The Dance of Identity

I’m going to get vulnerable here.


Identity effects everything. Identity shapes thoughts about self, others and the world. It cannot be escaped.


My identity could be my:


home,

neighborhood,

spouse,

singleness,

gender,

family,

income level,

position in society,

gifting,

appearance,

athletic prowess,

friendships,

education,

mental capabilities,

health,

illness,

addictions,

struggles,

shame,

sin,

failures,

achievements,

personality,

my values,

my past.


These things shape me but do they define me.


The dictionary says this about identity:


(noun)


· the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. (Similar: name, specification, identification, recognition, naming, pinpointing, placing, discerning, distinguishing)


· the characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is. (Similar: individuality, self, selfhood, ego, personality, character, originality, distinctiveness, distinction, singularity, peculiarity, uniqueness)

· (of an object) serving to establish who the holder, owner, or wearer is by bearing their name and often other details such as a signature or photograph.


It’s interesting that identity is the fact of who a person is, their characteristics and even bearing the name of the owner.


The list above is a bunch of facts and can even be individualities, or at least, experiences that leave a mark—sometimes a VERY deep, and lasting mark.


But does the above list of possible markers of identity describe and identify me?


I am reminded of this verse, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)


So, if I am new….is the above list who I am? Or are they opportunities for me to lean into God and trust Him more deeply? (Another blog for another day. See Bridge of Opportunity, coming soon.)


As I’ve been working through this terrific 31-Day Devotional, Healing And Moving Forward by Lauren Whitman, God has brought a measure of healing to my heart. One in particular, touched a tender part of my soul.



Whitman starts with this verse, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)


Here’s my journal entry from Day 18:


Who I am, my IDENTITY, is:


A child of God.


Only my Creator can name me. And He says that I am His child.


This is my identity.


Blessed are You, O Lord, our God and Father, King of the universe who has seen me and had compassion on my helpless estate, and adopted me and brought me into Your Family.


And because You did this, I received You. And I believed You. And because I do, I have the “right” to be Your child.


Your actions on my behalf have made a way for me to become “born of God”—a member of Your family!


Lord HELP ME grasp the significance of my adoption!


Help me:

BELIEVE my adoption is true.

UNDERSTAND who I am.

UNDERSTAND how You see me.

UNDERSTAND why God sent Christ for me.

GRASP how important it is for me to understand this.

REST in the truth that I am Your child.


When You, my loving Father, see my “helpless estate,” You spring into action.


You are so moved by me and my helplessness that You gave me Your own Son to make me Your child.


Thank you for sending Jesus.


Thank you for Christmas.


Thank you that Jesus came to LOVE.


And that He came to DIE and make a way for this new relationship and new identity.


Let this REALITY shift my outlook on my life.


Let it shift how I think about my PAST, live in the PRESENT, and look forward to my FUTURE. Amen.

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