Who do You say I am?

Hey y’all! Wow it has been officially seven months, two weeks, and two days
since I stepped onto Portuguese soil to permanently live here. Let me tell you, it has been a roller coaster mentally and emotionally. As a teenage girl living in another country on the mission field, it has some effects on how you find self-identity. In general, being a teenager is confusing, overwhelming, an adventure and journey that shapes how you view yourself. But to add to the normal struggles, different experiences such as living in a new culture, meeting people from all parts of the world, changes of all kinds, and dealing with grief affect how we as teenage MKs navigate the world of self-identity.
Who am I? What makes me unique? Where’s my place in the world? How do the
people around me view me? Is this really the person I am? Am I reacting to the chaos in my head properly? These are all questions that continuously demand my attention in my head. This restlessness. This confusion. This uneasiness. It’s exhausting to say the least. Without your own “self-identity” it’s easy to conform to the personalities of others. Am I laid back and easy-going? Am I the life of the party? Am I quiet and shy? I hate this feeling of not knowing who I am. Everything in me feels dissatisfied and disgusted with not being able to understand myself. I have this dream girl in my head, but everyday I fall short of my expectations to be her. I don’t know who I am but I know who I want to be. Sadly, I feel she is out of reach. I will never be good enough to be the girl I want. Because I strive to quickly surmount these feelings and be everything I hope to be, I overwhelm myself with the feeling of failure. I long to be content and confident in my own skin. I crave the feeling of peace. So, to quickly rise above the terrifying questions and uneasiness, I find myself trying to completely determine who I am. How crazy is that though, especially at the age of fifteen? I desire a step by step, perfectly understandable guide on how to be the person of my dreams. But there is no such thing. Despite the feelings of anger, stress, and sadness, there is a beauty in not having a flawlessly crafted instruction plan. That’s where trust comes in. Trust that your Father knows who you are despite the fact you don’t yet. Trust that my Father is not done with me yet. However, I discover myself struggling to trust and instead want to do this all on my own. I need to repeatedly remind myself God is the One who defines me, not my feelings about myself.
So much goes into what makes a person, especially MKs. Adapting to new ways
of life, constantly putting yourself out there to meet new people, traveling to different countries, and dealing with grief changes you. Once at an MK “camp” week, there was a demonstration of blue play-dough and yellow play-dough. While living in the US you might be the blue play-dough and yet, life in your host country might be the yellow play-dough. As you grow, you begin to mix the two. You are no longer just blue. In a single human being you can have a mix of cultures, ways of life, and languages. And before you know it you’ve become green. Saying that moving to another country and traveling the world does not change a person is like saying the sun will be purple tomorrow. It’s impossible. The people I have met, the places I have seen, the experiences I have gone through are shaping me. Though I can’t tell you who I am exactly, I know for a fact that the life God has blessed me with is turning me into the person that God has created me to be. I am so grateful for the life Jesus has given me because He has opened my eyes to what is important in this world…sharing the gospel. At the same time though He has allowed me to examine the world He has created with much enjoyment.
All of this in conclusion to simply say being a teenager is hard. But if nothing else is made known about who I am or who I will become, I still have a firm foundation.
God’s Word tells me I am a daughter of the King, I am loved, and my Father will never leave me. John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Remember your identity is in Christ.

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