Who Am I?

I’ve been doing a lot of seeking lately: seeking out Christ, learning about myself, and trying to figure out what God’s will or purpose for my life is.  And for those of you who know anything about the process involved behind those things, you understand why I’ve been having a rough time lately.

The more I dig into who I am and who God created me to be, the more I’m learning exactly who I’m NOT. I’ve learned lately, and it’s come as no surprise, exactly how many issues I struggle with. That list keeps getting longer. And many of these issues carry side effects that I’ve long categorized as being parts of my personality. For example, I am a very loyal friend. I’m learning that intense loyalty, beyond what is normal or healthy, is a result of codependency. As I struggle with codependency and battle to find healthy boundaries, I will learn that not all people deserve my loyalty, and I will learn when and how to distance myself from unhealthy people.  I had clung to many of these traits, assuming they were strengths in my personality.

The person who I thought I was relied so many things other than Christ, that as I learn how to depend on Him for my needs instead of other people, so much of who I thought I was is disappearing. And that leaves me sitting here thinking, so who am I really? If so much of what I thought I was is a byproduct of sin and doing things my own way, what’s left?

So then I’m at this simple question again of “Who am I?” While I’m not sure yet, God knows, because He made me, and He has a few things to say about it in the Bible. I found a cool article from which I’ve pulled a few of the below bullets. I suggest reading the whole thing.

  • I am God’s child (John 1:12)
  • I have been set free from condemnation (Rom 8:1-2)
  • I have been given a sound mind (2 Timothy 1) and wisdom (Ephesians 1:8)
  • I am a light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14)
  • I am sheltered under his wing–protected (Psalms 91:4)
  • I have a hope that is sure and steadfast (Heb 6:19)
  • I can come boldly to the throne of grace (Heb 4:1)
  • I can do all things through Christ (Philip 4:13)
  • I cannot  be separated from God’s love (Rom 8:35-3)

While this list does little for helping me figure out the spiritual gifts, passions, and heart that are unique to me, it gives me a launching point from which to go from. These things remind me that I am WORTH me going through the struggle of learning about myself. God has a plan for me, and whether the world considers it significant or impactful,  I recognize that it’s still MY plan, mine. And no one else gets the privilege of walking in the steps God’s outlined for me.

Letters from a Codependent

Codependency:  unhealthy love and a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life.

God has me on a crazy journey, and one of the more recent “pit stops” He has brought me to is learning that I am, by nature, an extremely codependent person. I’d heard the word before, but I thought it had something to do with being overly dependent on something (probably drugs). It’s true, codependency does have to do with a certain kind of dependence. The way I’ve come to describe it is that I’m addicted, or dependent, on people. Let me expand on that.

I feel the need to always be taking care of someone. I get an adrenaline rush and a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped someone. I feed off of other people’s adoration or praise towards me that results from my actions. I also invest a LOT into people, often feeling that their actions and emotions are my responsibility. My world is so focussed on THEM that I have a hard time understanding what I am thinking or feeling, but I’m constantly thinking about how I will be perceived by other people. So what do I do? I act like the perfect friend/daughter/etc. to earn people’s approval. I also find ways to fill people’s needs so that they won’t get rid of me or tire of me. I go above and beyond, always taking that next step, to really surprise people.

It’s an odd train of thought: I fill other people’s needs  so that I can be fulfilled. Isn’t that what Christianity teaches though? Kind of. The brochure from Celebrate Recovery, which deals with people’s addictive behaviors (codependency included) explains why codependents are selfish instead of selfless. It has to do with my underlying motivations:

Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside. To the codependent, control or the lack of it is central to every aspect of life.

PS: the rest of the article is really worth reading

In its root, codependency is relying on my ability to manipulate/control other people’s emotions, feelings, and actions as a way to make myself feel better, instead of finding my worth and value in Christ. I’m called to do something much bigger in life than to run around please other people all the time. I should be looking to my Creator for guidance on a moment-by-moment basis, living my life for Him. There will be many times where He uses me and where He calls me to be selfless, but I’m learning when He is calling versus when my human nature is getting restless. If I wait, He will tell me where to go and what to do. I just need to rest in Him, be still, and know that He is God!

I’ll be open and honest: I’ve started attending Celebrate Recovery at one of our local churches. I’ve been before, but for the first time I’m going for me, not in support of someone else. God is refining me in the fire, and while the going can be rough, I know He’s purifying me. I’m going there to tackle this issue and many others, and I’m sure that the longer I work on myself, the more issues I will find. But I’m ok with that. I am far from perfect, but I really, really, really, really, really (you get the picture) want to be like Christ. And I’ll do whatever I have to do to get closer to that point.

Thanks for walking with me on my journey 🙂
Galatians 6:4-5:
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Galatians 1:10:
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.