Identity in Christ is not something you have to put on, or drum up, or try to make happen. I’m just starting to see the things that have been inside of me since I was a kid come to the surface. Recently I relived a very vivid memory as God brought it to my mind: I was 3 years old, playing hide and seek with my cousins, who were all at least five years older than me. It was a huge family reunion at my aunt and uncle’s house, and my uncle had this massive garden with a huge rhubarb patch. The rhubarb leaves were enormous; of course I was only 3 so they seemed even larger. I crawled under one of those giant rhubarb leaves thinking, “This is the perfect hiding spot.” It started getting darker and darker, and for all I know I may have even fallen asleep. Eventually I emerged; it was totally dark and I was so excited because nobody had found me! I went running into the house, and all my cousins were watching TV. “Ha!” I yelled proudly, “You didn’t find me!” And they just looked at each other and at me and were like,
“Oh shoot, you were playing?” They felt really bad; they hadn’t looked for me once! But in my heart I was convinced I had won; I stumped them all.
As the memory faded I heard God speak so clearly: "No more hiding. People don't even know you've been hiding."
Looking back, I'm not sure I even knew I was hiding. But God kept speaking clearly, "Come out of that rhubarb patch and join reality. Quit holding back who you are." When He said that, I felt something physically shift inside of me. That was back in September, and since then everything's been different.
When God started healing me, I realized I didn't even remember what my passions were. I had no idea what was in my heart! By pursuing Him, He showed me my own heart. I didn't expect that, honestly. In the past few months I have learned more about Him, but He’s also shown me so much more about who I am.
I used to feel like I needed people to pursue me; I didn’t want to open my heart to them. I wanted others to somehow dig it out of me, to prove they cared. Now I’m like, “Let me tell you who I am!” because I’m actually excited about who I am! Even the junk! Even the gross stuff! Even admitting I have anxiety and panic attacks. Will I always have them? No, but being vulnerable is actually letting people see the things I’m walking through. I actually want to be in community now. I’ve been a lone wolf for a long time, but I actually want to be with people now, and not just because it’s the ‘Christian thing to do.’