“I may be a screw-up and a failure, but at least I know I am nothing without Jesus.”
It has taken me quite a long time to end that sentence with Jesus. I used to just think of myself as a screw-up and a failure. Failing was the single thing I was most proficient at. (Laughing) I say that as if I’m not any longer. That is not the case, however. I still am a screw-up and a failure, but now I have the wisdom to keep my faith in God, the one who moves my vehicle of life.
I’ve always had a self-esteem issue. Growing up with ADHD and Bi-polar type 1, I was an easy target for bullies. I was always the outcast within and outside of my family. Looking back, I can see why I always felt alone. I have always had identity issues. I have still yet to “find” myself. I am very good at method acting. I could always play other people well due to my extremely low self-esteem and constant state of searching for myself. In hopes that I would find myself, I often personified the people around me, including females. I know that sounds strange, but at least I’m comfortable admitting it. I’m 30 years old, and I have absolutely no clue what God wants of me. Cliché, I know, but for me it’s more than that. For somebody who has spent their whole life watching the surety and courageousness of others in the passionate pursuit of life, only wishing and dreaming that I could somehow “be something,” it is devastating. It’s devastating to me that even after devoting myself to God, who has all the answers, I still have to wait for His answer of where He wants me, who He wants me to be, and when that will happen. For almost four years now, I have prayed myself sick asking God what career-direction He has for me. Where does He want to use me? I felt the call to ministry, and here I am. Having all these fellow students at seminary who seemingly know where they are going, I scratch my head and ask “well what am I doing wrong?” I’ve had numerous conversations about “picking” a career path versus God “leading” me where He has already chosen for me. Some think that we pick our destiny, and God uses us there. Others believe that God has chosen the perfect path, and we should submit to what He wants. I have been more inclined to believe the latter. In fact, I can remember as a young boy thinking about this. I felt that God had something specific for me. It was something that He chose for me to do, and one day He would let me know. I remember the first time I thought about this; I was very young, maybe 5. I don’t know why I thought about it or where it came from; all I can say is that I already had a preconceived view about God, and it was this view that would get me through bullying, suicide attempts, drug abuse, and alcoholism.
We all want to be happy. Knowing things makes us happy. Knowing the logistics of things brings peace and comfort. It’s the surety of it and the lack of faith that it brings. Wow! The lack of faith. Even as I write this, I realize that that’s exactly what I crave. The lack of faith. I pray earnestly that God will, in His mercy, keep me blinded. That I won’t know what He has for me until the very moment comes to slay the giant. I pray that my passion for Him will, like these 30 years prior, keep me motivated to keep pressing on. I pray that you reading this will join me in these prayers. Maybe you have struggled with your identity as I have. I pray that God will show you your identity… IN HIM.
A man who truly finds himself, finds God first. It is there that our real identity lies.
I love each one of y’all, and I pray earnestly for your relationship with our Creator. May God richly bless you with true wisdom and peace beyond all comprehension.
~~Joshua P. Harris