‘My name is Lee’ but that statement doesn’t actually give all that much information about me and who I am, what I can do, what I like etc etc. The more I learn about the Bible the more I learn about how important names were in those times. Something that has so clearly been lost to the point that I have absolutely no idea what my own name might mean. As far as I know it was chosen based on the initial letter being the same as my grandmothers and I guess it sounded good to my parents. It is my name but it is just a name, it aint who I am.
The whole ‘who I am’ thing is something that has taken me a very long time to discover about myself. Having spent most of my life seriously not liking myself and considering myself ‘not as good as’ has left me kinda out of touch with myself. It’s kinda hard to get to know yourself when you spend a lot of time wishing you were someone else because you aren’t happy with what you perceive yourself to be. As I am slowly learning to like myself based on a renewed understanding of the love and acceptance that God has for me, I am also learning to accept and like the way that God made me.
A fair amount of this knowledge has been pieced together over the years but a lot of it has been either squashed down or ignored because it didn’t fit with how I thought I was meant to be. It took me a long time to accept that I was not suited to evangelical work and even longer to admit that in public. I had tried knocking on doors and street work in an effort to become something I was not equipped to be mainly because I had been taught that being a ‘good Christian’ involved witnessing to unbelievers.
I hadn’t worked out that witnessing could be just plain telling other believers about how God had inspired me recently and how I was growing closer to Him. I have learnt that the excitement and joy that I feel when I am leading a small group or talking about God to friends is a God given gift and something to be cherished and exercised. Realising this truth has freed me from years of guilt and confusion and given me a stronger desire to find out more about my God. I want to know more about the Bible in part because I love seeing the wonder on my friends faces when I bubble over with a new truth that they haven’t heard about.
Some of the stuff that I am learning about myself doesn’t make me as happy but is just as important for me to accept and deal with. While I am learning to accept and enjoy the artistic abilities that He has gifted me with I am having to accept that I am never going to be the people person I always wanted to be. Whilst I can be quite confident and dare I say eloquent when I am sharing my ‘experiences, strengths and hope’ in front of a group of people, I often find myself either hiding away from meeting new people or tongue tied and flustered when I have to talk with individuals or small groups of people.
I have to admit that I am finding it much harder to work out my likes and dislikes. I am still aware that a lot of these things are centred around either what my friends like or what I think I should like in order to be accepted. I find it very hard to put my people pleasing ways behind me in this whole area and can see the journey versus the destination concept most clearly here. And I am on a journey of getting to know myself and learning to love myself because I still want to be the best signpost to God that I can be and I will be better equipped to do just that as I keep on growing in this way.