Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Moving On & Identity

SEEK2015 is over. I'm sitting at my kitchen table, drinking coffee, with Penny & Sparrow playing in the background thinking about how strange that is. Every waking second for the past four months have been consumed by this conference. This past year has been spent pouring over preparations to make this conference for 10,000 a reality. And now it's all over.

Sure, there are bills to pay, wrap up meetings to have, and summary reports to write. But for the the vast majority of the world, it's over. On to the next thing, right? Now it's time to pour into NST and into SLS and wrap my mind around the next big event FOCUS will be hosting.

That's what I thought the plan was.

Instead, I will be packing up all of my things and moving away from Denver and away from FOCUS to a fresh start in a few days. I'm terribly overwhelmed, excited, and sad. These people I've had the incredible honor of working with these past 1.5 years have shaped me so much. I look up to them in their faith and in their professionalism, and I hope to be like them one day.

Though it is hard and though I am sad, I am at peace. Jesus' hand is upon my shoulder, mourning FOCUS with me, but turning my head towards the Chicago skyline as we take this next step in the journey together.

What is scariest for me is what the answer to that daunting question of "who are you?" will be now that FOCUS Events is in my past. I remember a moment at the very beginning of the second semester of my senior year of college when I first confronted this question. I was stumped. For the past 3 years when someone asked me who I was, I was able to list a paragraph of positions and titles that made me important on campus: Panhellenic President, VP Greek Programming, Director of Special Events, etc. When I was a second semester senior, I no longer held those positions, and I didn't know how to define myself anymore. I was asked the question, "who are you," and I didn't know how to respond.

Now here I am, three years later, when my defining role is gone again and I am left with just me and Jesus. I don't know how I will respond when the question is asked. I thought it would terrify me. Instead, the future is exciting.

On the plane to Nashville, Holly & I sat by Sr. Amata of the Servidora's.  Out of no where she started talking about how when we work in the Church, we have a higher risk of attaching our consolation and identity to our work instead of simply attaching it to Jesus. She said that when people leave their work in the Church, they are uncomfortable for a bit as they stretch and learn how to just be with Jesus, but God usually calls them out so they can learn in a deeper way that their identity lies solely in Christ.

That's what I want for myself. Identity has always been my core issue, as it is for so many. For years after my conversion, I pretended that I no longer struggled with attaching my identity to what I do and the titles I wore. But as I walk away from FOCUS, I know it is still my biggest struggle. So as Jesus and I drive the 1,111 miles to Chicago, I pray that He can begin to chip away at who I think I am and replace that idea with who He wants me to be.

So pray for me as I move to the city, and pray for me as I wrap up this chapter of life in Denver. Though I do not know what the future holds, I know it is bright, because I will face it with Jesus.

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