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This question may seem basic. Some would answer with one-word nouns: wife, sister, mother, friend, single, nurse, athlete, attorney, etc. Others would answer with phrases: I’m a daughter of a King, I’m a rape victim, I’m a recovering addict, I’m an unmarried woman, I’m loved. But ultimately, some may simply say, “I don’t really know.” Then the question becomes, Is it okay not to really know who you are? This is one of the most abstract questions we’ll ever get asked. Is it actually a philosophical question? Or could it have answers based on our age, place in life, socioeconomic status, or race?
Perhaps if you want to know who you are, then you may consider what you’ve accomplished. You may say: I am a state champion track star; I am a cancer overcomer. I am a college graduate. The only downfall with basing our existence on what we’ve achieved is that we forget that we are constantly evolving and moving forward. So, should we then base our answer on where we want to be in life, or what we dream of becoming, or what our education states we are being trained to accomplish? All in all, this could become a frustrated journey that can take us on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows as we consider our failures and our successes.
Perhaps the best part of this question can also be found in mixing it all up! Yes, are you just a woman, or are you just middle class? Are you only a graduate or a nurse? Let’s try another technique. How about we throw the words in the air and see if we can find answers in the shake-up. Ready? Toss! Here’s what we now have: “Who you are.” Or even “You are who…” Remember the best answer for a product’s potential in development is never found by simply examining the product parts, but in an in depth conversation with the Creator of the product. The Creator is the designer and knows the original intent. The Creator knows the ingredients. The Creator knows the investment. The Creator knows the potential. So if you are ever asked, “Who are you?” you must actually learn to point to the designer’s insight and declare what you were told when you went on your own personal discovery of self with the ultimate designer.
If you know the one who made you, then you will find that he will speak to you from the standpoint of knowing who you are. He will speak to you from the standpoint of “you are who I created in secret.” To understand yourself, you must go to the owner’s manual, the Bible, subsection Psalms, chapter 139.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
PSALM 56:8 New Living Translation
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
This Bible chapter creates a setting of a divine inventor alone in a lab with every possible resource. His lab holds a vault of personalities, an endless treasure chest of skill and gifting, a walk-in closet of thought patterns and physical wrapping paper. There are design plans, a vast book of days, and even tears. Yes, every moment of your life, and every tear of joy and sorrow. All defining who you are. All pointing to “you are who I created in secret.” So honestly, you may not be able to fully answer the question of, “Who are you?” But as you sit with the Master Creator, you listen as he declares who you are. And as you listen without complaint, regret or doubt, you reply simply by repeating Psalm 139:14, “I praise you.” Yes, then you begin to understand the relationship of the equation: I + YOU. “I, the creature, will praise You, the Creator, because I have finally discovered that whoever I am, I am wonderfully made.” This was no assembly line rush job filling an order of Hispanic men in Mexico, or black women in Harlem, or French women in Europe. It was a secret creation to be displayed upon completion. Everything was so important that the Creator wrote a book recording every second, and He holds your every tear.
The following becomes true when reading Psalm 139:
· You can never escape his presence
· You were made in secret
· You were woven together in the depths of the earth
· You are fearfully and wonderfully made
· When you awake, he is still with you
· He has searched you
· He knows when you sit and rise
· He knows every word before it’s spoken
· He created your inmost being
· His eyes saw your unformed body
· Even the darkness is not dark to him
So, with all of these facts, I praise You. My identity is found in my Creator, not in me, the creature. When I was single, I bought a BMW X5. Wow, did I love that SUV! Whew, it had all types of buttons, sensors, and gadgets. It was a machine of power. I enjoyed every ride I took, whether to the store around the corner or on the road driving across country. Because of the spectacular design, not once did I take my BMW to a Ford dealer. Not once did I take my BMW to a Mercedes dealer. For every need, every problem or question, I went to a certified BMW dealer to gain the expertise of the Creator. Not one time during the course of ownership was I turned away because they did not know the details about my BMW X5 I had purchased. Eventually, when I married, we bought a Honda Odyssey (big shift, right?). While signing the contract, there was a clause that stated that when repairs were needed, we would agree that we’d first take our Honda to a certified Honda dealer, and not a third-party vendor to fix whatever was wrong. Yes, we agreed to these terms, because they knew the car they created.
Now, since God created you, he knows who you are. Once you go to the Source, then you begin to walk in the destiny found in the pages of the book he wrote about you. You even find power knowing that your tears are collected, held, and understood. The creature loves the Creator because identity begins to unfold. Once identity is uncovered, then direction is revealed. A rhythm is found in life. As long as there’s a connection to the Source, every resource is provided. And finally, you can begin to formulate an answer to the question: “Who are you?” because you are being told constantly who you are.
But one day, you become comfortable in your knowledge of who you are and neglect to visit the Source of it all, because there seems to be more than enough resources and tasks to accomplish. One day, you think you know everything for uncovering your direction. You forget that a daily discovery keeps you focused for new updates and Creator downloads. You assume you don’t have to walk with God in the cool of the day every day having conversations of discovery. And it happens one day that the Creator comes to the creature and presents questions to you about your disappearance and conversations with others about who you are. He wants answers from his creation.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
GALATIANS 5:7 New Living Translation
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?
See, when you begin to disconnect from the Creator, you awaken only to find that you’ve wandered away from the power of Psalm 139. You find that you’ve forgotten some basic truths. You’ve forgotten your power statement: “I praise you.” You begin to bargain. You begin to explain. You begin to search; but the Creator never moved. In fact, he is always at his post; but where are you? When you present yourself for questioning, Your Creator begins to remind you of your past struggles that you overcame and the work it took for you to refocus on your true identity. Here’s the process he takes you through.
On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.
Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”
Yes, this is why the Creator can look at you and declare who you are, because He not only created you but he also rescued you and spoke a word of power over you when He simply said: “LIVE!” So the equation must now be reassessed: I + YOU + WHO. God wants to know the “who” responsible for why you may have wandered from fulfilling the divine plan over your life. “Who has held you back?” You may not be in proper proximity to the Lord, but you can still hear these questions.
Now consider this question: “How can you recover?” This book is all about asking questions through a process called coaching. Yes, many of us seek a mentor, life coach, facilitator, or discipleship leader, all in order to “recover.” The following definition of coaching will give you an idea of why you are finding extensive questioning in this book. Let’s examine this process:
Coaching is training or development in which a person called a "coach" supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. Occasionally, "coaching" may mean an informal relationship between two people, of whom one has more experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; but coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on the specifics of doing something successfully, as opposed to general overall development.
Some coaches use a style in which they ask questions and offer opportunities to challenge the learner to find his or her own answers. This helps the learner find answers and new ways of perceiving and performing in the society; based on their own values, preferences and perspectives.
Renton, Jane (2009). Coaching and Mentoring: What They Are and How to Make the Most of Them. New York: Bloomberg Press.
Now, in my approach to coaching you, I am looking to support you in achieving the goal of getting clear on your life’s mission from the Lord, as my focus is your spiritual development. This coaching, as you read, will be accomplished by asking questions, developing your searching skills in the word of God, and prepping you for deeper mentoring. Coaching is the first step to me handing you the tools you need to reconnect with your Creator. It doesn’t necessarily require several phone calls, homework submission, or studying with me on a consistent basis as in discipleship training. Coaching is reminding you of your power in God, tossing you the ball, giving you tips on how to score and cheering as you make touch downs or 3 pointers. So, are you ready to discover who you are who you are? Great—let’s get to work!