Chapter 6 from “She’s Still There” by @Crystal Hurst
Let me just say, I’m so jealous of her in this chapter. She was smart enough and wise enough to admit and say out loud, “I don’t know who I am!” at 12 years old!!! If only I’d been wise enough to wonder “Who am I?” before my 32nd year on this Earth! I already admitted to y’all that I was a know-it-all who thought I had the world all figured out, and I lived that way for 32 years! Whoa was it ugly when that know-it-all came crashing down.
I love all her answers to this question in this chapter, but I’m partial to this one… “you are a uniquely and divinely created soul, designed to be filled by a living Spirit that is housed inside of a physical body.”
Ok, and I also like, “You are a divinely inspired work of art.”
“You have to believe in who you are… you must choose to value the “gift of you” enough to begin discovering who you truly are.”
“…everything that makes me “me” was something to cherish, to study, to understand, and to celebrate.”
Since I’ve been on this quest of trying to answer the “Who am I?” question for 9 years now, the experience is very fresh in my brain. Especially since I’m still going through it… It’s been ROUGH! I haven’t enjoyed it. Ok, you could even say I’ve resented it. Like shouldn’t I know the answer to this very simple question– what do you like to do for fun?– and all those other simple questions people seem to know about themselves? Like, what makes you tick? What do you enjoy? And then I wonder why it’s so hard to figure out? And shouldn’t I know this by now? So when she said, “I’ve learned to love the process of appreciating and honoring my soul.” I underlined it immediately. This is my new goal; to learn to love this process– the process of appreciating and honoring my soul!
What age were you when you asked the question “Who am I?” What was your key takeaway from this chapter?
Can you relate to the drift that becomes a catastrophe or a drift that happens because you “stop paying attention to the beauty of your soul?”
I can relate to both…
- If you’ve ever been to one of my talks, you know about my “deep dark hole.” It was when my know-it-all self came crashing down because there was so much going on in my life that was so, so, so hard, and I couldn’t control any of it or make it better. I was so lost and lonely. I wondered, where is God?
- And this is what I relate to most right now…”Or have you just quit living?…You are swept up by the whirlwind of just living your life, trying to keep up, desperately trying to make it…done trying to make something out of your life. It’s just too much.”
BUT (and this is what I stared and circled)…
“Even in that place where you feel most alone, most rejected, most powerless and without hope, that’s where the love of God can be felt the deepest, experienced the most fully, and understood in the most beautifully unexpected way.”
I know this to be true.
And then you know what is crazy? She talks about how she started writing down Bible verses that told her what God thought about her and how much He loved her and carried them with her at all times. Guess what I carried around with me during my deep dark hole? A list of Bible verses from her sister’s (@priscillashirer’s) book Armor of God Bible study!!! It was a list of verses that said who I was in Him! How cool is that?
“In that dark, desolate, damaged place, I learned the value of who I am because of whose I am.”
I lived on the other side of this chapter for a long time, and I still struggle with believing who God says I am. I already admitted that it’s very hard for me to believe that I’m a masterpiece. I hear little whispers in my mind that say, you’re not good enough, you are weak, you are too sensitive, you should be ashamed of this or that. To combat this little issue of mine, I go back to the list of Bible verses I referred to in the last chapter that I keep on my phone, and I find a verse that directly combats the thought. I don’t feel like a saint, but he says I am (Eph, 1:1). And bit by bit, as I fight this fight with TRUTH, I can feel myself get lighter and more free! Which is why I underlined…
“Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.””
SO as she points out, “it’s a whole ‘nother thing to believe that truth enough to receive it, accept it, and then act on it.”
And as I’m learning and accepting these truths, I notice that I’m living not only lighter but freed up! Freed up to be me! The me He created me to be instead of letting all those little whispers derail me and weigh me down. Now I’m singing in my head, “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!”
“It is your job in this life to know and value what makes you you and to treasure the opportunity you have to make a distinct impression with this one life you have.”
I can remember admitting this struggle to a big room full of women at a Bible study group one time. I remember someone chimed in very quickly and dismissed it with a flippant comment of “just own that God loves you!” Oh, how I wish it were that simple for me (I know it actually is that simple, but I get all boogered up sometimes). I felt so stupid, and honestly, ashamed. That night I told my (very wise) friend about the comment. And she said something to me that stuck with me. She said, “You know Carly, it just sounds like that’s not what she struggles with.” Well, it’s that simple isn’t it? This is my struggle. I’m not sure what hers is, but I know she has one. And honestly, I can now say I’m glad this isn’t her struggle! I think it’s really cool that it comes so easily for her!
I’m just so happy to have the tools (the truth) to fight with now!
Do you struggle with this?
Did you do it? It was torture for me, but I did it. I sat down and wrote out a “GAIN” list. I like the idea of adding to it, so I put the list on my phone.
Afterall, I am reading this book for some kind of clarity and she’s basically been building a case in all the previous chapters to do this exercise. I kinda felt like this whole thing was going to be a waste of time if I didn’t, which is why I underlined the line “In order to change your life, you are going to have to do something different.”
Her father’s (Tony Evans) car analogy is so good! God “put under the hood everything you need to live your life… But, girl… you have to get behind the wheel, push the pedal, and drive. You have to do the work seeking directions, following instructions, staying awake, and keeping your eyes on the road.”
For so long, I’ve been steering that steering wheel, pushing that pedal, and driving so hard!!! I became so exhausted – maybe even a little nuts! – I couldn’t control the outcome even though I was steering with all my might, so you know what I did? I gave up! I gave it all up. I said, “Well, I can’t control it, so I ain’t steering, pushing the pedal or driving anymore!” I know- a real mature reaction. Let’s just say, I reached hustle burnout. So when I read this analogy, I questioned it a bit. Until I saw the words “you have to do the work seeking directions…” I was hustling so hard, but I wasn’t seeking. I was hustling for me, not for or with Him. An a-ha moment.
Have you experienced hustle burnout?
This chapter tied it all together for me. I don’t have to completely give up steering the wheel, pushing the pedal and driving the car (my life) because I’ve learned I was going about it all wrong before! Now I’ll start driving again, BUT I’ll be seeking in the two places she refers to in this chapter: 1. His word (the Bible) 2. What He has placed in us individually that directs our lives according to our gifts, abilities, interests, and natures. For this reason, I keep adding to my GAIN list. I’m staying open. I’m staying alert. I’m seeking. I’m following the “bread crumbs”.
And in case you missed it you can find more of my thoughts on Part 2 HERE I shared on instagram.