I was recently asked the question, if I could be anybody who would I be and why.  While there are so many wonderful people out there that I could chose from, I thought that if I could be anyone, I would want to be the sinless version of myself.  Throughout out my last 21 years in life I’ve realized that sometimes I seek to be someone I’m not just to receive the approval and acceptance of people around me.  But in being someone else I wasn’t created to be, I’m ripping and cheating myself of who I am, and who God so designed me to be.  When I put this thought into consideration I am more intrigued to be completely myself, the way the Lord originally designed me, completely without sin.  What a day it would be if we could live without any fears, insecurities, or doubts.  What if we lived a life exactly the way we were intended to?

I believe that we were made a certain way before we actually entered the world, and then a lot of situations, relationships and passing of time has shaped us more into who we are today.  I believe that God perfectly made us for his design and his purpose “in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27).  It is written in the Bible that the Lord  “hem me in, behind, and before, and

[lays his] hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high I cannot attain it.” (Psalm 139: 5-7).  We were created by a perfect God with freedom of choice whether to obey him or not.

The Problem

Adam and Eve had the freedom to choose whether to obey the Lord or nphoto-contest-2016-dylan-rose-winner-honorable-mention-backpacking-quite-timeot.  Sadly they were tempted by sin when the serpent, Satan, bribed them to eat of the tree that God had so distinctly told them not to gather from.  In doing so they disobeyed God and therefore were thrown out of the Garden, forced to work the ground and their priestly status was removed from them as they were rejected from the sanctuary….  Although death has spread throughout all the world to all humankind there is so much hope for us because of the Son of God.  It is written “for as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19).  The disobedient man was Adam, yet the man who was obedient was Jesus Christ who came, ”for our sake [and] made him[self] to be sin, who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Because God came down to earth by “emptying himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men . . . and humbe[d] himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-9), we may now live in freedom with the hope of eternal life with him.   Now instead of living in sin, we may live in grace and forgiveness that Jesus has so graciously given us.

Yet, we are not perfect because we still live in a fallen world separated from God, although his Holy Spirit lives within us.  So although we strive to “let our love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:9), we are still sinners in need of constant grace and forgiveness as we live on this earth separated from his physical presence. “I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”(Romans 7:17).  So, if I were to be someone for a day, I would love to be my true self; myself without the evil that lives within my being, one who walks in goodness, righteousness and holiness, the way I was so designed to be.

My Choice

And why myself and no one else?  Since I was made to be myself and no one else, why not strive to be the very best that I am capable of?  While although I think it is crucial to learn from other people and their own experiences, I recognize that the Lord has a specific plan for me, “plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give [me] a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).  That he created me to be purely myself and no one different.  How beautiful would it be to live out the life that God has made me to live, without the sin and fear that lies within my own heart?  Because of the sin of this world I have been beaten down, torn apart, and shaped by the ways of this earth, living by the flesh and not completely of the spirit.  And like mentioned before, it is not that I necessarily choose this, yet that I can not help myself from desiring the ways of the wicked, although my heart longs, thirsts, and screams from the inside to walk completely in the fullness of the Lord.

If I were to take all the pain that I have experienced and set it aside, there still sits within my heart acts of selfishness, insecurities, and judgments.  While I was beyond blessed to grow up in a wonderful family, with a glorious childhood spent playing in the mud beside the South Fork of the American River, I still carry this never ending sin and selfish desires within me.  I dislike the way I not only compare myself from people around me, but consistently look towards my interests instead of the interests of others.  I absolutely despise the way I quickly make assumptions
and judgments about the people I encounter on a daily basis.  Then when I am not placing this self entitlement upon myself, I head in the opposite direction and create these awful, horrendous lies that I am not worthy of being loved.
And then when I take into consideration the tragedy that people around me and myself have encountered, I see even more evil and pain than I ever thought possible.  I would never have imagined that my eyes would be opened to the evil of this world at such a young age as twenty-one.  From losing close friends from someone’s choice of murder, to a never ending sickness of a loved one, and even the suicide of my only sister, I feel from my own heart, more burden, ache, and pain than I ever thought could be bearable.  I see the evil in the heart of others, and my own, and stand in disgust at what this world has become.  Therefore I want all the more to be a selfless, ever-loving and fearless creature that I know that Lord so intended for me to be

And still, in the midst of pain, suffering, and tragedy there are still glimpses of beauty in the world that we live in.  And I do believe that despite the wickedness and evil that lives in my heart and the hearts of others, there is also so much love and care shining through.  While although I fall short of not being the most genuine caring person 100% of the time, I still have characteristics witphoto-contest-2016-traci-giles-winner-honorable-mention-49er-fun-campfirehin myself that are maturing day by day. I try my best to love those around me, and to treat them all the way they want and need to be treated.  I believe that I have a positive attitude despite the pain that I live in every day.  I seek to see the silver lining which lies in the simplest things to get through and enjoy the day that I have been given.  I have an honest heart and find it more easy than not to share my genuine love and opinion to others so that may feel the most cared for.  While I have these gifts and great attributes about myself, I still see the potential and growth that they hold.  As I see the potential for this growth, I long even more to be completely, 100%, only the positive aspects about myself and allow the the other characteristics about myself to step aside.  If I were to walk a day completely in my own shoes, in the true fullness of myself, I feel that I could learn so much about the world and see so much more of the beauty on this earth and the beauty in other people.  If I could only walk one day in these so called shoes of Joy Lomax, then I may be able to fully love with my whole heart, without making assumptions of other people’s status, what they are wearing, or the education that they have received.  I would see them beautifully for who they are, love them on a deeper level with more concern for their well being.  I would choose to boldly wear my heart on my sleeve, without any fear or insecurities, solely for the benefit of others.  I may then be able to toss aside the selfish desires of myself and rather seek for their needs instead of my own.

I think and believe that there is beauty within me, and I want to be more content with how I was made, rather than seeking to be someone I am not.  And although here on earth I may only be able to be this for a day, the great news is that my positive attributes will be made full the day I enter the gates of heaven.  All selfish desires and ambitions will finally be cast aside and I may then walk in the fullness to which I was once created for.

By Joy Lomax, Summer guide and loving friend