November 1, 2015 by Carly Smyly
There are many seasons and people to whom I can attribute my becoming. I am who I am today because of my past.
I am one of the lucky ones to have been born into a family of generations who followed Jesus and carried on a legacy of hard work and love. Growing up I never had to worry about my safety or where my next meal came from. My parents gave me everything I ever needed and fulfilled my birthday and Christmas wish lists most years. I got to participate in sports, went to church, lived in nice homes, had many friends spend the night, and was taught a heightened work ethic. My sister showed me gentleness and determination. My brother protected me when I didn’t even know I needed it.
Because of my family, I became who I am today.
I am one of the lucky ones to have encountered adults (besides my parents) who invested in me at a young age. Several of them were friends of my parents, and they too had an impact; however, the couple who made the deepest impact invested in my relationship with Jesus from the day I met them and continued through many years. They’re still here for me even with thousands of miles between us. My youth pastor & his wife saw God’s hand in my life and gave me courage and support to dig deep and discover my identity in Christ.
Because of Andy & Kathy Rogers, I became who I am today.
I am one of the lucky ones to have experienced genuine community in more than one place – Calvin College, SpringHill Camps, Forest Home, Redlands, and Burbank. There are too many individuals to name who have taught me true friendship and authenticity, but you know who you are. These men and women walked with me through sorrow, pushed me toward healing, had faith when I couldn’t, gave me strength, laughed with me, cried with me, showed me Jesus, and made life rich.
Because of genuine community, I became who I am today.
I am one of the lucky ones to have served in an organization who developed me as a leader. SpringHill Camps invested in me as their employee. They taught me much about leadership and management in light of the Gospel. My leaders modeled the way of surrendering to Christ and working diligently to be mission-effective for God’s Kingdom.
Because of SpringHill, I became who I am today.
I am one of the lucky ones to have fallen in love with and married a loving and grace-filled man whose desire is to love others with the same love Christ showed us. Through Justin, I have experienced forgiveness, love, compassion, grace, mercy, healing, hope, joy, rest, and peace. He has taught me to ask hard questions, seek God’s wisdom, think critically about my opinions and faith, and love those who are marginalized. He has shown me love is worth pain and I am worth loving.
Because of Justin, I became who I am today.
I am one of the lucky ones to know God as my Father, Jesus as my Savior, and the Holy Spirit as my friend. In each season I have encountered people who deepen my understanding of our Triune God, and I have been shaped by my own studies, experiences, and conversations with Him. Recent years have brought me into a greater intimacy with Him. I attribute my life, my worth, my being to God.
Because of my relationship with Jesus, I became who I am today.
How have you become the person you are today?
Who has impacted you?
What moments have shaped you?
Thank You Father for providing for me, disciplining me, and creating me in your image. Thank You Jesus for loving me, saving me, and showing me how to love well. Thank You Holy Spirit for walking with me through this life and being my guide as I wade through the world in which I live. I pray for those who have not been so lucky as I have. I pray that You will show Yourself to them and reveal how You have blessed them as they look back on the things that have made them who they are today. May You help my readers to see Your goodness in their story, and respond with thanksgiving to You. Amen.