this year [like every year] there's different themes sprinkled & intermingled in my life like sprinkles on a donut [take or leave the analogy;), remember i'm pregnant & food constantly crosses my mind)
in my family it's change.
at my church it's get healthy.
in my small group it's looking at sin through a new telescope.
at high school ministry it's making the year count since it's my girls' senior year.
life has seasons. i get that. now that i've turned a few chapters in my own book i think that sometimes the best thing to do is reflect. where have i been & how did all the circumstances [that God allowed] bring me to the place where i stand now?!
tonight i went to church and the message was powerful. it was about finding your identity in Christ.... & it brought me back to this place:
there i stood on a field filled with people. i felt alone although a few hundred people surrounded me. i was standing near my 'supposed' new best friends known as my college unit mates and i was meeting new people by the minute. 'hi, my name's kristen, i'm from chicago, and i'm an education major...' at least that's the way most of the conversations started. here i had hand-picked this school and yet i stood there thinking, is this really right? i could finally go to class and not have to always stand up for my faith, instead I would be learning more about my faith. i would be living with other girls who loved Jesus and who instead of gossiping about me would be praying for me and my circumstances. Why did i feel so alone?
a week and a half before this i had said goodbye to my high school boyfriend. goodbye for us meant that we would still talk (and no texting wasn't invented really yet) but seeing as i was in the middle of a cornfield that was not going so well. him being in the middle of a large city, well, he didn't totally understand the frustration of the 'constant' no service signal on my phone. i literally said the words, 'can you hear me now?' a million times a day. so yeah, that relationship wasn't going to well.
two short weeks later that same boy was in an car accident.
so now, i was in college. i had started to meet and really like some of the girls. i had a boyfriend who was in a halo and wasn't totally sure about our relationship. i was still in cornfields which was a major culture shock for a girl who can go to taco bell, mcdonald's or dunkin' donuts in t-20 seconds. i had flunked my first earth science test. and i was just confused. as the next two-three months transpired, i started liking school a lot but missed home immensely, my boyfriend broke up with me while his neck healed completely, and i made it through my first semester of college with a b+ in earth science.
but when i drove the 6 hours home for christmas break and my car emptied... i found myself in tears. there were a few things i knew... that the Word of God was true and that God is faithful even when people aren't. He would never fail me.
This was the beginning of my identity crisis.
I went back to school after Christmas break and figured out that there was this guy who liked me. We tried that on for size and it ended in friendship. ok, that's fine... i guess i don't need a guy. the thing that i didn't realize was that God was whispering, 'you just need me.' I loved the song at that time & still do by bethany dillon called 'you are all i need.' the funny thing is that although i heard the lyrics playing on my windows media player of my computer (am i dating myself?) i wasn't listening to what they were saying.
as the months passed it became more and more clear. i think it was finally september of 2005 when i really started seeing the light. nearly a year and one month after it all started. the clarity began happening when a lot of things had faded out of life... i didn't have a guy. i wasn't going on lots of dates. i was getting healthy physically. i was in God's Word first thing in the morning & i was finally, finally, finally listening for his voice. i was praying through pictures of loved ones. i was serving others. and i'll say it again.. it became so clear.
for so long i had wanted to be known and had grown up really being known with these 'facade' identities.... for a long time it was 'the cheerleader,' followed by the 'tries really hard in school & is a brown noser' followed by the 'luke and kristen, they're so cute, they're gonna get married' identity followed by .... the not so sure identity.
it was as if i could breathe a fresh breath of air because now i felt like i didn't have to smile and nod as someone said one of those facades as something i was, i didn't have to feel pressured about when i was or if i was going to get married even though no one was in the picture and i literally felt so free, who knew there was freedom in that? it's because God showed me that His Love is perfect and that he loved me regardless. he bought me for a large price, the blood of His son & he desperately wanted a committed relationship from me. he also knows everything about me and he still loves me.... he knows my strengths, my weaknesses, my struggles, my thoughts, my beliefs, he knows when i'm discouraged and knows when i'm fired up for him... he knows & he still loves me. [note:if you listen to this weekend's message these are the last two points] once i got this and started to live like i believed it and spent real time with the Lord... there was a new Kristen... a Kristen whose identity was fully in Christ.
was everyday perfect... no. i still got demerits for dress code, and thought things i shouldn't and said things i shouldn't but i was free in knowing who i was and wasn't.
that year and a half was hard. there were a few people who surrounded my life and loved on me endlessly and for them i am thankful, foremost jesus christ. but, now i can see it as a season i am truly thankful for.. that all the pain and tears and thoughts led me to a place where i could be a much healthier me.
you have to understand who God is to understand who you are. NOT the opposite.
i know this is long, really long. it's my raw thoughts about a season of life. but it's true and it's what you can find. when you stop hearing and begin listening and asking for the real deal with Jesus Christ. i am so thankful i did.
free in Christ,