Recently, I was struck by how many of us choose to live far below our capacity. We seem to be at least partially blinded to the unique qualities and giftings that we each possess. We often forget in the daily undertakings just how special we really are.
We are special. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are created in the image of God. We are designed to fulfill a destiny. We are like snowflakes— each created with a one-of-a-kind blueprint and uniqueness.
Our lives are meant to be powerful expressions of that uniqueness.
I don’t really think the majority of our struggles are with comparing ourselves to others. I think most of us want to be 100% ourselves, but we just don’t know how to do that. We don’t know how to fully occupy the space that God has given us. Our God-given territory.
I have a friend who recently told me that she had stopped doing a certain job because it wasn’t the best use of her anointing—of her part of the Body of Christ. I LOVE that. This is a person who knows who the Father has created her to be and she is growing daily, more and more, to fill up her unique God-given space.
This friend also understands the principal of time investment—that if she pieces herself out too much with things that aren’t the best use of her design—she will actually be less effective in the spaces that God has designed for her to occupy. Where she has jurisdiction. Where she thrives. Where she walks in dominion. She has recognized her drafting papers. Her heavenly assignment. And she pursues it. She recognizes who she is—she recognizes her true self.
We are meant to discover our true selves.
I believe we are each born with an internal knowing in our spirit about who we were created to be and what we were created to do. However I think we often get tripped up by looking to others for validation and affirmation—we are still looking for permission to be ourselves. Is it okay that I’m wired this way? Is it okay to be the authentic me? We so often get stuck in our false selves, afraid to let the true selves shine through. There is also the temptation to believe that our identities are defined by the many hats that we wear each day. But those are NOT our true selves/ identities.
We are often afraid to be our true selves because we never received the spiritual recognition and validation from our own families and communities that God intended. Family and community are actually meant to be spiritual mirrors: reflecting back to us our own spiritual designs. But more often than not, it doesn’t happen. This is a common spiritual deficiency that many carry. And when we aren’t given this initial mirroring, it definitely makes our roads harder to find. Thankfully, we were each given the 100% stamp of approval and certificate of authenticity when God first created and wove us together. His approval is the one that ultimately matters.
Do you know who you are yet?
The journey to self-discovery is often like finding out that you are the Chosen One. The pilgrimage of life is filled with the fires of trial and refinement—but these are often what help us to find our destinies. The reality is that we ARE the Chosen Ones. We are each God’s Beloved. We are each created with one life, one path, one destiny, one life’s book to write, and one set of good works to accomplish.
Finding that path can be tricky.
Do you ever find yourself identifying with Neo from the Matrix or Alice from Wonderland? What about Mahoney from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? I know I do. In all of these movies, the main characters discover that they are more than then ever imagined themselves to be. They discover they can do more and be more than they ever realized was possible.
These courageous protagonists find latent talents and abilities they never knew existed. And as each one undergoes the fires of trial and refinement, they discover internal strength, courage, and supernatural abilities. Neo finally defeats Agent Smith—no contest. Alice slays the Jabberwockey. Mahoney makes the Congreve Block fly and brings the store back to magical life.
I find so many parallels, as I watch these characters, to my own journey of self-discovery. As I watch Alice journey through Wonderland, Neo wander through the Matrix, and Mahoney self-discover in Mr. Magorium’s magical toystore, I see myself. Something resonates loudly within me. There is more for me. There is more to me than I can see.
Life is more than meets the eye for each of us.
Neo, Alice, and Mahoney each has MAJOR doubts. Each of them feels stuck, trapped in various life circumstances. Alice is stuck with a dysfunctional family that pressures her to conform and marry the stuffy, unimaginative Hamish. Neo is stuck in an artificial reality that is exploited and run by machines. Mahoney, a previous child prodigy, is stuck with a partially-composed symphony and what she perceives to be a dead-end job. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.
But feeling stuck and staying stuck are two different things.
Each of these quirky characters has obstacles, but they are determined to get unstuck and that makes the world of difference. They do not allow their stuckness to define them. Alice breaks out of the family mold and becomes a warrior and an entrepreneur. Neo breaks through the code of the Matrix and discovers his true identity. Mahoney breaks out of her self-restraints and enters into her supernatural future.
It takes perseverance and a lot of tenacity to get unstuck. It also involves moving past self-doubt and others’ expectations of what you can do.
Each character in these movies battles major self-doubt, along with others’ doubting disapproval. Alice is continually undermined and questioned by her peers, “Are you the REAL Alice?” Even Alice’s closest friend—the Hatter, tells her that she has lost her muchness. Neo is actually told by the Oracle—the highest authority around, that he ISN’T the One. The Accountant constantly challenges Mahoney about the reality of the magic.
Those that should be supporting and encouraging them—do exactly the opposite. That’s pretty true to life. How many times has your own self-doubt been your worst enemy? How many naysayers have you encountered along the way?
Having a humble heart, a teachable spirit, and being willing to take risks can help you find your destiny path. They can help you discover your true capacity.
Neo doesn’t know if he is the One or not, but he prepares anyway. He is a good student and a quick learner. He is a team player. He is tireless in his pursuit for more learning and training. And when the moment comes, he is prepared and ready for the battle that will define him. He takes the risk with the previously-undefeatable Agent Smith and realizes He IS actually the One after all.
Alice is terrified of the Jabberwocky all along. She does not feel confident and brave. She feels the opposite. In fact, Alice actually says, “That’s NOT me”, when she first sees the picture of herself battling the Jabberwocky on the Oraculum. But she becomes a student of her environment, gleaning from others along the way. She is humble, unassuming and teachable. And when the time is right, Alice willingly steps up to the plate to fight. She does it to save her friends. She does it because it is the right thing to do. After declaring 5 impossible things she has already encountered, Alice finally proclaims: “I CAN slay the Jabberwocky.” And she does just that. She triumphs.
Mahoney is given the Congreve Block of wood by Mr. Magorium early on in the movie. He tells her, “Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools.” But despite all of Magorium’s raving endorsements, the block just sits in her apartment unused. Yet years of being Mr. Magorium’s apprentice eventually pay off. When she finally combines her faith, love, and the Congreve Block together with some risk, Mahoney “finds herself somewhere she never imagined.” She discovers the magic is inside of her—not the block. She had magic the whole time. But she never knew it. It took risk to unlock what was already inside of her.
To find our paths, it usually takes being students of ourselves.
Paying attention to our likes and dislikes, what we are passionate about, what infuriates us, and what makes us feel alive are some things that can help us clue into our spiritual design. Doing more of what makes us feel spiritually alive often leads to more self-discovery. Life is a lot like a treasure map in that way. One thing leads us to the next thing, and so on.
Life is an adventure that is meant to be lived!
The truth is that you ARE God’s Chosen One. Before the foundations of the world, He knew you. He has a wonderful life of self-discovery planned for you. And when you partner with Him, Oh The Places You Will Go!
So embrace your potential! Move past your self-doubt and others’ expectations. Take risks. Be humble and teachable. Be a student of yourself. And trust your Creator to lead you through the fires of trial and refinement to your destiny.
As Mr. Magorium says, “Your Life is an Occasion. Rise to It!”
“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).