Roots before Branches: To know who I am

Last night, I had a conversation with a dear friend. I call her dear, because, she’s precious to me. I’ll tell you why. She has to get a small spiel from me, and it’s because even though, we’ve met and sort of known each other in high school and before college,  she was the one to reach out to me as soon as I returned home from California this past January. I wasn’t all that aware that I’d need someone like her in my life at the time, but ever since then, she’s been one of the few constants in my life thus far. I appreciate having her to talk to every single day, even multiple times a day. Her perspective matters a great deal to me, and I’m ever so grateful to the Lord for bringing her into my life.
She also keeps a blog, you can read it here:

Now, getting back to the conversation, we talked about my mom. Just from her knowing me and what I’ve talked about concerning my mom, she said a few things that meant a lot:

The context is this – – I’m trying to figure out who I am right now. There isn’t anything in particular stopping me, and I have a lot of growing to do, but that’s the basis of this whole thing – I’m trying to figure it all out. So I started this part of the conversation by saying that the majority of people that I know me call me cute, and sweet – – [ explanation: but rarely do I hear anyone tell me that I’m pretty, or smart (am I?) or beautiful. Once in a blue moon will I hear those and maybe several others, but in general it’s the “you’re sweet” and “you’re so cute”] – – on many levels, I could say it’s just wrong. Why? Because an adult woman, doesn’t want to be called something that most people would call children. I had this one instance where a friend of mine told me that a dress I was interested in buying looked “too grown up” for me. It was almost like being shot. What was that even supposed to mean? The point is, I’m still treated more like a girl and not necessarily a 24 year old woman.
I told her that I could just play off the cute part and let that be my talent, (because I have no idea what my talent is..) and on occasion I do actually like being cute…it’s just not cool when it trumps my being an adult and my womanhood.

Abigail: what do you like about your mom?
            is there a characteristic of who she is that you want to be???
: creative
she was very creative
Abigail: I feel like it’s a lot more about your person than about what you’re doing
in the things she made, etc.
I never thought I’d want to be like my mom
she was creative. Made things, decorated the house, etc.

and her person

she really loved the Lord

despite how she felt in being sick, etc.

: anything else?
: that’s all i’ve got right now
i don’t remember much
      I have to rely on what my family tells me about her
     she was a fighter
     and stubborn
i like the fighter part

Abigail: it’s a characteristic of overcoming 🙂
  I didn’t know your mom at all
  but from the cards, it seems that she had a very large heart
  cared for a lot of the saints in a personal way
  people felt connected to her
  they weren’t just coming by to do their duty
 Abigail:I see that in you as well
 Me: really?
 Abigail: yeah
  you care about a few people very, very much
  me, ……, your dad, your sister
 and you really cared about certain sisters who shepherded your mom
  you wanted to be able to reach out to them to honor your mom
  write something special
  help convey the gratitude you feel toward them for helping you have more time with your mom
  and even when you talk about what you want to study
  it’s more than self-fulfillment

This meant so much to me. Here’s where I jump into some Biblical aspect of it all: the end result of our lives is really to express Christ. In the Life-Study of Genesis message 109 – it says this: “The quality of a man’s life and the outcome of his life are determined primarily by the last stage of his life, not by the first stage. It can be compared to runners in a race. It does not mean much that you run well at the beginning of the race. The final result is what counts.” – – As you read through that specific message, it’ll talk more about Jacob and Paul. The end of both of their lives is significant, but in this case, Paul’s end was much simpler than Jacob’s. Jacob had been involved in so many things, his wives, his children, geographical regions, and Paul, on the other hand, had no involvements such as those that Jacob had. Paul died in prison. Jacob, at the end of His life, having been touched by God (three circumcisions: as a baby, when he wrestled with God and again on His deathbed) He came to absolutely trust in Him. He no longer had any natural strength, but had to trust in the grace of God absolutely, having no ability to move on his own.

Personally, I have often felt as though I couldn’t move in any direction. Many times. By reading over this life study again, I realize that I’m finally getting to a point where I need to trust the Lord and take His grace for whatever it is that He’s intending in me and for me.
Moving right along to this morning’s message (the second one) of the Memorial Day Conference. I was touched by this matter of the boards in the tabernacle needing to be overlaid with gold. The gold is God Himself. The wooden boards are us, but they are boards of acaciawood, signifying that if we are the boards, we cannot be common boards, we have to be those transformed, overlaid with gold. As we are overlaid with gold, as we are saturated with God Himself (the gold) eventually the individual boards are not seen, but the gold is seen. This means that the end result is just gold. Our prayer needs to be that of receiving more gold, receiving more of God. Then, only is our natural life, our natural strength, completely gone. Lord, I need more gold, I need more God!!!
I want to gain more of God!! – – I have to confess that ever since my mom’s passing, I’ve been struggling with the feelings that I just don’t want to remain believing in the Lord. I want to just live my own life and not have to own up to Him, or to anyone for that matter. However, my realization is this: I need more God. The only way I’m going to get more God is by turning to Him, staying in His word in a steady way and remaining with the other believers, with the saints. Over all, the Lord needs to be glorified, expressed in us.

To see my mom at the end of her life as one who glorified the Lord in the way she loved the saints and loved Him…that’s truly an expression of our God.
That is what I want to be like. I always question every step I make however small, however big, because I know that in some form or another I’m supposed to be expressing Christ. I’m really bad at this at the moment. I keep failing, but we all do, so I’m not just writing it off, we have a long ways to go. But when people see me at the end of my life, what will they say about me? To others, can I express my God?

Anyway, I need to grow more in the Lord. That’s where this song comes in:
“So many things to do and say,
But I can’t seem to find my way
But I wanna know how
I know I’m meant for something else.
But first I gotta find myself
But I don’t know how….

I gotta have roots before branches
to know who I am
before I know who I wanna be
and faith to take chances
to live like I see
a place in this world for me”

So, can I let Him grow in me? Can I get to know who I am to the extent that I’m willing to let Him in so that He can grow be expressed?
This is my time to figure out who I am, but to also let the Lord more into my being so that He would be fully expressed through me. It’s a struggle, letting my natural life, my old man, completely die so that the Lord would fully have His way, but that’s why I like learning. I’m learning to be a Christian that can express Him. Little by little. He’s faithful. He’ll complete the good work. I just need to trust Him. He causes the growth in us. He’ll do it. I don’t always have faith, but He does.
So my roots in Him need to be perfected so that they can be branches in His vine. I trust He’ll help me figure out who I am along the way and where I’m supposed to be, where He wants to lead me to be.

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