Who Am I?

I am Crystal Marie Oxner. This name defines me. Known as Crystal by most, Crys by those closest to me. I don’t know where Marie came from but it always reminds me of my Dad’s mom Mary. I never really had a deep relationship with her, but I will never forget her. I used to be ashamed that my last name was Oxner, but now I’m proud of it. It doesn’t define me by the line of people that came before me; instead it defines me by who I’ve become in the midst of, and despite, the line of people that came before me.

I am a follower of Christ. I strive to live my life in such a way that my love of God shines through me. I am not perfect – I am not close to perfect. It is in this awareness of my imperfections that I cling dearly to the love of God illustrated by the cross. I am constantly learning that following Christ causes me, and sometimes requires me, to disappoint some and that the only real thing that matters is God’s love for me.

I am able to be independent, yet choose community over independence. I prefer a small, deep, authentic community over a large surface-level community. I don’t want to be told how to live my life, but I do want to be challenged in a loving manner. I don’t want to be judged for the decisions I make, I want to be loved and respected despite the decisions I make.

I am a dreamer. I want to be part of something big. I want to change the world. I choose to surround myself with people who are also dreamers, who also want to be part of something big, who also want to change the world. I want to live out my dreams – not leave them as dreams.

Family and friends are important to me, but neither is everything to me. No matter who you are – family or friend – if you judge me, disrespect me, belittle my dreams or my beliefs, I will pull away from you and seek new community.

I am a beloved child of God. I choose to radically define myself as a beloved child of God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am Crystal Marie Oxner.

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