“What do you do?” is a question I get asked by a lot of people and is something I have been wrestling with since we arrived back in the states. If I were to give a literal answer then we would be standing there for hours as I list off everything I do. But I know they are not asking literally everything I do, I know the appropriate response is to tell them I’m an interior decorator. Then my response is usually followed by the question “oh are you getting any work?” or what they mean is “are you successful at what you do?” This is the exchange that takes place when we meet people and I find myself asking people the same questions!
As I wrestle with “what I do” as my identity I realize I don’t want to be defined by what I do, even though I love what I do and am known by a few for what I do. I know there has to be something greater to I love. Something greater to put all of my life and heart into. Something that won’t fail. Something that isn’t wasting away. In my short 28 years of life I have found God alone is that something. What I do to make money is a big part of my life but my life is so much richer than how I make money. I want to be known for who I am and who I am becoming. What is my character? Who does God say I am? I realize to ask someone, in a first introduction, a deep question about their character can be a quick dive into the deep end, but I have to ask myself, would our relationships be much more fulfilling if people knew who we are and who we are becoming? Why not just lay it all out there in the first introduction? If others opinions of me, even my own opinion, is not defining me but something greater gives me identity, then I am safe to be open and honest about who I am. Being a successful interior decorator does not give my life worth. Being a stellar stay-at-home mom does not mean my life has value and purpose. Sitting on the couch for a week getting over jet lag and morning sickness does not mean my life is aimless and wasting away (even though it has greatly felt like it). Surely, there is so much more to life than our successes and failures.
I have come to a place where I am asking myself, “am I ok if God takes me into a season of rest?” Will I not be ashamed to give an honest answer if someone asks me what I do and if I’m successful at it and my response be “God has gifted me as an interior decorator but right now he is telling me to rest.” Which may mean my days are filled with activities that would seem to society as wasteful and lazy. Would I be able to rest in that? Would I be ok if my self-worth isn’t defined by what I do and others opinions of me? I think I would find great freedom! So I have two options, I can try to fill my schedule with things to keep me busy so I feel like my life has purpose or I can rest and wait for God to tell me to move, even if that direction doesn’t come for months… I think I will choose the second option.