what is my name?

January 19, 2007

Most of the time I think I find myself living life by another name… a name that isn’t the name God gave me when He designed me, picking out my passions and giftings, fashioning me into a specific person with a specific way to know Him. I am realizing that we all know God differently; some more through nature, others more through music… for me, its usually through people.

I can look back over the last few years and recall the dark moments of life and always, ALWAYS soon after those moments God has encountered me through a person- be it a professor, a friend, someone’s mother, a roommate, an elderly woman on a greyhound bus ride back to Vancouver from Seattle…

God rescues me through people. God restores my trust in Him through people.

last night was no different.

I had wandered upstairs to Kyle and Anna’s suite and chatted with Anna and Leigh about certain decisions Leigh is attempting to make regarding job changes, personal identity, etc. I really admire Anna because she is very thoughtful and intentional in what she says and always offer stimulating advice and suggestions. She is a great listener and I am learning a lot from her. As I listened to her insight on the search for finding one’s identity and vision, it was quite serendipitous. God used a person [again] to get me to continue wrestling; to continue discovering.

For a while now I have not really been in tune with who it is that God has created me to be. I have fought to figure it, but never really attempting to be in tune with how I am wired, what makes me excited, what burns me out, what hurts my soul. Instead I think I have placed more of an importance on what others think is best for me and what paths have been successful for others. Anna mentioned the fact that even Jacob was not satisfied with who he was and fought to be seen as something different. He did what he could to absorb the identity of Esau and ultimately God told Jacob who he was to be.

From birth Jacob was discontent with the fact that he was not Isaac’s first born. So, later in life he forced it. He assumed his brother’s identity and got what he wanted. Whats so amazing to me is that God refused to allow Jacob to live in this self-constructed paradigm forever. Yes, God allowed him the blessings from this and continued to be with Jacob, but He still had other plans. He wrestled with Jacob (notice Jacob is still after a blessing), put him in his place, and changed his name to Israel. His identity was made complete; God even wrenched his hip, letting him never forget this encounter. He had wrestled with God. This is what mattered. Jacob, the one with the identity-crisis, is the only man in the OT that God said he loved.

I have been having a sort of identity-crisis. Its lasted pretty much the last 3 years of my life, starting after my freshman year of college when I was an intern for the girls ministry at a big, successful SBC church in Arkansas. I had been groomed for ministry ever since the day I accepted the call as a 14 year-old and walked the aisle to pray with my youth minister. This particular summer I realized that I wasn’t so sure about this anymore.

Funny thing is, for the past 3 years I have repeated the pattern and even assumed the next step for me would be seminary. Every time though, it results in burn-out and a complete lack of interest/energy for continuing. Yet I do. [Don’t get me wrong, there is something about giving to a local body that I refuse to think is merely something I am forcing. I love the idea of fostering growing and encouraging environments for people, teaching, with learning in community with others, with so, so many things. i just think i may do it under different circumstances in the future]

During Christmas break, my dad called me on some things and I finally let myself embrace the reality that I wasn’t so sure if a “ministry job” was what I was wired for and gave myself the freedom to say that I was no longer going to pursue this. I let go of the idea of seminary. I let go of the school in Seattle. No more fighting. No more forcing. Funny thing, it sort of felt like a break up. You know, the kind that you KNOW is right and results in a new found freedom but still hurts a little? Yeah, that’s how it was to let go. I want to know what God has for me. I have a feeling the discovery will be a little like Jacob’s. I want to know what my name is and what my passions are. I refuse to throw in the towel (though sometimes i do consider the thought) just because of some random rabbit trails I have followed. Those rabbit trails got me here, after all.

Wrestling begins now. There is so much to discover. I think it may involve a few espresso shots and green aprons.

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3 Responses to “what is my name?”

  1. jeffrey Says:

    dear barista lace 😉

    God created you to be Lacey the Christ. Everything else you discover will be inside and subsequent to that simple truth, but not unimportant by any means.

    cool fact about jacob being the only OT person of whom God said he loved.

  2. Victor Says:

    Gosh, such great, great words. It’s like there’s a song stuck in my head but I can’t figure out what it is, and then I hear someone singing it and my ears perk up and my eyes light up and I say, “That’s it!”

    I’m going through a similar identity crisis in my own life, and have been for the past three-ish years. Most of the time, like a song, I just let it play softly in the back of my head and largely ignore it; but then someone comes along clearly singing the previously muffled song and my crisis is once again brought to the front of my mind.

    This post is that song for me. It’s another one of those “That’s it!” moments. So thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Matt Says:

    Hmm, it may even mean working with another member of our church community aswell, to get you to a place where God wants you to go (for now anyway).


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