Psalm 139:14, Jeremiah 29:11-13

Valerie Elliot shares personal reflections on how she found who she was, as she sought relationship with God.

Valerie Elliot
Valerie Elliot

Like most of us, I had many dreams and aspirations from childhood into adulthood. I wanted to be a teacher, artist, architect, fashion designer, lawyer, IT consultant and then back to teacher and philanthropist. Being naturally creative and artistic, I easily expressed myself through poetry, writing, drawing and my personal appearance, but I still deeply longed to express who I was; who I was created to be. I just wanted to be ME, whatever that meant.

I started to pursue a closer relationship with God, a relationship I had established at a very young age. Unpleasant personal experiences had shifted my focus and caused me to shield my heart, even from God. I loved God, but not 'church'. I loved God, but feared Him too much to be vulnerable to His plans for me.

However, my quest for purpose and identity stirred up a desire for intimacy with God. I wanted to know what He was thinking when He made me. What was the plan? Who am I? Why am I here? The more questions I had, the more I sought the Lord for the answers.

The more I searched for ME, the more I got to know my Lord in a very personal way. Over time, I found out more about His ways, His unfailing love for mankind, His pleasures and displeasures. This caused me to love and trust Him all the more!

He won my heart with the beauty and wonder of who He is. The power of His love restored my childhood passion for Him. I became more interested in spending time with my redeemer and friend, than finding ME; but the more I got to know Him, the greater the desire I had to be ME. I longed to be the exact expression of His heart for creating me. To be the manifestation of His wonderful thoughts concerning me. I finally believed the truth that, '"I am fearfully and wonderfully made; ...And my soul knows it very well."' (Psalm 139:14)

The more I knew Jesus, the more I got to see myself in Him. I could see the potential of who I really am. The beauty of purity, the power of grace, the freedom in surrender and the wisdom of His ways.

The more I rested in His love and embraced His truth, the more lies were dispelled and limitations removed. The more I honoured Him, the more He revealed Himself to me! Calling me out of worldly reasoning, renewing my mind and unveiling my heart to receive the seeds of His truth about me.

The once dry and barren heart that pursued identity in my own understanding, has now become a beautiful, flourishing garden, where the River of Life flows freely and impacts the world around me.

I finally found ME! I found myself right inside of Him. I continue to pursue knowing Him, as He continues to pursue me with a greater intensity of His love. What a life of glorious adventure the Lord has for us all!

That dream, that hope, that desire, that need, that promise. Find it in God. Find it in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Find it in fellowship with Holy Spirit. Find it in His written word, the Bible. SEEK GOD AND FIND YOU!

'"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me."' (Jeremiah 29:11-13) CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.