On our way home from church this Sunday, I turned to Darin and said "I think Pastor Larry was in our bedroom last night". I did not mean this in a creepy way, but while listening to Pastor Larry's sermon that morning our conversation from the night before kept popping into my head. The message was titled Authenticity and by the end of it I had tears streaming down my face.
Late Saturday night, Darin and I had one of those "talks", you know the kind I'm talking about. They are usually not very fun, but they are necessary. Anyways, at one point I was telling Darin how sick I was of people telling me how lucky I am to be moving to South Africa and how they wish they could be going and how blessed we are to have this opportunity. I told him that if anyone else said any of these comments to me, I just might punch them. I didn't feel lucky right then, I wished someone else was moving instead of me and at the time I didn't feel very blessed. I felt sad, scared, trapped, anxious and a whole lot of other things.
Now, I'm not going to pretend that I'm not still having some of those feelings, but after listening to Pastor Larry on Sunday it's like something changed in me. See, when Darin and I were talking I felt like I was being totally authentic. I mean, I tend to be a pessimistic person. I suffer from depression. I am moody and anxious and I struggle with insecurity. "This is who I am!" I felt like yelling at people. "Quit telling me how I should be feeling and just accept that this is where I'm at!". Pastor Larry said a lot of things about authenticity on Sunday, but when he said this, it was like he was directing it right to me.
"From God's perspective authenticity means that we are truly who He has said we are. Authenticity is not a matter of being true to my heart, being true to myself, it is being true to who God has said that I am, who God has made me to be. True authenticity turns out not to be about me, my happiness, my fulfillment, it turns out not to be about me looking at the king and saying "Yes, but it is my life", but rather it turns out to be about the King, about His Kingdom, about giving myself away to become who God has authentically made me to be."
(And no, I did not memorize this during the sermon, but I pulled it out of the message text here and there is a lot more good stuff in there, so check it out!)
So, I am trying to remember who God says that I am and who He made me to be.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given ME a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Ephesians 2:10 For I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that I should walk in them.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
And those are just a few of the things that are real and authentic about me. There will still be tears and I am sure I'll still struggle with fear and anxiety both here and once we move, yet I am striving to put my confidence and hope in Him!