Over the past few years, I've been on what I consider to be a soul journey, of sorts, and in the process, learning much about myself.
In this current season of my life, getting to know Rachel involves spending time and resources talking with a therapist who draws out parts of my story that I had previously glossed over, or numbed using a variety of means, or even held onto with a death grip.
It means having weighty conversations, reconciling my past, questioning assumptions or agreements I've made about myself, and re-writing aspects of my personal narrative.
It looks like stilling my mind and body long enough to be attuned to what God is saying to me; praying, journaling, listening, and meditating are practices a part of this too.
There's so much more to it, obviously, but in essence, I'm learning how to love the woman God made me to be, because for most of my life, I haven't loved her.
Incorporating these practices, and others--such as studying the Enneagram--have given me language for what I deeply long for: to be heard, seen, and understood.
The deep-seated motivations of longing to be known (by others, in addition to embracing the truth that God knows me better than I know myself) have manifested themselves in not-so-healthy ways for a long, long time. (Add in residual sparked by trauma + substance abuse + unhealed woundings, and well, it's pretty much a recipe for a walking disaster).
I'm a big believer that awareness is a foundational ingredient to the start of healthy changes and transformation in one's life, and as such, have accepted that I tend to associate myself with my emotions and feelings.
Finding healthier ways to exert these deeper longings and reconciliations of mine haven't always looked pretty, but has been completely worth the struggle of questioning my emotions.
It's easy for me to step into the roles I so often associate myself: wife, mom, friend, daughter, volunteer, among others.
But to live out of my truest form--as a woman loved, seen, heard, and fully known by God--has taken longer to wrap my head around and walk in.
Yet, little-by-little (sometimes two steps forward, one backward), it's something I'm learning to accept more and relish.
It is my true identity. And it is yours too.
What about you--where are you on the journey to live fully known?
Are there parts of you that are kept under a mask--a protective sheath that covers and heaps shame, or do you become a chameleon depending on who you're with? Do you long to live from an inner place far different from where you live now, but don't know where to start?
If so, start by allowing these words to speak to the deepest parts of your soul:
“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.”
[Ps. 139:1-4, TPT]
May we both find freedom in living from a place of being known.