I knew “they” were watching because I’ve always stood out: Preachers kid, only girl amidst all my brothers, light eyes, not short, only girl in the back row of the band– the list goes on. I remember as a middle school student when a fairly close friend ended our friendship because of one of the ways I stood out. I had gotten used to ignoring the attention by blocking out the things that made me different from the people I hung around. While I kept “going,” the scar from that pivotal moment gave me identity issues. I know I’m not alone. I see the struggles of adults all around me, that likely have roots back to early memories. Why is our first inclination, when we realize that we are different, to shrink?
Who we really are, these attributes, were given by God. Even if genetically they came from one parent specifically, God anointed us to be present in this time, with what we have. And through my tender middle school eyes, I couldn’t yet see that all of my “standing out” was early preparation for a song that I would sing for the rest of my life. So yes, I knew there was more to life, and yes, I saw that God was with me, but my mind recalled those early memories and, quite frankly, I didn’t WANT the attention.
I’m pretty sure that God uses the things that you are most uncomfortable with, for his glory. And, as life is, we will run right into the thing we’re running from. Paul described it in the New Testament (…what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.), but we don’t have to look in the bible to see how cyclical our lives are. Think about it for a moment: Ever feel like you’re all-put-together on the outside but feel like a self-conscious youngin’ inside? This could describe my state of being. I had a mind full of ideas, like strains of incomplete melodies. And I was headed into life with my arms full of pieces of myself. Those pieces all “fit” me, to my eyes, but to God, he saw the huge gaps in between.
I thought I had accomplished something, by choosing to orient my life the way God wanted. But the real work was just getting started. By taking me back to my root of identity He began the process of transitioning me away from who I thought I was. It’s tough to see that who you THINK you are, is different from who you REALLY are and miles from who you WANT to be. As uncomfortable as it was, my mouthful of prayers could be adequately summed by Kierkegaard in his prayer, “…Lord, with your help I [will] become myself.”
See, we are under urgent pressure to be our real selves, whether we recognize it or not. Our worlds (our circle of family, friends, work, etc.) need our authentic selves. If we can be 100 with ourselves, we give every else around us a fighting chance to discover their true melody. Through us, they see how loving and gentle Christ is, and how the process of transition works. The scar that marked my identity, the incomplete melodies found in various pieces of me, they all were a challenge to get me to let his light be my complete remedy. It wasn’t enough to have #LifeGoals or #SquadGoals if my spirit wasn’t able to hear God clearly. What pieces is God bringing together in you?
Join me in two weeks, and we’ll get up close to the grind that transition takes.
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Trisha Alicia is a Soul ATK Music singer, songwriter, and rhythm-and-word artist living in Nashville, TN. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope & Twitter: @iAmTrishaAlicia. Visit her website: http://www.trishaalicia.com