Not the bloody kind. But I received some great insight from a friend who's learning about being one, and I wanted to share her thoughts. I hope you are as challenged and encouraged as I was by them.
"1 Corinthians 3:5 says "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow."
We are pushed from Day one to be someone, to fill a role and to have success and accomplishments, to make a name for ourselves as our culture dictates. We put so much emphasis on forming this individual identity that we believe it actually matters, when the reality is that while those things can be good they are secondary to being used by Christ. It really hit me that Paul refers to himself as a what, the same greek word used for objects because that's what we are, we're vessels - of God's love and grace and mercy, a testament to His name. And apart from that, we're nothing.
Every creation was formed to give glory to God, to praise the works of His hands and we are simply another creation to be used for the same end. To start thinking of ourselves as a what instead of a who takes away the need we've created for this individual identity and allows us to simply be useful. Like the potter and the clay - the clay finds its identity in what the potter is doing with it - there's no value in the clay itself, even if it's expensive or rare or beautiful. If it is not used, it's worth nothing. The value and the purpose comes in the potter crafting the clay for a specific use and the clay fulfilling that. We are merely vessels, unformed clay - and without Him using us, we could accomplish nothing.
A friend recently told me that marriage is not about our happiness but about our sanctification and looking more like Christ. I think that's true for every area of our lives. I have such a tendency to think my desires are genuinely of consequence. And they're not. He controls those desires and puts them there for a purpose, but my view of what the outcome will be is not always the same as His because it's not that we have desires and God fulfills them, but rather that He gives us desires to guide us to a specific direction, and to make us content in His placement. Ultimately my happiness is secondary to my usefulness in bringing Him glory. That's why I can't find my identity in being a paramedic or a wife or anything else aside from the task He has given me, which is to trust Him, to follow Him above all else, and to be a vessel for His use.
There's this line in a Rascal Flatts song that says "I drive myself crazy trying to stay out of my own way" I feel like that defines my life. By thinking it mattered who I am or what I accomplished or anything else, it took my focus off Christ and continuously got me in trouble. I trust His purpose, and know that He can and will and wants to use this life to bring Him glory. I just have to stay out of the way, quit thinking I have any right to figure things out, quit acting like my desires are of any relevance, and to allow myself to be useful."
I love my friends! I'm thankful that God has blessed me with so many that challenge me to know Jesus more.