My personality can be a bit much for some people. I’ve often been told to “tone it down.”
Tamara must be here because we could hear her a mile away. And that wasn’t a good thing.
As an extrovert, sometimes I longed to become a little less me. I wanted to be one of those sweet girls in the corner who’s far better at listening than speaking. You know, the one who wasn’t so opinionated. I wanted to be a little more like the girls around me, for my extroverted personality to look a little less center of attention-ish.
I was often told that extroverts like too much attention. They’re always focused on themselves. I began thinking that being an extrovert was inherently bad. Anything that drew attention to me was bad.
The only remedy I could think of was to just be the opposite of who I was. So I tried very hard to speak less and lay in the shadows of any social setting. The last thing I wanted was for people to think I’m all about myself.
I got it in my head that my big personality betrayed me.
I took this misguided understanding of myself into my faith. To hear someone preach that Jesus would have died for me, even if I was the only person in the world, made me cringe. That statement felt too focused on me, and that was everything I was trying to not be. Jesus’ death and resurrection is all about him and has nothing to do with me.
And it’s very true that the incarnation of Christ is all about God and his glory.
But it also speaks to the significance of who we are. Because of God, I am significant. Seeing myself as significant is not unbiblical. The love of Jesus is radically individualized.
Psalm 139 & God’s Love For Me
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
The beauty of Psalm 139 speaks to more than the wonder of God’s omniscience (as if that alone isn’t mind-blowing enough). The captivation is in how the omniscient God relates to us, as individuals, not just as humanity at large.
Throughout the Psalm, David takes us through the depths to which God knows David—personally, emotionally, and physically. God’s knowledge of David is explicit to who David is.
And David’s response is not to run away in fear. Nor is it to look at himself in admiration. Instead, he marvels at who God is. To see how valuable we are to God says a lot more about God than about us.
It humbles us and leaves us in awe of how we could possibly be loved and cared for by the Creator and Sustainer of the world.
God fully knows who I am. He doesn’t just know about me, but knows me in the most beautifully detailed way. Wonderful are his works. And that includes me. I can be at peace with who I am in Christ, because God has created me.
Because of the love of Jesus, it’s okay to be confident in who I am.
A Bigger (And Smaller) Vision for God’s Sovereignty
Somewhere along the way, I had become one of those people who only wanted to see my relationship with Christ as a small piece in the larger sovereignty of God. I never wanted to see myself as occupying any place of significance in God’s thoughts.
But God has been reworking my theology of who I am to him.
God is fully sovereign over the entire world and everything that happens in it. And that includes even the smallest, most minute things in my life. Those tiny things of my heart that are never spoken—even those things—fall under the governance of God.
God’s sovereignty isn’t limited to the little things working out only insofar as they contribute to the big picture.
I have witnessed God orchestrate many “little” things in my life that have been important to me and special to who I am. No one would know it but me. He is tending to the larger plans of the world, as well as the little things of my life. They all work together.
The sovereignty of God is far more marvelous and astonishing than our minds can comprehend. Yet it includes us, because it is also guided by the love of Jesus.
Of course, because of my fallen nature, I’m not perfect. There are pieces of me that are very apparently tainted and do not reflect God’s “wonderful works.”
But I can come before the God who knows me so fully and ask him to search me and reveal anything grievous in me.
I can embrace who God created me to be, knowing that he is redeeming all of who I am. He is restoring the person that he created me to be.
This doesn’t mean that I need to take on a new personality. I can rest peacefully in the full knowledge, love, and redemptive work of Christ. I can rest in His sovereign plan over the restoration of the world and over the restoration of my life.
Yes, He loved ME enough!
That says a whole lot more about the one from whom all things exist and the One whom all things exist for.