I love personality tests. It started when I was a teenager and used my babysitting money to buy Seventeen magazines. “Are you Rachel or Monica? What do your favorite scents tell you about your future? If your life were a movie what would it be called? Take this simple quiz to find out!” Oh Seventeen magazine pulled me in every time as I desperately tried to discover who I was and what I would become.
Now as an adult, well into my journey of “becoming” I am still searching for those answers. Seventeen magazines have been traded for books and online assessments as I try to discover what kind of a leader I am, where my shortfalls are and how I can develop my strengths.
I love it, this journey of discovering and becoming, and I find it so incredibly helpful. But I am also learning that this is a lifelong process and sometimes I ask the wrong questions.
Moses struggled with this too. Fresh off the field, having settled into a life that he was quite comfortable with, God interrupts his plans with a leadership calling. And Moses first question in the moment of becoming is: “Who am I?”
“Who am I? Who am I to lead? Who am I to speak? Who am I to influence? Who am I to take on this job, this role, this position?” Ever asked those questions? (Both of my hands just went up in the air... that’s a double yes for this girl).
“Who am I?” Moses asks God. I imagine Moses frantically pulling out the Old Testament version of Seventeen magazine quizzes and showing the results to the voice in the Burning Bush. “See here, it told me my ideal career path is shepherding. It says I’m best suited for a quiet life in the country. My brother Aaron’s skills assessment test said ‘leader’ not mine. Who am I God to do this? Who am I?”
Now if I was God (everyone exhale, thank goodness that’s not the case) I would respond back to Moses with a resounding speech, the kind coaches makes before the team plays the big game. I would tell Moses exactly who he is. “Moses you’re a leader! Moses you were born for greatness! Moses you are the man for the hour!”
But God saves that speech for another day. Instead He responds to Moses’ profound question of “who am I?” with a strong, emphatic answer of: “I will be with you.”
That is not the answer Moses was looking for. In fact, it appears like that is not an answer to his question at all. “Who am I?” “I will be with you.”
Maybe God misheard Moses’ question. Or maybe God knew that it was more important for Moses to know who God was and where God was, than for Moses to know who he was.
All these personality tests that I’ve taken over my life (and will continue to take) have been so helpful. But at the end of the day, what I’m called to still feels daunting to me. I still look at the tasks on my day planner, the dreams in my heart, the people I am called to lead and think: “who am I to do this?”
And then I remember: who God is. And I hold onto the promise that He is with me. And that knowledge is more empowering to me than any other truth I know about myself.
Who am I? Who are you? We are leaders. We are women of influence. We are women with a calling and a holy destiny. But greater than that... God is our Provider. He is All Sufficient. He is the Miracle Worker. He is More than Enough. He is the Great I Am. And He is with us.
Thanks Seventeen magazine for all your assessments and predictions. But on days when I’m uncertain, I know the answer that I need, is found only in who Jesus is. And His promise that He is with me.
On days when leadership feels like it is beyond what you can handle, I pray that you my friend, will know your answer to “who am I?” is that He is. And that alone should make us lace up our shoes and get back to work. There’s a calling to fulfill.