Who are you?
I stared at the question I had written down in my journal for what felt like hours. Indeed, who was I? What was I? Why was I? I threw down my pen and closed the book because that past version of myself didn’t know who I was, and couldn’t have answered that question for a million dollars.
I was lost.
Most of the problems Christians encounter, or have, begin with an issue of misplaced identity, myself included. We often forget that we are chosen, beloved, treasured, purchased, and commissioned children of God. We lose ourselves amongst the rush and labels of the world and see ourselves through a distorted lens of things such as work, school, our ability to achieve our goals and dreams, our relationships, what we do well, and more.
This is what happened to me.
For most of my life, I’ve labeled myself as the smart one, the helper, the writer, the singer, the blogger, etc. Here is where the disconnect began to happen, the more I labeled myself and allowed others to as well, the more I began to lose myself in the narrative and started living with the mindset that I was those things and nothing more. This led to a snowball effect that left me feeling lost, depressed, tired, and anxious as the labels kept piling up until I finally broke under their weight.
The Breaking Point
A week away from the internet and friends brought me through the darkest tunnel I’ve been through mentally as I allowed myself to strip away the person I thought I was and become vulnerable before God and myself with what I came into the world with–my spirit.
For so long, I listened and bought into the idea that I was ever only going to be the smart one, only ever going to be a good writer, only ever be the helpful one, and that people loved me for those things and nothing else. The time away from the distractions of the internet and chatter led me to a deeper understanding of myself and who I really was underneath all the lies.
You Are Not What You Feel
Feelings are not facts, and if Satan can convince you that you are not who you are, he may even try to get you to question your relationship with Christ, shouting lie after lie in your ear, trying to drown out God’s gentle and clear declaration of, “I love you.”
Paul’s readers, the Christians of the early church, were under constant attack spiritually, emotionally, and physically by the Romans and other adversaries They were being tested by fire (1 Peter 1:6, 2:19), and through their testing, as often suffering does, it brought about questions and doubts about who God was and who they were as His children.
Paul then writes to his suffering brothers and sisters and blows away the fog Satan has created and says this of their opponents: They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do” (1 Peter 2:8).
In other words, they may look formidable and blessed right now, but because of their abuse of God’s children, they are walking towards the destiny of damnation. They have no clear idea who they are in this world, but we fortunately do.
In 1 Peter 2:9, Paul takes truth to the lies and shows his followers who they (and we) REALLY are as children of the Light saying next: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Therefore, no matter the labels you’ve put on yourself, or that others have put on you, you are not what you feel. Maybe you identify as The Smart One, The Pretty One, The Cheerful One, The Wild One, etc. and perhaps that’s all you feel that you really are.
Oh, dear reader, you are so much more.
- A holy nation
- Child of the Light
- And so much more….
You are more than all the things that you think or feel that you are.
That’s the tricky thing with feelings, they are often fickle and change with the direction of the wind, which is why we should never build our “house upon their unsteady sand.” (Matthew 7:26)
Your True Identity
My problem with identity and not knowing who I was happened because I rooted myself into lies that were not based in the truth of God’s word, so when the winds began to blow and trials were thrown my way, I became “uprooted” and blown away in the storm of my emotions.
The moment you become a child of God, the labels used to define you are thrown away, and you become wholly and simply, His. Lately, I’ve taken to trying to slow my thoughts down and as soon as I notice that I am “labeling” or allowing others to “label” me. Turning back to Jesus and the Word to ground myself with the truth of the matter, which is the fact of all the things that I am not:
- The skinny friend
- The smart one
- The helper
- The author
- The singer
- The podcaster
- The “perfect” one
Rather I am…
- A child of God.
That’s all I need.
That’s all you need.
In Him, you find your true identity, your worth through His death on a cross, and your purpose.