Winnie Million shares how God was faithful in her weakness. Finding her identity in him, not her achievements, finally gave her the peace she had been searching for all along.
“The biggest turning point in my walk for me was I always approached life from a perspective of living outside of myself. Growing up it was about doing well – achieving. Doing well in school. And it was always a sense of your worth, your value – well for me at least. My worth, my value, my sense of peace, my sense of happiness, was laying somewhere in the future when I would achieve certain goals.
My worth, my value, my sense of peace, my sense of happiness, was laying somewhere in the future when I would achieve certain goals.
So, throughout school, I pushed myself really hard. And I’d gotten to the point when I got into university now where it all sort of came crashing down. Because when I finished matric I thought, well, “going to university now is going to be a new experience. And I am gonna feel like I’m more like myself. I’m just going to love myself more and love life. And I am gonna have a sense of peace and a sense of joy.” Just sort of like coming into my fullness. And my first year of university was nothing like that.
The unending chase for my identity
I found it difficult. I found it challenging. And I also felt like “Oh my goodness! The chase is just not ending!” Like, I finished matric. I’ve done well. But now I’m chasing after a degree. So like when do I actually get to feel happy? When do I get to feel peace? When do I get to feel like I’m enough as a person?
In that first year was when everything sort of like really came crashing down. And without being clinically diagnosed I knew that I was actually depressed. And I just wanted things to stop. But unfortunately, I was not in a position where I could actually just stop for a year. Or take a gap year in life – just to take a break and sort myself out. I had to keep going. So that was really challenging.
During this time, as well, I would be sitting with friends, I will be sitting with family and laughing with them and smiling. But then I would have moments when I would go back to my room and actually cry. Because I am just so sad. I am just… I’m struggling to understand how are people able to laugh and smile and be happy? I’m laughing with them but I do not feel happy. And having moments, as well, where I will get up in the morning and it’s actually painful to wake up. And I just… I didn’t wanna live.
the acceptance and love that I was searching for and hoping to find in achieving certain things in my life, He had it already.
My Discovery of God’s Peace
But during this time, as well, it sent me on a deeper journey of really trying to understand “God who are you really? The peace that you say that I will find in you – when I accepted Jesus Christ – and you said come to me and I will thirst no more… Why do I not have that? Why am I not experiencing that?” It was during this process and during this time of my seeking and in reading and just spending time, a deeper time I guess, with God, that I really came to understand that God is here. And that God is now. That the peace and the joy, and the acceptance and the love that I was searching for and hoping to find in achieving certain things in my life, He had it already. It was available for me right now at this moment.
Peace that Surpasses All Understanding
When I was able to grasp that I finally felt like I was starting to feel the love and that peace, and that joy and that acceptance. But obviously it didn’t mean that everything around me had changed. In my moments of quiet and prayer, I felt that peace. I felt that love. But then I didn’t know how to fully approach now my daily life and live from that place. So it was over a period of time now that I was able to now learn to approach my life from this place.
So yes, I still chase goals and I still chase achieving things. But I approach it from a place of knowing that I am already accepted. I am already loved. I am already enough as I am. And if I achieve that goal great. And if I don’t achieve it – it’s OK. You know? It’s not a train smash. I am still loved, I am still accepted. I am still enough as I am. And I still…. and I belong to God.
I am already enough as I am. And if I achieve that goal great. And if I don’t achieve it – it’s OK.
Life in God’s Peace
You need to understand your identity and understand who you are. That identity can only be found in God. And when Jesus says “come to me and you will thirst no more,” what it literally means is that you come to him and you find that fullness. Finally you will find that completion that you are looking for in a marriage, in having a child, in having a successful career. When you build that up, you hold it as an idol that “when I achieve this, then all these things that I hope to feel I’m gonna find it in that thing.” But the reality is that this world is not designed to give us any of that. And we are trying to find an identity in achieving those things.
But when you know what your identity is in God and in Christ, and you understand that his love for you is here right now, and he completely loves you and completely accepts you, and you have got a full identity in Him, then you are able to still have those dreams. And approach working towards those dreams from a place of not being attached to it. That you are coming… you are approaching it from a place of knowing that I’m full already. As opposed to I’m chasing after that because I’m trying to fill myself up.
So I would say, know who God is and understand who you are in God. And seek to have your identity fully anchored in who God is.