If only you knew who you really are

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I really struggled back in high school whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I was pretty good at most things – except sports, because my knees had been stuffed up by years of ballet, but being good in lots of areas left me confused.

Lots of my friends had amazing skills and interests in one or two areas, and for them, choosing what they wanted to do with their career was a straight forward process of following their strengths.

But when you’re strong in lots of things, and you enjoy lots of things, it’s much harder to work out where your focus should be.

So when I chose my subjects for my final year at High School, I made choices that would keep my options open and allow me to get into the broadest range of University courses.

And then, in Year 12, I suddenly found that it was time to apply for Uni.

I found my Uni course almost by chance at an open day – I’d been keen to check out the Civil Engineering program and as my Mum and I were walking up the corridor towards the Civil Engineering department there were a couple of crazy people from the Geological Engineering area who excitedly diverted us down a different corridor…

I never did make it to the Civil Engineering Department.

And although I had found a course and later a career that I really enjoyed, one where I could use my giftings, it wasn’t really what God had planned.

If only I knew then who I really was and what I was meant to be doing.

Ten years later, I found myself at a similar crossroads.

I’d worked in a heap of challenging roles since I graduated, I’d lived in three different states of Australia.

I’d worked in geology, mining, consulting, safety, environmental management, contaminated land assessment and remediation and in every position – I’d started in the deep end and paddled my way to the shallow end of the pool.

I’d been promoted and had my area of responsibility increased.

I loved the challenge of grabbing complex sets of data and making sense of them, and then communicating what it meant to the people who were making the big decisions.

But I was disillusioned with big business.

I guess I’d climbed up the corporate ladder and discovered it was leaning up against the wrong wall.

It wasn’t that there was a glass ceiling – I just didn’t really love being there any more.

There was a part of me that didn’t feel whole.

And by this stage I had a young child, with plans for a second – so the decision was made that my now ex-husband and I would trade roles – he would return to full time work and I would stay home with the kids.

If only I knew then who I really was and what I was meant to be doing.

Another ten(ish) years later and I found myself at bible college, returning to study after a VERY long time, and studying my Masters in Theological Studies in a discipline that required essays – which is something I hadn’t really come up against during my bachelors degree.

The last real essay I had written had been 20 years prior, at high school, so it was somewhat of a shock to the system to have to construct everything properly, to manage references and citations.

And yet, the writing process seemed to come quite naturally to me. I could sit down and write out a 3,000 word essay in a day or two.

And if I didn’t like the topic I had chosen for the essay, I had been known to throw out a near-complete essay and start completely over on a new topic a day or two before it was due.

After discussing workload with my fellow-students, I came to be aware that not everyone found the essay writing process as straight-forward as I did.

I’m not saying I got fabulous marks or anything, but I was always up near the top of the pile.

The main criticism I received was for “sermonizing” – which now I think about it, is rather ironic, right?!

The point is, I don’t believe that God gave me the gift of being able to take a complex set of data, and then explain that data in a way that makes sense to other people so that mining companies could dig up minerals in Queensland, or in Western Australia, and he didn’t give me those gifts so that contaminated sites could be cleaned up in Victoria, or buildings could be built on them.

I was finally beginning to realize who I really was and what I was meant to be doing.

You see, the world tells us that we are the ones who are responsible for choosing what we should be doing with our lives.

I mean, on some level we are, because we are fully in control of our bodies and our day to day actions.

But our life’s calling, our unique purpose on this planet – is not something we choose for ourselves.

It is planned for us by our Father in Heaven, that planning happens before we are born, and the bible tells us that our calling, together with the gifts God has given us to equip us for our calling are actually irrevocable.

They won’t, can’t and are unable to be changed.

And here we all are, walking around as if it’s our responsibility to work all of this out for ourselves.

If only you knew who you really are, what gifts you have been given, and what God intended to do with those gifts – my goodness!

Back when I was in high school, I didn’t realize that there was a plan for me and my life that had been prepared before I was born.

I can’t imagine how much pressure would have been taken off me, in terms of choosing a career, if only I’d thought to consult with the Holy Spirit about which direction God wanted me to direct the gifts he had given me.

Now I’m walking in my calling, and I’ve never felt more whole.

The things that other people complain about energize me.

And I get to sermonize as much as I like and no-one whinges about it!

If you go to your bible for a sense of who you really are you’ll find (among other things) that you’re a child of God, blessed with every spiritual blessing, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, loved, accepted, gifted, called and more than a conqueror.

You are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, a co-heir with Christ and fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.

So that’s the truth about who you really are – it’s in the bible – so now we know, isn’t it about time that we started embracing our true identity and living our lives like we believe it?

My greatest desire for you is that now you know WHO you are, is that you also discover what it is that God has called you to do – the way that he intended for you to use the gifts and talents that he gave you expressly for that purpose.

Until next time, blue skies!

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