If I had to count the number of times I have asked myself this question I would probably get a 3 or 4 digit times. As part of my journey to find God, draw nearer to him and fulfill his purpose for me, I had to ask myself who I am. What I stand for and who I want to be. I used to identify myself as a strong black woman, feminist, programmer, entrepreneur, humanitarian, sister, daughter and blogger. You can imagine the weight of trying to carry all that titles around that barely mean a thing. As I was growing up I had people comparing me to other girls or I would watch a woman on tv and admire her character then I would go on to try to be that person either because other people had so many good things to say about those people. I wanted to be admired like that too and that made me lose the person I was. This is common nowadays. We are being pushed to be people we might not even want to be. The influencer pandemic has affected a lot of young women, including myself.
A few months ago if you asked what I want I would mention different characteristics of various women. Imagine trying to merge different identities into one. That is how I got my identity crisis. You had the Tanaka that I wanted to be, the Tanaka people see and the original Tanaka that I ignored. This is why I ran to God. I wanted him to reveal who I was and that is when I realized that I had to take this journey one step at a time and I started by studying the women in the Bible.
From ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
God is the only person that knows your purpose which is why I have set up boundaries so that people do not tell me who I am supposed to be. Yes you are allowed to give me advice and constructive criticism but I want to have the option to choose how I behave and how the world experiences me. The brand that God has made me to be is not what I thought it was. I am not a feminist not because I do not believe in the equality of women but it’s not an identity I want to be stuck with. Just because I am a woman does not mean I should be given the title.
Self identity is important when people cross your boundaries especially when I need to tell people how to treat me. For the longest time I thought gifts were not my thing because I wanted to keep the “independent woman” persona but I have grown to realize that I love them. That is who I am. No I am not needy but I it’s nice to be appreciated.
All I am saying is do not let society tell you who you are supposed to be. Most people are out there living a lie. I made a promise to myself that I would only start posting on social media when I am sure that everything around me is real and true. You have to keep loving yourself, celebrating yourself and not be ashamed of who you are. Because God has one plan for you and that is:
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV – For I know the plans I have for you ,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
So don’t let anyone else define you.