My Cisa Name

The Journey

Who am I?  What am I supposed to be doing?  What is my purpose in this life? How do I go about getting to the place where I know who I am?

These are some of the questions I've wrestled with over the past 45 years of my life.  I'll just say 45 because I don't think I was looking too deeply into my own heart at age ten, but then again, you never know. :)

I have seen over the past several years how I lived the majority of my life finding my identity in my roles as student/wife/mother/church member, etc.  Over that span of time, if I was "doing it right", sometimes meaning keeping everyone happy, then I would feel good about who I was and what I was accomplishing. If I failed in some way, disappointing others or myself, I would feel bad.  I would be disappointed in myself for not performing in the expected, approved of way. I had high expectations of myself and high expectations of others, at least for a while.  Over time, my perfectionist and performing changed.  If I couldn't do "it", whatever it was at any given time, perfectly, why even try at all.   I  gave up and resigned myself to the deadened, hardened state of my own heart.  I was harsh critical and judgmental in relation to myself and I found myself doing that in relation to others as well.

This journey of discovering who I am is not something that I was encouraged to do in the framework of my local church, which deeply saddens me.  As the body of Christ meeting locally together to worship God and proclaim the Gospel to the world (which includes one another), I desired to be with people who extended community to one another with a lot of "me too" statements when encountering our broken places.  Instead of finding broken people willing to open their heart to be completely and fully known and still loved in relationship with their "church family", I found hiding, performing and a lot of people worship.  It's terribly difficult to worship a person, a friend, your pastor or other leader who tells you outright the details of his/her current struggle.  There's no better way to level the playing field than to begin to be transparent about your inner struggle with anxiety, depression, grief, whatever your particular brand of struggle loos like at the time.  You just can't worship someone who opens up and gives you a glimpse into their humanity.  They cease to be "above" you and the perception that they "have it all together" slides away revealing a lovely human just like you.

The temptation to self-protect and hide is strong. It's not easy to open my heart to judgment or rejection or love.  But loving well involves risk. Am I willing to risk being known so that I can be fully loved and  love others completely in return?  I get to live out that answer every day and I have a choice, every day.

When I believe that the opinions of others are of little value in the grand scheme of life, I experience freedom in my every day.  Not just a concept in my head that I believe with my mind, but a way of living fully known, accepted and loved.  I don't have to put forth a curated image to be accepted, valued or loved.  Some people will accept me as I am, love me warts and all and value the unique gifts as well as the challenges I bring to our relationship; and some people won't.  I'm okay with that.  When I remember that I'm not in competition with my sisters and brothers and that God's kingdom is vast and expansive and there's plenty of room for everyone and their unique gifts to be experienced, I can walk in freedom and love.  The construct of "there's not enough to go around" fosters a sense of competition and striving. I want to live in Abundance not Scarcity.

So, I am learning to REST.  It's a practice.  It's a life being curated and established and sustained by a good good God who knows me, who created me for good works that he planned for me to walk in and is weaving the most beautiful tapestry of my life that shines light and love and I am so grateful that I get to be here, in this space, at this very time.


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