Definitions

So if you’re on Twitter, maybe you’ve noticed what I’ve noticed.  Click on any random person’s profile and you’ll most likely see this as their bio: noun. Noun. Noun. Noun. Serious noun. Funny noun.

That’s the basic formula, give or take a few nouns. Maybe add in some adjectives for some spice. Throw in periods between each one. It’s also nice to mix up your serious and funny words to show you’re thoughtful, but hey, you’ve got a funny side too. Here’s a theoretical one:

Brother. Friend. Marathon Runner. Buddhist Monk. Eater of cheese & crackers.

It’s just a trend I noticed as I was updating my own bio for this blog. I started thinking about how my nouns and adjectives have changed quite dramatically in recent months. Six months ago, my hypothetical twitter bio might have read:

Student. Impervious to stress. Confident optimist. Christ-follower. Betrothed to Josh Groban.

Yeah, I mean those last two are pretty permanent fixtures to my hypothetical Twitter bio, but those first three, as well as so many other nouns and adjectives I could have chosen, just aren’t true anymore. You don’t have to know me intimately to sense that the past few months of my life have been difficult. I used to consider myself so stable and stress-free. I was pretty good at letting stuff roll right off my back. Then all of a sudden I was unable to sleep and for the first time I could empathize with those who suffer from anxiety and worry and *eesh* depression. I don’t really know if this is just a phase I’m in or if it’s the beginning of a whole new set of struggles I’ll be dealing with for a long, long time.

The truth is, transitions are just difficult. I’m in one of those now. I was talking with a friend the other day who said that post-college twenties are “desert years.” I know what she means. I feel like those Israelites, wandering around in search of the Promised Land, sometimes wondering if it’s out there at all. All the while, I have been learning to lean on God through all of this and though I sometimes fail to recognize it, he has been holding me close, gently raining down manna in one form or another.

I’ve been focusing on this idea of healing and restoration that pops up in the Bible from cover to cover. I embraced the idea that God would help get me back to where I was, that he would “bind up my wounds” a la Hosea 6:1 and that I’d be carefree and confident once more. But what I’m realizing now is that God’s definition of restoration isn’t exactly like mine. Instead of making me what I was, or even a better version, he makes me new. A new creation.

Today I woke up to weather that was 30 degrees cooler than yesterday. Fall is settling in here in Columbia. The seasons are marching onward and so am I. I won’t tarry with who I was two years ago, two months ago, two days ago. I don’t need to hang onto the definitions I’ve assigned to myself that change with the seasons of my life. God is unchanging and permanent through all circumstances. The only definition of mine that matters is that I am His.

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19

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