During the early part of my life, I wasn’t very good at being me. No one could be any more vulnerable and at the same time more assertive than I was. In public I pushed in because I was desperate for validation, and then in private I rolled up into a ball of insecurities. By the time I reached my 30’s, I didn’t like “me” at all.
My feelings of self-worth were trampled. Any self-satisfaction I might have harbored became lost in moments of humiliation. And finally, I was forced to abandon the most difficult “self” of all (at least for me), self-effort. My absolute inability to fix or manage my life made me ready for the Lord’s regeneration.
After my saving moment, I found a very helpful analogy for this improvement process in Lewis’ Mere Christianity chapter, “Counting the Cost.” He sees human hearts as similar to houses that need renovation. When we allow it, Lewis wrote, God will change our heart—he will remodel or “rebuild that house.” The challenge for us, however, is that the Lord will start “knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.” And then, according to Lewis, the Lord will surprise us by “building quite a different house” from the one we expected or planned for!
What Lewis doesn’t say here is that this new “house” is what makes us better at being who we are. That’s because the uniqueness of heart that the Lord has in mind for each one of us contains a fuller individuality and a more fulfilling life. Who we are “in Christ” is not only better—it is who God always intended us to be.