What defines you? Is it your haircut? Your hair color? Your style? The way you do your makeup? Your blue lipstick? Your expensive shoes? Your face? Your body? Your house? Your career? What defines you?
This has been on my mind a whole lot lately. Let me share with you two occurrences that have been going through my head quite a bit since they happened.
First off, I was noticing that a lot of changes were happening with my physical appearance, but they felt really good, so I was just going with the flow. But, one day as my sister and I were at H&M, looking for some baby girl clothes for a friend’s baby shower, I was pointing out what I thought was super cute! Then, all the sudden I found myself begrudgingly stating “I’m becoming a Utah Mormon!” Whatever that’s supposed to mean, right? I guess I basically just felt like all that I used to define myself by were quickly falling off, and I was taking on a sort of lifestyle that I used to swear I never would. But, in an instant, she responded to my blurt with “Well, your life has changed a lot.” And ever since then, I have been thinking about it all. What I used to define myself by – my hair, my clothes, my shoes, my style, what car I drove – and who I had become. Now, for the second occurrence, which just happened a couple days ago.
We were driving somewhere, and I am assuming my sister was looking at Pinterest or something (no, she was not the one driving), and stated “The grunge look is coming back” to which I responded with “Man, I just barely stopped doing the grunge look.” She then came back with “You don’t have to dress like everybody else.” And, I got a little offended! Then, I wondered why I got a bit offended by that. It’s because I may have never been told something like that. Why? Because I used to pride myself on dressing so “uniquely.” I was unique because of the way I dressed. I was unique because of my hair. I was unique because of my all around style. There were all sorts of ways I was unique. I was not like anyone else. I was like no one else. There was only one Tiana Mariah Cortes, and there could never be another like me!
Those were the thoughts that I carried with me every day! Ew! Icky, icky pride. Does that not just have “worldly” written all over it!? Yes, she is very right, my life has changed a lot – more than ever before – and in the best way possible. I have been giving everything I possibly can to the Lord, so He can make me what He wishes to. I trust Him far more than I trust myself, and He has been doing an excellent job.
I am not defined by my wardrobe. I am not defined by my makeup, or my hair, or the shoes on my feet. I am not defined by the occupations I may choose, or the vehicle I may someday drive. I am not defined by my body, or my friends, or my family, or my last name. I am not defined by the people I talk to, or the state I live in, or the tattoos on my arms. I am defined by one thing and one thing only: my countenance. Because when a person meets me, speaks to me, or even just looks at me, I want them to know me by the Spirit I carry with me. I want Christ’s countenance to be my countenance. If I am adhering a piece of me to every little article of clothing, or possession I may own, than I know not my own self worth.
Until we can define ourselves as followers of Christ, through and through, rather than all the things in our possession, or even just the big ones, like the car, or the house, or whatever it may be, than we still have a bit of refining to do. I’m telling you, relieving myself of all those “I have to wear this,” or “I have to have that,” or “I want to drive that,” and “I want to own that,” and “I ‘need’ this!” and instead just giving more than wanting, and wanting to give more than having has been the absolute most cleansing experience I have ever had! But, please know that this obviously did not happen over night. Just recently I have thought It took me until I was twenty-five years old to figure myself out… Twenty-five. My initial instinct was to feel bad about that, and beat myself up that it took me that long. Then, I realized it is never too late, so long as there is a breath in my lungs. And I instead tell myself Wow, I am only twenty-five years old, and I have found myself. How wonderful!
It really is never too late. We can start where we are, right now, this day, to choose to be molded into that perfect (insert your name here) that God always knew we could be. We just have to get on our knees and ask the right, inspired questions. Trust me, if I could do it you could do it! May the Lord be with you, and may He bless you always
~ Tiana Swank – Follower of Christ ~