If I asked you to tell me about yourself, what would you say? Or what if you were meeting someone for the first time, and they wanted to know what you were about — what details would you give them?
One year ago, if you were to ask me to tell you about myself, here are the qualities I would have listed.
I was single, lived in Portland, Oregon, in an apartment with a friend downtown. I worked for myself and was a part of Solid Rock Church, and loved my community there. Something interesting about myself was that I didn’t own a car, and loved to ride my bike and navigate public transportation around the city.
I also kept a blog where I wrote mostly about dating and relationships.
The problem is that now, one year later, none of those things are true about me.
To make matters worse, a few weeks ago I took a test that told me my personality profile. I was excited to see the results because it’s been a long time since I’ve taken a test like this, and because after all that has changed, I felt like it would give me a handle on what my strengths and gifts are in this season.
The problem was I took the test, and the results came back “unreadable.”
The proctor of the test told me, “Sometimes that happens after periods of intense change or transition — it’s normal. Try taking the test again in a couple of months.”
His words were supposed to be comforting.
But they weren’t.
It was such a disheartening feeling to look around my life, and not recognize any of it. It was hard to feel like I didn’t have a personality anymore. I told my husband, “If someone were to ask me to tell me about myself, I wouldn’t know what to say.”
Here’s the thing I’m learning in this season. I am not defined by my city, my marital status, my preference in transportation, my hobbies, or even my strengths and gifts. I’m not defined by my personality, my friend group, my church community, my hair color, or my clothing choices. I’m not defined by any of the things that most of us use to define ourselves.
So if we can’t define ourselves by any of those things — how are we supposed to define ourselves?
I’ve been wrestling with this lately, and I can’t say I have all the answers, but I will tell you — I’ve been asking the questions. I’ve been asking God to show me: Who do you say I am? The answers are surprising me.
Question: How do you define yourself?