Updated: Mar 11
WHAT IS UP BUTTERFLY FAM!?
These last 9 months have been a real struggle for me and it was this exact moment in preparing to put out this blog that I realized that the identity crisis I've been going through (which prompted this series) is directly related to the Life Cycle of a Butterfly. Lately I've been trying to find inspiration in myself so while preparing I went to some of my old posts and got smacked in the face with the connection. God does most of your developing in secret- hidden seasons are sacred seasons. Imagine what it must be like for the caterpillar who has been struggling in that cocoon. I mean, we know that caterpillars turn into butterflies but I'll bet my money that the caterpillar is inside of that cocoon freaking out. I can't imagine what it must be like to had been a caterpillar and then one day I feel the need to protect myself and so I go hide in darkness and then I come out with abilities I didn't have before. I mean, wings sound cool and all but really... at first take I don't know that the caterpillar is geeked for wings! I bet that butterfly had a mini meltdown because it had an identity crisis.
I believe that most people spend most of their lives trying to find out who they are and what they are supposed to be doing. I'm 26 and I realized a few weeks ago that I don't know who I am without my responsibilities. I don't know who I am if I'm not Ronda the Manager, Ronda the Worship Leader, Ronda the Girlfriend... I'd started to let these "roles" define me and therefore I let them define how I approached life. I had started to value myself in accordance with my success in these roles. So, if I believed that I was failing at being a manager, I carried that failure with me into other areas of my life believing that I wasn't good enough. It hasn't been easy, I've spent my whole life trying to live up to people's expectations, I've tried to run away from my past mistakes thinking that they would define me forever, I tried to live in my new successes thinking they'd wipe away the stench of my old life... but I simply did not have to.
See, I realized that if I am what I do then I'll always find myself needing to do more to find value. The world is LOUD about what we should be doing. The world says you need money or your broke, you need to perform well or your'e a failure, you need a degree or a business or you're not smart or motivated, you need friends or it's you that's the problem, you need a relationship that is social media worthy or it ain't real, you need to keep up with the latest or your lame, you need to be traveling or your uncultured. THE WORLD IS A LIAR!
GOD IS BIGGER! God is bigger than the world and was very clear that our identity is in him! GOD SAY'S: I am complete in Christ; so I don't need validation from the world, I am chosen; so when that job looks over me, I know that the one I am chosen for is coming, I am forgiven; no part of my sinful past is relevant to God, he loves me. I am the apple of my father's eye; he looks at me with pure happiness and joy, I AM A NEW CREATION; I walk in his authority and power. GOD IS TRUTH!
I know its so much easier said than done to rehearse the truth about your yourself but you have to. WE HAVE TO! When we are uncertain, insecure or confused about our identity, we have to remember that it is in him. When I stopped believing the lies, it was easy to accept the truth. It was easy to read a rejection letter when I remembered that I am accepted in the kingdom of God. It is easier to understand that when I slip into darkness/isolation that God is there wanting to change my mindset and give me new DNA so that I come out of darkness brighter and stronger than ever.
So here are a few things that I learned/did in the darkness:
1. Search Yourself
The things that made you happy before might not make you happy anymore (this includes people). So, take some time to really think about what makes you happy and what doesn't. Identify those areas that have gray and pray about them. Be honest with yourself. Make a list and keep notes, really pay attention to how certain things make you feel, how you respond to them and how long it effects you. Identify worldly things that you've been using to define you (i.e. degrees, social status, job, wealth, followers, friends) and replace them with character traits/core values (i.e. loyal, honest, courageous, generous, compassionate) and ACT THEM OUT DAILY. If you're courageous stand up for someone, if your generous pay for the coffee of the lady behind you, if you're compassionate go and volunteer. Understand that the negative experiences that you have had have brought/taught you knowledge BUT they do not define you.
2. Love Yourself
This is harder for some people, specifically those of us who have been placing less value on ourselves based off what the world says. Loving yourself feels good, you just have to try it. That may mean leaving work on time instead of staying late to prove something to someone who isn't watching, so that you can focus on your passions. It may mean reflecting on the things you did well and are proud of every day. It means choosing to be positive to yourself. I used to casually say, "i'm stupid" if I made a mistake or even jokingly and thought nothing of it. But, you easily start to believe that and there's no way that you can be stupid if you were made in the likeness of God, right? It may mean buying those shoes, or getting your nails done, or going to the gym earlier than you'd like to release some stress and redirect your focus.
3. Find Peace in the Word of God
I told everyone when I started this blog that we'd always end up back at 2 Corinthians 5:17. We are made new in him ya'll! What a beautiful gift it is to know that my old life has gone away all because GOD WANTS TO BE CLOSER TO ME! My new life can literally restart itself every day, because I'm dying daily to my old ways and my old negative thinking. REAL PEACE IS POSSIBLE! God doesn't want our hearts to be troubled, he doesn't want us confused and beating ourselves up for "not being good enough". We are enough in his eyes and that's all that matters.
So I pray in the name of Jesus that you find peace in the pruning and that your heart not be troubled. I pray right now for the love of God to overflow in your life and that he reveal himself to you. I pray that you understand and believe that you are the apple of God's eye, there is NOTHING that can separate you from his love. You are forgiven, so I pray that you forgive yourself. I declare the spirit of peace and joy over your life right now. I replace negative thinking with positive thinking and affirmations. You are LOVED, CHOSEN and most importantly he calls you friend. You are no longer a slave, so I rebuke the spirit of fear and confusion. This crisis is over. We are children of God, we are co-heirs with Christ. God has more for us. Understanding has kicked confusion out and we are free! Amen. May the Lord bless you and keep you and continue to shine his face upon you.