Re-Defined

As most of you know I’ve spent this weekend in Ohio. I photographed a wedding and hung out with some dear friends, but this visit has been different than usual. It’s not home anymore. I feel more like a visitor. I say this not with negative connotation, my parent’s home does and always will be a welcoming and peaceful place for however long I am an occupant; but even the familiar surroundings have lost their comfort I had grown accustomed to.

I am hesitant to assume that the relocating of all my possessions is the sole cause of this change, maybe, but i think it’s more than that. Being in Ohio forces a trip down memory lane, which I make no apologies for being quite chaotic at times. I have changed so much and seeing old faces reminds me of the person I am to them, the person I use to be. To those who unyieldingly loved me through chaos I’m forever indebted.

My transition to Nashville was an overdue and welcomed one. I embraced it willingly and for the most part quite painlessly. Situations continually arise that allow me to grow, learning better faith and obedience even on a small scale. It’s hard to believe I have already been living there for three months, yet life before seems almost a distant memory.

As I take advantage of free time on our porch with a book and attention-starved dog by my side, a breeze hinting of autumn joined in on our company. My soul felt at peace and re-energized.

One thing that has been a hot topic with those I am in closest-fellowship with, is this issue of who I am. Who WE are, and how we know that truly. This is something we all long for the answer to; but we don’t want to understand the depth of the reality that comes with that answer due to the accompanying responsibility to embrace that reality. We’ve grown up with so many outside influences defining us without our consent and in many cases take their opinions verbatim instead of seeking out the truth.

With the sparing of details, I personally feel split. So much of who I am is contradictory to something else that is a part of me. I feel inconsistent while continually trying to find a balance to it all. Even with things as generic as being an extrovert vs. an introvert. 99% of peers would probably say I’m an extrovert, yet I don’t feel as though that’s true. Part of me feels like the surroundings I grew up in trained me to respond as an extrovert for survival. Maybe I’m so burnt out that I just don’t want to be an extrovert and I’m convincing myself otherwise. Even now I’m not sure which side of the pendulum I would swing to and further exploration would be of no benefit.

I was recently reminded of the passage in Matthew: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”

Above all else is what I want to crave. To see God. In order to do that I need to be pure in heart, which is not by my own doing but through Christ alone. In conversations about this promise, God began reaffirming to me that to know who I truly am is to know Christ, because I am to be a reflection of Him. Knowing Christ it is a gradual process that requires of me continual change, so being able to accurately articulate who I believe that I am is really a waste of time, because if I’m growing in Christ and being made new in His likeness, a solid definition won’t suffice for a fluid spirit and life in Him.

We have permission not to get wrapped up in the words we hold fast to and are defined by, in order to hold fast to Christ and be completely redefined by Him.