On Becoming Me

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If you had told my high school self that at the mature old age of 26 I would be blogging about my life to the world {ok, a select few friends who kindly read my posts}, I would have been horrified. Completely aghast. In utter denial. Laugh like I was 80+ year-old Sarah overhearing she’d give birth to a baby boy. Check your pockets to see what you’d been smokin’.

Because if you had known me in high school {and for goodness sakes if you did, bless you if you’re still hanging around}, you knew a different Susanna.

High school Susanna thought she had it all together. Thought emotion was like Cruella de-Vil and should be locked up and never released. Thought being honest about what really went on inside her heart was between her and God and for no one else to know. Thought if she didn’t spend an hour a day reading her Bible and praying that God wouldn’t bless her or hear her cries for help until she made up for lost time. Thought that Christians should always smile and say “Praise the Lord” no matter what. Thought that the only way to truly be happy was to make sure everybody else was happy. Thought that the way others viewed me was the most important thing in the world. Thought that the ideal Christian woman existed, that I could be her, if I tried hard enough.

So for me to blog, to be honest about my life, to be candid about my struggles, to own my failure, to express desires, passions, and ambitions is a work of God’s good grace.

There was a lot of pressure to “keep one’s testimony” growing up, meaning “don’t mess up or people won’t want to become a Christian.” Or at least that’s how it translated to a teenager’s mind. I took that, because I took myself, very seriously, and carefully guarded my secret sins and shortcomings. I did so well at it, in fact, that I even fooled myself.

But God is releasing me from that lie, he’s freed me from thinking God’s reputation depends on my behavior. He’s God and he can look out for Himself. I’m not God’s body-guard, nor am I his public relations manager. He holds all the cards, keeps track of all the accounts. He is God and does all he pleases and no one can stop him. And there’s a lot of freedom in that. And a lot of security.

So on a day like today, when it’s 10:19pm, and I still haven’t showered, I can tell you that and not feel a bit ashamed. But let’s be honest, not taking a shower isn’t something most people would gasp at, especially if you stay home with your kids. Where grace really meets you is when you’ve cast off reading your Bible to catch up on Facebook or gotten short with your kid because they barged in on you in the bathroom because they can’t stand to be separated you for 30 seconds straight. Or when you’ve let your mind wander into a land of lies and lust because you’re tired and don’t feel like fighting.

Grace also frees me to share that I’m passionate about learning, cell biology, baking, editorial and architectural photography, reading, organization, and transparent friendships. Knowing that God accepts me keeps from feeling like I have to hide my ambitions because I’m afraid of being labeled as a failure when I don’t succeed in them.

But the point of grace isn’t to make it so that we can dump our junk on people and not care a wit about their response. Rather, grace sets us free from pretense and deception both to ourselves and others so that we can build each other up, because we realize we’re in this thing called life – together. “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” {Eph. 4:25}. Awesome sermon along those lines found here.

After a couple years of blogging, I’m finally starting to realize the basics. Blogging is really about knowing who you are and being able to express that confidently and humbly. It’s taken me a few years, but I’m finally ok with admitting that I like Anne of Green Gables, that I indulge in photography for the fun of it, that I don’t get up early to blog but rather use my daughter’s nap time instead, that I prefer an evening at home instead of a night on the town, that parties scare me and one-on-ones nourish my soul, that sometimes I get out my college science text books and day-dream about the basics of calcium channels and myosin fibers, that I have no earthly idea what my official niche is,

that I am me.

{Linking up to Pencilled Daydream}

Comments

  1. k. liz says:

    It’s awesome to see how grace forms and shapes us. I had thought that I’d become who I was going to be in high school, only to have God completely strip away and re-make me, teaching me concepts of the Gospel and grace and interaction in University and beyond.

    It’s awesome to read the things that God has changed in you. With some of them, I’m nodding along, rejoicing for the lessons learned. In others, you are challenging me to keep pursuing and growing, because I’m definitely not there yet.

    And you continue to challenge me to find ways to be transparent and real in my writing as well. Thanks, Susanna!!

    • Susanna says:

      He’s every revising our life plans isn’t he? Not that he didn’t write a perfect plan from the beginning, but the plan we conceive is much different from his and he’s always working to align it with his own, for our best good, for his glory. Can be so tough in the midst of it, but he doesn’t leave us but gently leads us. So grateful! I’m glad this encouraged you friend. Gives me much joy 🙂

  2. Congratulations!!!

    I think you are a fantastic blogger, therefore, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award Nomination.

    Please visit my blog where you will see your nomination – Hooray, Congratulations and Celebrations!!! http://laurieslovelyliving.com/2013/08/01/versatile-bloggers-nominations/

    There are five rules you will need to follow. You will find these rules in Part I of my versatile blogger post at http://laurieslovelyliving.com/2013/07/27/i-am-a-versatile-blogger-or-so-ive-been-told/

    If you have already have this award then take this as a sign your blog rocks. If you don’t already have this award then take this as a sign your blog rocks. Either way, YOU rock!!

    Keep up the fantastic work!!

    Love, Laurie

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  3. graceatwork78 says:

    This is great! I loved reading this and resonated with so much of it…keep blogging and being you! You are such an encouragement to Karlyn and me and we appreciate that so much!

    • Susanna says:

      Ricky, that word does much to encourage me! Thank you! So grateful you guys are around. Look forward to spending more and more time with you as God keeps us both here in Baltimore.

  4. jendbama says:

    This is something I really needed to see I think, since I’m just going into college in a few weeks. Thank you for this insight, it is much appreciated and I love to read your posts like this, it inspires me!

  5. Karlyn says:

    Really enjoyed reading this, Susanna! Thank you. 🙂 Cell Biology? Really? 🙂

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