Discovering me

This year has been a very interesting one for me, although it’s not over yet. From being at home for more months than I have been in school (due to the Kenyan doctors & lecturers strikes, elections and University of Nairobi things :/ ) , to having some of my most memorable moments. Seasons have come and gone, but I can say I am grateful for one thing I have learnt/I’m still learning about. Identity. Society defines me in so many ways. Daughter to…, sister, medical student, musician, blogger etc. All those could try summarize what I do but it’s not really who I am.

Amidst several memories of my year, a particular day comes to mind. It was over the August election period and I was at home. As I sat in my room, I wondered why I was feeling the way I was feeling. I was crying, but I didn’t know why. I felt so lost and was at wits end. Not knowing what to do, I thought it best to call a close friend of mine. Maybe he would offer sound advice and wisdom to help me decipher what exactly was wrong.

 

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After a brief back and forth of niceties, I just blurted out that I wasn’t feeling well. That’s code language in my little world for ‘I’m unstable emotionally.’ One can be unwell emotionally yeah? Where are the grammar Nazis at to correct my use of adverbs/adjectives or lack thereof? “Unwell emotionally.” Haha! Anyway, I tried to explain to him how I was feeling, which was a huge fail considering I couldn’t put a finger to it myself. It sounded like when a patient is unwell but is not so sure where. All they know is that they are sick. So poor doctor who has to get a diagnosis with a myriad of non-specific symptoms. They call it ‘Hapa na pale’ disease.

After my rambling, all my friend asked me was, “Have you prayed about it?” My knee jerk reaction (though I did not verbalize it) was, “Don’t be all religious and ask me if I’ve prayed. What has that got to do with how I am feeling? Mscheew!”  I know I get very hard to deal with when I am anxious, so I sure do give him props for the effort he put in to try help me out. God bless him! But that conversation ended and I was still frustrated. I hadn’t received the help I wanted.

A couple of days down I ended up diagnosing myself with “my greatest enemy is myself” syndrome. ( I’ve described something of the sort here before.) Ever heard of it? If not, let me educate you. 😀 Signs and symptoms are;

  • convincing yourself that you are something that realistically, you are not
  • facing an imaginary jury and pleading against yourself and worst of all,
  • sentencing yourself to life imprisonment.

 

pexels-photo-594421That afternoon, I had let my thoughts run wild concerning who I was, why I was alive and a whole lot of other things. I was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that I surely was headed in the wrong direction; yet funnily enough, with no substantial supporting evidence. Being fully convinced of the nasty things I had told myself, it was hard for me to listen to any affirmative voice. They sounded like lies people were saying just to sugarcoat the filth in me. Hence why I didn’t see the need to pray. I didn’t want Him telling me I was still His daughter and He loved me. Surely, if He wanted to save His time, He should stop loving me.

Harsh huh? I know. But I’m being very honest with you, as hard as it is, because I don’t want you to go through what I went through. I’d rather you learn from my experience. You see, I have come to realize that fighting a battle without a clear TRUE perspective of who you are, will only leave you downing tools and weapons when the going gets tough. My uncle once told me, and I quote:

Knowing your identity is a key area in spiritual warfare, as it is in identity that the Bible has the only record of the devil trying to attack Christ. Therefore, thinking begs that the devil did his homework and realized among every other thing that personified Christ, the best way to attack Him and possibly lead THE SON OF GOD to sin is by questioning His identity. That being said, the scriptural narration of the duel that followed (Jesus being tempted by the devil) does indeed give us the blueprint to fight and win this war.”

Whoa. Deep huh? That means I can identify with Jesus because He went through exactly what I have been going through. How beautiful is that?

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Here’s a quote from Desiring God that helped drive the point even further.

“Christian self hood is not defined in terms of who we are in and of ourselves. Its’ defined in terms of what God does to us and the relationship He creates with us and the destiny he appoints for us. God made us who we are so we could make known who he is. Our identity is for the sake of making known His identity.”

At first glance, this sounds like hogwash and a tad bit too much dedication.  How can one find themselves by focusing on someone else? Also, why would I lose myself for the sake of another?

Well, my observation is that we actually do it on a day to day basis, just without knowledge of it. A teenager would daily morph themselves into something they aren’t just so that the ‘cool kids’ can like them and let them join the crew. A lady is willing to sleep around with guys just so that they can truly love her. A father is willing to put on a suit each morning and leave the house as if going to work, just so that his wife or children don’t know he was retrenched from work and is struggling to make ends meet.

All this while, each one is convinced that they are doing it for themselves. For their good. Then it all becomes a matter of self-preservation. Fitting in. Self-esteem.

“Maybe if I could hang out with them, my life would be better.”

“If I could earn a 6 figure salary I would be happier.”

“If only I had a husband, then I would be complete.”

But can we say our identity is tied to the things we have? The people we hang out with? Our desires? Perhaps it is possible, but I’d say either of these material things is too fleeting an item to tag the entire existence of a human being to. If we tie our reason for living to material things or people, what happens when those things go away? Do we lose a part of ourselves? Are we now not a ‘whole’ human being? And does that mean that if at some point we lose too many of these things all at once, we become nothing?

If we are honest with ourselves, we often feel insecure. We ask ourselves questions like; ‘will I amount to anything?’ Then we convince ourselves that we are useless and don’t deserve living.  Those who hide it best often feel it most. Oh trust me! I’ve been there, done that. Put up a mask of a fierce alpha female who has got everything going right with her life and look where it got me. Building myself up into a proud human being with no substantial reason to why she was alive, and who on certain occasions in this millenial era, depended on Instagram likes to define herself. But our insecurity is an invitation from God to escape danger of false beliefs about who we are and a great platform to find true peace in who He is.

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Hence why I was led to doing this series, “Discovering me”. So that I could connect with people like me out there who are asking themselves similar questions. Who are walking or have walked this journey. So will you join me?

Every Wednesday at 9am this month of October and spilling a bit into November , a new post will be up here on my blog Bloom, about various elements of identity. I have collaborated with several amazing people with whom I’ve had great candid discussions about identity with. Each week , they will feature as guest writers and will discuss a particular aspect of identity, be it sexuality, womanhood and manhood, personality etc. In no way are we experts on identity, but He grants wisdom and equips those who seek Him.

I hope you’re as excited as I am! So mark the time, follow the blog so that you get alerted each time a post comes up and share this with your family and friends.

Let us “Discover me” together!

Soli deo Gloria!

Coming soon1

In Jesus we do not lose our true selves, but we become our true selves, only in Him.


Shout out to my girls Julles, Mary, Rach, Dee (plus Cindy in absentia) who are on the featured image for this series. Thanks as well to our photographer Gitonga Tevin ( @mr.mwenda)

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