Looking back over my life, and especially over the last couple of years, I have a hard time believing how different I used to be. I'm not the same person I was ten, five, or even one year ago. I'm not the same person I was six months ago! People say you never stop growing, and I'm reminded of that and the validity of that statement often. Every time I reach a point where I think I know who I am, something else comes up to challenge me and I am forced to think about something else and grow in another way. For a long time, most of my life actually, I defined myself by my friends. I followed my friends' lead and became like them. This doesn't meant I was a terrible person or did horrible things; I just wasn't being my own person. Gradually, one by one, most of my friends have left me and, standing alone, I've had to think for myself. I've had to decide who I am in and of myself, not based on the people I know or who likes me today. Much of those decisions have been made and I am more confident in myself now than I ever have been previously. The people who are still around as I've grown (and there aren't many!) are the true friends and they are all amazing and I love them. But even if they weren't around, I would still be who I am. I've come to the conclusion that in order to be a true, good friend, one has to be true to him or herself first. I'm not saying I am one hundred percent there - I don't think anyone ever is, if we are to be honest with ourselves. But I'm a lot closer than I used to be, and I'm willing to get even closer. I think that's the main thing.
So who am I now?
- I am a Christian. A Christ follower. I seek the Lord's will for my life. My heavenly Father has a plan for my life and I want to honor and glorify Him in all I do by following His will. Why He chose me, I do not know, but He did and I am beyond thankful to Him for that. My chief end is to glorify Him on earth and continue to do so when I get to Heaven. This is who I am, first and foremost. My relationship with Christ defines everything else about me. Without God's choosing me, what would I be? Nothing. Less than nothing.
- I am a friend. It is said that to have friends, one must show himself friendly. I believe "friendly" in that context means more than just being nice or polite or happy. It's an effort to go above and beyond, to do whatever you can for someone else because you care. One must show himself willing to make the commitment to being a friend. Throughout my times of decision-making, I've had to analyze what friendship really means to me and I've decided that it is a commitment, but it has to be a mutual commitment. I will no longer commit myself to people who are not interested in a true relationship. But once I decide I am your friend, you'll have a hard time getting rid of me. Once you betray me, we're not likely to be friends again.
Just because I do what I know to be right doesn't mean it's easy or I'm always happy with how things have turned out. But that's okay. Because doing what's right is the most important thing. And if I truly want to be the best I can be, then I will be constantly working to do what is right. If I do what is right, everything will work itself out.
In the end, all that matters is the Lord and His will. He is working all things together for my good, so why would I want to fight it, anyway? I'm resting in Him to guide my steps and my life for good - because it's been promised!