning on being. I had lost the person I thought I was meant to be.
When we are kids, we don’t even think twice about what our gifts are. We do what we love, and we move along with our lives. I truly think we need to think back to when we were kids and look at how we acted and the things that we did. God does say that we are to come to him as a child and I can see all the many reasons why that is true. By all means you don’t want to be a child and some act too much like a child. But when we were kids, we were so in tuned with God. We were closer to him. We did things according to the promptings we were given without even thinking twice or even realizing we were doing it. We feared almost nothing. We knew how to get up and dust ourselves off if we got knocked down. Don’t you want to be like that again? Don’t you want to show your own kids how to be like that and to never change?
I know I do. I hope to show me son that he can do literally anything. That no matter the labels they but on you, you have been set apart for a reason and that reason is God. He has something waiting for you as you grow older. I want him to see his gifts and run with them way sooner than I ever did.
I think we tend to take for granted the gifts that we were given. We pass them off as just something we do, or we downgrade them because we believe we aren’t important. We believe that what we do or what we say isn’t important. These past few days I have been trying to lean into what I felt has been my gifts whether it be writing, encouraging or silly enough, decorating. When I was younger, I was convinced that I was either going to be a fashion designer, design houses or again be a writer so I wanted to lean into that a little bit more. They say what we did as kids is generally what we should be doing as an adult gift/passion wise. When I attempted to be encouraging someone decided I was in some way “scolding” them for not believing in myself. Maybe I should just work on my delivery or maybe that person needs to work on their own confidence. I attempted to help design a living room space, once again someone decided that I was insisting what they wanted the room to look like was not good enough or was ugly, which again may need to be done with my delivery even though I never insisted something was ugly just recommended that some pieces should be put somewhere else. Next, of course I have been trying my hand in this whole writing thing. At this very moment I have not released anything that may in form gain me any kind of huge audience, but I do put some writing stuff out that maybe gets recognized by a few. Now, I haven’t attempted doing any kind of fashion designing stuff, I genuinely just like putting outfits together. That’s as far as that dream has gone.
Parts of me want to let these interactions get me down and want me to basically not do them anymore even though they do bring me joy. And that’s exactly what the devil wants me and you to think. He wants you to believe that the adversity you are receiving while using your gifts is meant to prove that you aren’t supposed to be doing them. But it is the exact opposite of that. When the devil is attempting to stop you from using your gifts that means if you lean into completely with God as your guide, that devil is going to have a huge problem on his hands. The devil wants you to sit dormant and do absolutely nothing to further the Kingdom of God with your gifts. He will fight you harder and harder until he thinks you have given up. But we aren’t going to give up here. Your gifts are to be used and we have to stop downplaying them. I want you to show the devil that you aren’t playing games. You aren’t going to let his antics get you down. You know these things are exactly what you are good at so you are going to keep going. You are going to tell the devil exactly where he needs to go. You are going to constantly tell him not today! You are going to thrive in the fact that you are set apart from this world. That you are someone who is ready to stop playing small and go after your God-given purpose!
I had to learn a lesson those days I was attempting to find out if these gifts were what I was striving for. My encouraging comes off a little strong. I’m a bold type of person and I will not sugarcoat to make you feel better. I will give you honesty and let you know that you can literally do anything you set your mind to. I know that probably doesn’t sound very encouraging and I have realized that not everyone will be ok with the kind of approach that I give. Maybe instead of calling myself encouraging I should call myself, tough love. Listen, I love you to death but I’m going to need you to get it together. I’m going to need you to pick yourself off the ground and get what you are wanting in life. I need you to turn to God and say, “I’m ready” This walk will not be easy, and this walk will be filled with a crazy amount of adversity, are you ready to fight?
I may be attempting to force some things that aren’t exactly what I need to be doing put that’s the point of figuring out this whole walk thing. God is going to show you what you thought you wanted and then show you the true desires of your heart. God will start to show you things about yourself that you never even knew. God is going to bring back passions you never knew you had.
Somethings to think about & journal if you are feeling spunky:
- Do you ever feel like you lost your passion for life?
- What is something you used to do when you were younger?
- Could you picture yourself doing something like that now on a more grander scale?