By Sara Ostrander
When I was asked to write up a blog, I quickly had something in mind. You see, I am a perfectionist by nature so I was already planning out what to write, how I would write it, what verses I could use—you name it. I had finally been able to carve out some time in my crazy and hectic life and as I sit down, my mind goes blank. As I sit there staring at a blank Word document I think to myself “hummmm maybe I’m not in the right setting”, so I move. Now I am sitting up in my office and still blank. I try to write some thoughts down and still NOTHING sounded right. So, then I think maybe I need some coffee or tea. As I grab that and sit down I think “well maybe I need some background music” I first try calm classical, then I go to motivational Christian and STILL nothing. By the time, I was all “situated” I had changed placed three times, had a coffee, tea, some pretzels, and had changed the music several times and still there was still a blank Word document in front of me.
“Come on Lord, I NEED to write something for Jen, I promised her! Please help me focus!” Suddenly in my heart I hear this small voice saying “Sara, who are you?” My first thought was “God, not right now, I’ve gotta write this blog” but then I hear it again: “Sara, who are you” …and thus, my blog post emerged.
Who am I? It’s a simple question, right? When asked who I am, my response is that I am Sara, a recent college graduate who is a social worker with a husband, a cute kiddo (who is turning 1 in less than a month!) and a cat. I like to sing, dance, do martial arts, and laugh. But is that really who I am?
Who are you? We have all been asked that question before--In job interviews, when we meet a new person, first time meetings in small groups—you name it. And we all know the “right” answer. Your job, your family, where you live, how old you are, yadda, yadda, yadda. But what happens when all of that superficial stuff is stripped away, when all the materialist 1st world things have been swept aside and you are left with…well, YOU.
In Genesis 32:22-32 we read about a man named Jacob. A little background information: before this passage, Jacob stole the birthright from his brother Esau and when his brother found out, Jacob ran. Now Jacob is on the run and he comes to a place where he wrestles with an angel. Some theologians believe that this angel is God Himself. They struggle for hours and hours and at day break the angel finally says let me go. Jacob refuses to let this angel to until he blesses him. Then the angel says, “what is your name”.
Back then, your name was more than what you were given to be called when you were born. Your name meant: your identify, your character, the very core of who you were as a person. So, when the angel asked, “what is your name” He already knew it was Jacob, he wanted to know, however, who Jacob thought he was. You see Jacob had a past, like us all. He did things he was not happy of, he lied, deceived, stole, and then in fear, he ran.
So here Jacob is wrestling with God and at daybreak after several hours Jacob finally stops and tells the angel “I am Jacob”. At that point, Jacob was done. He was done being Esau his older brother, he was tired of being a deceiver, being afraid, and living a lie. He was ready to become who God intended him to be. Jacob. And because of that Jacob became a king of a nation. A KING! He wrestled with God and overcame and God used that as a stepping stone to make His kingdom shine.
Who am I? To be honest, for a long time who I was I did not like. I had believed so many lies for so long that who I was, was not desirable (or so I thought). What I saw was that I was a failure, stupid, weak, and ugly (the list could literally go on and on). I, like Jacob, had a past. I thought that my past defined me and acted as such. Then I started going to this small group where I was challenged on those thoughts and I wrestled with God (there was A LOT of wrestling). God would ask me, Sara who are you and as He asked that question He began to strip away all that I thought was me and as I came to my daybreak God asked me again, Sara who are YOU and I smiled as I knew the answer—I am cherished, loved, a daughter of the King. I am beautiful, beloved, chosen, desired, and free. And with those truths, God is using me as a stepping stone for His kingdom.
So, I challenge you, who are you? If your first thoughts are like mine once were I challenge you to look to the Word because the Word is truth and nowhere in there does it say those things like failure, worthless, stupid, etc. (trust me, I’ve checked). I dare you to consider wrestling with God and discover who you really are because once you know who you are—beloved daughter of the one true King—life opens up to things unimaginable.