hands on starting line

The Shocking Truth About My Identity…

So to all who may read this blog post, my name is Claire I am 32 years old, Swiss/American. A little bit of background information, I made a decision to follow Christ when I was 15 and said yes to my mission’s call at the age of 22. I have always been known as “the missionary” for the past 10 years.

My life has been exciting and so unpredictable, taking me to many countries, meeting new people, leading young and old into a deeper revelation of God’s love. What I am about to say may shock you but it’s now that I realise it myself. I thought I knew my identity was based on who I was and not what I did but as I have come to a crossroad, an intersection, my eyes have opened. Thanks to Grace a dear friend and author of “Crossing Intersections” book, I was able to finally put words to what I am going through.

A few months ago I made a huge decision, to leave Youth With A Mission, also known as YWAM where I had been living and serving for the past five years. The first person to be startled by this decision was me. Then all my friends and co-workers seemed surprised when I announced that I would no longer be in YWAM. I decided to leave and jump into the unknown again.

It may seem silly to say but being in a Christian community can become your comfort zone and it is easy to keep following a pattern without really questioning it. As many of my friends and family,  I thought this day would never come. I had always been so fulfilled in doing missions full-time and the thought of leaving had never occurred to me until that one moment where I just had an urge.

I felt like I was too comfortable and that I needed to trust God in a new and deeper way. Upon making that life-changing decision I found myself looking in the mirror, who was I now and what was I going to do? Well needless to say that was when I understood that my identity had been based on what I had been doing and the status I had as a missionary.

What a revelation. I took time to reflect and face the hard questions of life. Now what? God seemed so silent and I felt like I had lost my purpose.
It became clear to me that I had been trying to go too fast I wanted all the answers right away.

As I was reading the book it taught me about the different types of people. I had to smile because the truth resonated inside of me. I am the person who makes decisions quickly based on impulse and emotions. I am very spontaneous and it is very hard for me to wait for an answer. After reading that chapter I decided I no longer want to sprint but train myself and be equipped to finish this race well. Life isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon and if I want to end well I need to take my time to prepare and be equipped for it.
I now have accepted the fact that my identity isn’t based on what I did or what status I have but that I am born to make a difference wherever God places me. As I look back, life in missions has taught me so much about being flexible and adaptable. I have learned to rejoice when I have and don’t have and to see the positive in all situations.

I am currently unemployed and looking for a job in the non-profit sector as I have discovered this is the field I want to get involved with. God only knows what the future holds but I have chosen to take a hold of this moment to deepen my roots and to prepare for the marathon of life.
If you too want to finish the race well, stop sprinting and prepare for the marathon. It will be worth it at the end.

Written by Claire de Toth

Claire de Toth

Claire is a gifted Communicator who loves God and has a heart to work and contribute in the Non-profit sector of society. She currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

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  • http://www.nosuperheroes.com Chris Lautsbaugh

    Great article Claire. Blessings on the transition.

  • Joseph Ochwo Okoro

    Thanks for sharing Claire. Life is a marathon, yes. It sometimes takes us to the unknown, but if we walk with God in the known and unknown, we are always confident that He is leading us into the perfect destination. And His revelations to us of the things that we didnt know about ourselves or life, never ends. It shapes us everyday and it makes life exciting.
    Good you are walking that journey Claire. God bless you