I used to wonder what people meant when they said “I need to find myself.” I assumed it meant you know yourself better than anyone else, right? Wrong. I recently learned that no one knows me better than my Savior.
I came to MC knowing this is where the Lord placed me. I also felt a strong calling to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. After going through the motions my freshman year and not seeking the Lord’s plans for my life, I took matters into my own hands. I decided I would change my major and transfer after my sophomore year. I laid out the “perfect” life plan for the next 5 years. This plan seemed to make complete sense. Choosing a different major would allow me to earn a large income, work with children, and move back home. This seemed too good to be true.
But, the night before I returned to MC for my sophomore year, I prayed and told God that if my plans were not His plans, to turn my life upside down. Well, He did. I returned to MC to watch the Lord move dramatically in my life during RA training. He blessed me with some of the closest friends I’ve ever had. Furthermore, He reminded me of His plans and made it evident that I had been stubbornly trying to pursue my own life plan. After two overwhelming weeks of school and trying to do things my way, I finally, humbly, submitted my plans to Him. I ran to my advisor’s office and asked if it was too late to change my major back to Elementary Education. She told me that the last day to change classes was the day before, but she said she would take care of me. Ironically, she also informed me that if I would have changed my mind one day later, then there would have been no way for me to enter the education program this semester. Can I say that God is good?
Throughout the craziness of this school year, the Lord has been teaching me that my identity is found in Him. I had been trying to place my identity in my friends, hometown, my major, and a future career. However, none of those things hold my identity. I am a daughter of the King and He holds my life plan. No matter where I am in the world, what my profession is, or who my best friends are, my Savior will always be the reason that I live. Although I have this as head knowledge, it is more difficult to apply to everyday life. In a sense, I feel like I am still trying to find myself in the Lord.
I was recently inspired to doodle the attributes that the Lord has given me or wants me to pursue as His child. In the middle of the page, I wrote in big, bold letters “Be Lauren.” Underneath that, I wrote “You are God’s Beloved. Be who He made you to be.” Then, I doodled around my name some characteristics I have already mastered: being spontaneous, organized, optimistic, and crazy. And some attributes that I need to work on: displaying patience, generosity, and selflessness. After I finished, I hung this picture above my desk as a daily reminder of who God has created me to be and who He wants me to become.
Galations 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
When Christ came into my life, I died to my old self: my dreams, plans, and selfish desires. I have learned that whenever I allow Christ to live through me by directing my path and becoming my identity, I am filled with the Spirit and overwhelmed by the power of his love, joy, and peace. Truly, there is no better way to live.
– Lauren, a woman of God