Who Are You?

 Photo: Emma Wilson

Photo: Emma Wilson

I read a lot of articles on BuzzFeed. Probably too much. I use it for dumb entertainment, sometimes for valid information, but mostly to take personality quizzes. I love personality quizzes. Please, World Wide Web, tell me which celebrity I should marry, or what my style is, or which Hogwarts house I should be sorted into (Hufflepuff, every time). Which, you know, is totally fine. Maybe.

It's been coming up a lot in my head, lately, the question of why I'm so into letting the internet tell me more about myself. Because, if we're being transparent, here, those quiz results carry way more weight than they should. Something about answering a series of completely absurd questions (What is your favorite meal? Where would you like to live?) and getting a certain description of myself at the end has become a sort of validation about who I am.

Yes, you read that right. I've gotten into this very bad habit of letting BuzzFeed quizzes define something about who I am.

WHAT?!

Now, listen, I'm not saying personality quizzes are bad. Mostly, they're hilarious and sometimes weirdly on point. But I kind of think this carries over into things like Myers-Briggs results, and aptitude tests, and the like. There is a part of me that clings to the results of these tests like a lifeline, because I've gotten in this habit of letting others name me. But at what point did it become okay for an outside source, especially one that knows my heart not at all, to speak into my identity?

Is this resonating with you? Do you know yourself? Are you completely confident in your identity, or is there a part of you that is unsure about who you are? And, if that's the case, do you let outside sources name the parts of you you can't identify? I think we all do, at some point or another. Probably far more often than we think. Here's a conclusion I've come to: our true selves are very hard for us to find, because they are buried under our expectations, our desires, outside opinions, and everything we are trying to make ourselves become. Am I right? Which is why there are times I turn to things like BuzzFeed, and my friends, and people who aren't friends at all, and I latch on to what they say about me because I don't know myself. Some of the things I latch onto are downright false. More often than not, the lies are things spoken innocently, but twisted by the Deceiver to feed my spirit poison. How easily he makes that happen! And how quick am I to believe it.

I think God wires into us the desire to be understood, and to understand ourselves. More than that, I think He very intentionally made it so the only way for us to truly begin to know ourselves is to first know Him. Our true selves, that identity hidden beneath layers of self-doubt, fear, expectation, opinions and culture, will never see the light until we are given the confidence to be freely who we are. And that confidence comes from exactly one place. The heart of God. He knows me, in a way no one else ever will. He understands how I am wired better than I do. The days that I feel like a crazy lunatic, God is not phased. He knows I like boys in plaid, but that boys with strong hands make me melt. He knows Myers-Briggs classifies me as ENFP, but there's a lot more to me than that. He knows. So why is it that it never occurs to me to ask Him about my identity? Why do I let everyone but God name me?

So I think maybe, for a bit, I'm going to take a break from BuzzFeed quizzes. Not because they're evil, but because my heart needs to learn where to seek its identity. Not on the internet, not in friends, not anywhere but in the heart of my Savior, who created me and knows me better than anyone, even Isabel Briggs Myers.