To move freely, one must be rooted deeply.
I didn’t write a post yesterday because I spent the day rummaging through boxes of school notes and a journals I kept. These were from age 8 until sophomore year in high school. So this post will particularly be for those within that age rage. But I believe still relevant in the adult world as well.
I have always been a writer. Something I had forgotten until yesterday. I am grateful for that however because it led me to journal keeping. And most of my journal keeping was for parts of my life I couldn’t remember. I had always thought it had something to do with my autoimmune disease. Which may be in part related because my hashimotos does affect that, however once I got done reading my journal, my initial reaction led me to believe it was far more than that. But we can get into that later, maybe.
What I am concerned about the most, was my desire to break boundaries. Throughout all of my journals I found one common thing. I did not want to be confined to one group of people.
See, in my high school there wasn’t a mixture of diversity within groups. You were made up of classifications and stuck within those boundaries. For someone new to the area (of 3000 people), who was from Orange County, California, this provided a problem for me. While I was wearing vans, dickies jeans, and did my hair in all sorts of “creative ways”. The rest of the school was into doc martins, country music, and Hollister and Abercrombie.
Because I didn’t “fit in” to the majority it designated me to one group. And don’t get me wrong, as I have re-learned and remembered about these people, these were some great people. Did we all have our issues yes. Were we perfect, no. But one thing I did realize is there was a genuine care for each other. However, I still had the desire to break the boundaries. I wanted to break the rules. I loved my friends but I wanted to be friends with everyone.
I failed miserably at this. And here is where you can learn from my mistakes. You do not have to change yourself to be friends with any one sort of person. And I know that seems so obvious and so simple, but I believe it is not so. Every time I made the transition to finding more friends or becoming closer to a new particular group I lost a piece of me and picked up a piece of them. Three to four groups later and I am a mixed up mess. I had no structure, no firm foundation or stability of who I was. See, you need to know who you are, what you believe, what your standards are and the things that make you …well you. And once you know, you can move freely without being altered by the world. But until then you are simply being conformed by the world. And being conformed by the world is scary, trust me, I spent most of my life this way. Because I knew God, but I wasn’t letting Him help me find my identity in Him. I was slowly finding my identity in everyone else around me.
Finding your identity in Christ is crucial. (This seems to be a recurring theme in my writings lately). And those who stand firm in their walk with God know that. They have experienced the blessings from being able to know who they are, when who they are is being challenged. Had I done this or had the opportunity to do this, I believe that I would have been able to be successful at my ultimate goal. To be friends with everyone.
My motives I believe were good. I wanted to break the boundaries between groups and my ideal world would have a merging effect. But because I lost pieces of me moving forward each time, that only led me to leave others behind. I lost a lot friends. Most of my last written notes within a friendship, would end with them asking “Why don’t we talk much anymore?”. But apparently I continued to move forward not realizing the damage being done and the bridges that were burning beyond repair.
So my advice to you is: if you are in school, that you do break boundaries. But that before you do it, you take the time to understand and accept who you are. That you no what is acceptable and unacceptable. You have all your ground rules laid out and you know which are non negotiable and which are. If you haven’t figured it out yet we as humans make horrible in the moment decisions and judgement calls. You know it’s true. Yes growth is good and change is good. But when it is placed in the right hands and within the right circumstances. If you are an adult, then it is still good and wise to be rooted. And to remind yourself of who you are and that you are not made of this world. That those around you do not define you.
If I knew who God was, I would have known who I was. There is a saying…”When the root is deep…There is no reason to fear the wind”. Good Lord, my roots were not deep and I should have feared the wind because I got pulled out of the ground daily. I lost the leaves that God had given me in the first place, only to leave myself with bare branches as I walked across my graduation stage. Be who you were made to be. Embrace your uniqueness, because I guarantee you more people will love you for it. And more importantly, you will love you for it.
And remember to move freely, one must be rooted deeply.