who we are

Who we are ≠ what we do. 



 





















Who we are is very simple - what we do is complicated. (Don't misunderstand me ... what we do is beautiful, needed, unique, creative, passionate, important, life-giving ... but complicated.)

Who we are - our identity - is loved. Good. Made holy by the grace of God alone. Forgiven. Full of light. 

But it is not the same thing as what we do. Who we are does not change whether we scale creative highs or get stuck in the slumps. Who we are is not the author, the dreamer, the artist, the failure, the winner, the published novelist, the girl who can't get past the first chapter, the sick, the better-than, the healed, or the lost. 

This is something that is hard for me. I like to stack up my winnings and my failures in two neat lists, and if the first line is longer than the second, then I am good. I am doing things right. I am worth something. I am A Good Person. You might even feel a little intimidated by me, and you should, because I am awesome (just look at my list!)
But if the second line is longer than the first, instantly, I adopt those failings as my identity. Who I am is the girl who didn't get 100% on her assignment. Who I am becomes the number on the page, the 75% or the 57%, with wide-open gaps in all the places I failed to succeed. Who I am quickly becomes the girl who has a dusty Bible on her nightstand. I am the closed laptop and the list with all the boxes unchecked. I am the alarm that blares when you least want to hear it and I am the energy I don't have to make breakfast in the morning.

And so I live in this flip flop where what I do determines who I am, and I spend a lot of time seasick, stuck somewhere in the center of it all, riding the waves as I wait to see whether the odds will end up in my favour today.
I am only just starting to learn that this is not the way it is supposed to work. I am bad bad bad at taking gifts without giving something in return, but I'm just beginning to figure out that I don't have to do anything to change my identity. I don't have to do anything to be good. I don't have to earn the right to hold my head up high - that is a privilege that has been freely given to me. Who I am - my identity, my life, my story has value and worth because it is a story of holiness that has been dropped on me like a blanket by Jesus. 

My story matters not because I have done great things, or helped lots of people, or because I don't swear or do go to church or check off any other number of so-called "list items". My story matters because Jesus says I matter; not because of what I've done, but because of who I am. 

And I want you to know that no matter who you are, or what you have or haven't done, or what kind of marks you get back on your assignments ... your story matters too. Not because of what you do, but because of who you are. 

Your story matters ... and we can't wait to hear it.


What's your story? Do you ever feel tempted to equate what you do with who you are? What raps you on the head and reminds you that you are holy because God made you holy?

xx,
Olivia (s)

9 comments:

  1. YES YES YES. This was a huge hurtle that I had to get over. I had to learn that I need to find who I am and my worth in God, not what I do, because isn't God the most amazing thing? So why would I want to find myself in anything else? :) <3

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    1. Exactly, Evangeline!! Wow, this is something that I've taken SO long to learn ... the book "Grace for the Good Girl" is something that really really really got to my heart as I was figuring this all out!

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  2. "Who we are is not the author, the dreamer, the artist, the failure, the winner, the published novelist, the girl who can't get past the first chapter, the sick, the better-than, the healed, or the lost."

    !

    And so I live in this flip flop where what I do determines who I am, and I spend a lot of time seasick, stuck somewhere in the center of it all, riding the waves as I wait to see whether the odds will end up in my favour today.

    !!!

    This is me exactly. I love this post! It's so encouraging and it's also very honest about the struggle between resting and achieving, bathing in grace or guilt. I am also seasick, riding that line. Thank you for this! Definitely going to be re-reading this one. :) <3

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    1. Ooo Erin ... thank YOU for understanding and supporting and showing up and saying yes. I guess we're a little seasick together -- but I'm looking forward at finding our way back to shore! <3 <3

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  3. THANK YOU FOR THIS. It is something that I struggle so much with remembering, but is so important. <3 You are such an encouragement, love. <3

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    1. YOU ARE SO WELCOME. I think a lot of people feel like this, but no one feels okay to talk about it? Which makes me sad. I'm so thankful that BY is a place we can bring up stuff like this ... and start to figure it out. <3 <3 Thanks for commenting! :)

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  4. THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS <3333333

    THIS IS SO MUCH ME. I CAN RELATE 1000000% WOW. Thank you for sharing this, because it is exactly what I needed to read today and every day ad infinitum. :'''')

    thank you thank you thank you

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    1. I AM SO SO SO GLAD. And you are so so so welcome! :) <3

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  5. YES YES YES YES YES

    This was amazing. :) :) :) :)

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