“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest achievement.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Imagine the following situation: You have a job interview coming up and you are super nervous. You are asking a friend for their advice in the hope that they can give you some valuable tips on how to impress your future boss. However what they tell you is to stop being worried and to “just be yourself”.
Have you ever gotten that advice? And have you ever asked yourself what that even means?
How can I be myself?
I believe the first step towards being yourself and living an authentic life is to figure out what is important to you. Once you know that you can make decisions accordingly. “Being yourself” means to make those decisions without fear, to not be ashamed of your choices and to be able to defend them.
This post is part two of a series on authentic living. I am sharing a bit of my experience in figuring out what it is that I hold to be truly important and how I want to live my life. You can read part one here.
As I explained last Monday, within this year I had to make three big decisions to live up to my own values and beliefs. The first one was to get married which I explained in last week’s post. Today I will be talking about the second big decision I made.
Part Two: I moved to a strange city for a church
This might sound a bit odd to you. Let me explain. As you probably have picked up from previous posts, my husband Edd and I believe in Jesus. We take Him as our role model and we wish to live our lives according to his teachings. We want to show love to people the way Jesus did and to bring hope and restoration to this world. When Jesus was on earth he brought good news, healed the sick, helped the poor and made friends with the outcasts of society. After he had died and risen from the dead he ascended into heaven but he gave his disciples instructions on how to continue what he started. This is how the first church came to be (I am giving a very rough account and there is a lot I left out – for more details I would recommend reading the book of Luke and the Book of Acts in the New Testament).
The Bible says that the church is supposed to be the representative of Jesus. This means that the church acts in Jesus’ place, it is supposed to continue his legacy, to bring hope, healing, justice and love to this world.
Edd and I very passionately want to be part of this legacy. That is why we moved to Blackpool to be part of a ‘church plant’ (which is just a fancy term for a start-up church).
This decision hasn’t been quite as dramatically life-changing as getting married (I don’t think you can do anything quite as life-changing except for maybe having children) but it certainly has shaped our lives a lot. We moved away from friends, jobs and our familiar surroundings. It has not always been easy but we had many situations in which we experienced that God is with us and that he looks after us. And the wonderful thing is that we are able to be a blessing in this place. We can be friends to people who are alone, we can speak truth where there is lies and give practical help and support where it is needed. What better way to live?