Claire Lim, Participant
Hello, I am Claire from NUS, a soon-to-be Y2 Life Sciences student. This is my standard introduction of myself as I joined the different breakout rooms in SOCL and serving in Kickstart, an inter-university freshmen retreat. Although I was introducing myself multiple times throughout Summer, I was wrestling with my identity. I felt like a “too” girl – I was too excited, too loud, too emotionally-driven, too spontaneous, too much and too little. The idea of me being in excess of a supposed ideal personality gnawed away at me, causing me to retreat into myself. I became afraid of fully expressing myself and allowing myself to feel the emotions that arose in me, in my interactions with others. I was terrified that they would add another “too” label to their perception of me, making me too big, too excessive of a person for them to love. Compounding this struggle of an excessive personality was a multi-year shackle of feelings of inadequacy and comparison. While I knew Jesus during this period of time, I felt like there was a distance between us. On Day 1, the session giver asked us to draw out what our current relationship with God looked like, I drew God and I reaching out towards each other, but still separated by some space. This space between us was formed because I had a hard time of reconciling the lies of my identity with the truth that I am intentionally made and known by the Lord.
Despite carrying these burdens, I did not intentionally bring them up to the Lord in SOCL. However, through the School, I was granted the time and space to be unapologetically myself before the Lord and He very graciously gave me the key to unlock my chains of inadequacy and comparison without me outrightly asking Him for it. This key was the truth that the life I am living was and is intentionally made for me to live. This is the life in which I would love the most, grow the most, serve the Lord the most and know the Lord the best. This was the truth that granted me great liberation and gave me the conviction I leave the School with: that I choose to follow and believe in Jesus Christ because He has revealed the truth that my life of “earthly mediocrity” of “meh” grades, not winning in competitions is better, more, greater than a life of “fulfilled dreams” I had imagined for myself. I choose to live this life Jesus Christ has intentionally planned, for Him.
I was overjoyed when I received this truth and did not hesitate to share this revelation with my community because I just could not contain my joy. I believe that it was in this lack of inertia, and inability to suppress my joy, that God had shown me that my seemingly excessive personality that bursts out of the seams of myself is a gift that He has given to me. I am unable to contain my excitement when I meet my loved ones because I see Christ in them; I am unable to contain my happiness when I eat my favourite foods because I see God’s hand in their creation; I am easily thrilled by simple joys because Christ is evidently present. I was given sight to see that my “too” personality was only excessive in the world’s eyes. The Lord has invited me to just receive and claim this truth and not to wonder why I am created the way I am because His love for me is too deep and too immense for me to comprehend.
Claire’s cell group in SOCL21
As SOCL 21 draws to a close, I know that my identity in Him would come under attack again. However, the Lord has also shown me that He is the Lord of Returning. That I can always return to Him when my fears resurface, when I am unsure of who I am, when I am joyous and when I am thankful. There is no such thing as returning to the Lord “too many times”. Right now, as I am held by the Lord, the Spirit and community, I claim my newfound identity in Him. So let me re-introduce myself. Hello, I am Claire from the School Of Christian Leadership, a 20-year-and-counting student of Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters, we are all called to be someone greater than ourselves, called to do things bigger than ourselves. Will you answer Jesus’ call to return to Him and to know Him; to know yourselves and to be a part of His kingdom?
I sincerely hope you say yes because I know that there can never be too many knees that bend and too many tongues that confess that Jesus is Lord.