July 24, 2013
Knowing who you are makes a tremendous difference in life. Deciding who or what will influence you as you know yourself to be, can also make a powerful impact in one's life. As a young girl, my greatest influence was my earthly father. He was a brilliant man who seemed to 'read' the dictionary. He was in fact a wordsmith and by association as well as by natural inclinations, I have become the same. As important as the aforementioned is, the above is more the surface part of me; really knowing oneself, requires more in-depth study and effort. God's influence on my life eventuating in my pursuing a Master's degree in Family/Pastoral Counseling did wonderful things for me, one being, it clearly showed me that I can barely change myself much less anyone else. It showed me who I was and who I was becoming! It was an eye-opener which liberated me from certain behaviors of the past.
I have been highly favored with awesome discernment and excellent counseling skills from a very young age and I used those skills and was sought out for them, long before I began pursuing my Master's in 1991.The problem that I faced without knowing I was facing it, was that I thought counseling meant that I could change others; well God in His own timing, brought that reality home to me almost as soon as I began my three years Master's program at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. In my increasing willingness to 'sit at His feet and learn of Me;" I have been learning that as a therapist, and also as an ordained minister, I am simply a facilitator for change and that the actual changing of folks, including myself, is left up to and executed by God Himself! So when I was giving advice and counseling folks from them seeking me out, all I was supposed to be doing was guiding them toward that desired outcome! It was not too long ago that Father said, "all I ever wanted you to do, was to speak what I told you to speak and I will do the convicting, I will do the changing!" Wow! Wow! I was instantly freed. It lightened the load for me not just as a mental health therapist, but also as a human being and what I thought I was supposed to be doing in the lives of others, as well as in my own life! I am becoming a truly empathetic and skilled therapist as a result of God's confrontation of me!
In my personal life, I am growing and growing by leaps and bounds, also, because of this realization of Who truly effects change, permanent change that is, in human beings; I now can accept that had I continued to pursue the world and what it thinks I should be or who it thinks I should have become, I would have died spiritually along the way and perhaps even physically! You see, it is my bold decision to engage in a relationship with God Almighty, and my availability to learn and grow from His Word, which has allowed me to become and continue becoming the me who I am supposed to be! It is in reading the Word and learning of His character, His persona, which is helping to show me myself and who I am supposed to be and defining my character. What a blessing this is for me! The more I see Him as He is, is the more I realize who I am supposed to be and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am coming in closer proximity of that desired place today than I was 15 years ago and certainly, closer than I was 3 years ago!
I have always had a deep and abiding love and compassion for and toward human beings, but for a long season, what they thought of me; caused me great angst and I strayed from the me which I was destined to be, for a very long time. I tried not being successful because I did not wish to upset my very successful brothers. I dummied up my talents and gifts until intermittently they would come flooding out of my soul and I would not have a choice but to employ them, at least for a season. It took me over 40 years of trying not to be who I am called to be, before I finally accepted what I was doing not only to myself but to my Father and His plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). It was then that I cried out to Him and said "I am tired of denying You and what I am called to do Sir, please, please I am now willing to accept every blessing you have for my life!" I was ashamed to be who He has called me to be until I read and believed "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:14).
I know who I am, Whose I am and I am ever so grateful!