I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. All of my thoughts, as of late, have been rather specific, detailed.
3 words; 1 loaded question.
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to become bolder in my faith and as a person. I didn’t realize how hard this was going to be. I’ve just started my 3rd week of classes and already I’ve been so challenged. I’ve done more thought about who exactly Jayna Duckenfield is in the past 3 weeks than I have in a while.
People say that college is a time of exploration. That’s true.
People say that college is a time of question. That’s true
People say that college is a time to figure out who you are. That’s not false.
But here’s what I’m thinking, you can’t fully figure yourself out in college. I mean, when you figure something out you have nothing left to learn. I can’t be done knowing who I am in these 4 years. What happens post graduation, then?
Understanding my identity isn’t a math equation (And thank the Lord because I HATE math), nor is it a scientific theory that needs to be proven. I don’t know what understanding my identity is. I thought that I did…
As a Christian, surrounded by Christian community, the phrase “know who you are in Christ” comes up in conversation. Don’t get me wrong, that phrase is extremely important. In fact it’s pivotal for growth. However, knowing who I am in Christ is a lot easier than knowing who I am as Jayna Duckenfield. Who I am in Christ is the same as who other Christian girls are in Christ. The truths of the Bible that speak of being pure, holy, loved, and redeemed don’t just apply to one person, they apply to all who are in The Lord’s family.
On any other day, that is one of the most comforting things to hear, but at this very moment, at 12:22 am, I’m left unsettled. I can understand what the Lord thinks of me and how He smiles upon me. I can understand that my sins are forgiven and that I am a new creation. I can understand that I am unconditionally loved. It’s laid out for me. It’s written down in a book that I can find in almost every city in probably every state in my country. But what is NOT concretely laid out for me is the answer to the following question:
Who is Jayna Duckenfield?
I can tell you that she is…
a daughter of God
a daughter two 2 wonderfully, loving parents
a friend of/to so many beautiful people
a student at Appalachian State University
a coffee lover
a movie watcher
a verbal processor
And all of those things are great, but that’s not enough for me. Everything mentioned in the list above are things that any outsider could see and relay back to me. But I don’t want to know an outsider’s Jayna Duckenfield. I want to know Jayna Duckenfield’s Jayna Duckenfield. But you see, this is something that I must discover. As you can imagine, I am royally frustrated that at the age of 20 I have just come to the realization that I don’t fully know who I am. I know what I believe in. I know what I stand for. But when those things are questioned, I mean REALLY questioned (like they have been these past 3 weeks), I digress. Truthfully, that scares me. I know that I have big dreams. I know that I love deeply. I know that I tend to apologize instead of speaking with confidence. Again, truthfully, that scares me.
I’m learning a lot about myself in a short amount of time. It’s terrifyingly exciting.
No, I’m not crying out for help. No, I’m not depressed. I’m just being honest. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m still learning the full identity of the creature, divinely created by God, so interestingly named Jayna Duckenfield. Who is she? Who is that girl? Who am I?
What do I like?
What do I dislike?
What annoys me?
What brings me joy?
What makes me cry?
What makes me angry?
What gives me hope?
What makes me want to crawl back into bed?
What strikes me with inspiration?
What evokes my thought?
Yes, I can give answers to all of those questions. But that’s not enough for me. I don’t just want to give answers, I want to live out those answers. I want to own those answers. I want to be proud of those answers. I don’t want to be worried that those answers aren’t politically correct. I don’t want to fear that those answers aren’t good enough. I don’t want to shy away from those answers and defend them to appease someone else. I want to be me, whoever I’m becoming.
[Lord, thank You for creating me. May I live in the light, knowing that I am your beloved daughter. But Jesus, teach me what it means to be Jayna Duckenfield and help me to own that, flaws and all. Continue to grow me into all of my name, that I may bring glory to Yours.]