A Study On Identity, And Where To Find It
DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
This question seems simple to some, but is deceptively complicated and can be daunting. Many of us struggle with our identity, and think that temporary characteristics are enough to define us. Your role as a mom, wife, teacher, artist, or coffee-lover (like me) is an important aspect of your life, but if one of these defining characteristics changes, you might end up lost or confused, and ask yourself this question: do I know who I am? Our society puts so much pressure on us to fulfill expectations, that our true identity is often hard to find and easy to forget. When you feel like you’ve lost your identity, you may try to create a false one or find new ways to define yourself. However, your identity lies in something that is unchanging: the love of God. You might have heard the adage, “everyone has a Godshaped hole in their heart”. Our identity is ultimately found in God and the purpose he has for our life, so searching for it without Him is futile. Follow along with me as we discover confidence in our identity in God!
WHAT IS YOUR IDENTITY?
To find our identity, first we have to know what we’re looking for. The definition of identity is “who or what you present to the world through your behavior in relation to your worldview”. Today, identity can mean many things. Our identity is the deepest, most important part of our being. It is the foundation for every decision you make, whether it involves your career, relationships, or goals.
When discovering your identity, it’s easy to rely on labels to define yourself. These labels can be a comforting crutch to some people, or they can be terrifying for others! Moms everywhere proudly wear “mama bear” sweatshirts and necklaces of their children’s names, and that’s totally okay! On the other hand, some women are confident without the label of “mom” and the responsibility that comes with it. Some labels can be spiritual, mental, emotional, or even medical. Some would rather hide behind labels instead of facing their true identity, while others run from them for fear of suffocating.
For some women, goals dictate their self-worth, and thus become intertwined with their identity. These goals are often marriage, children, appearance goals, or career. Many women are caught in a vicious cycle where they can’t reach these unreasonable goals, and end up disconnected from what they think is their identity. There is a balance between reaching your goals and not letting them define you, and having someone to help you find this balance can be invaluable. Schedule a free Discovery Call with me today, and I can help you healthily reach your goals without compromising your identity!
HOW TO FIND YOUR IDENTITY IN GOD
Your identity is who you are, in the deepest, most permanent part of your soul. The Bible talks a lot about identity, and says that humans were created “in God’s image”. Five times in the Apostle John’s gospel account, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. This was not a statement of pride or privilege; John wasn’t saying that Jesus only loved him. Rather, John believed that being loved by Jesus was the most important aspect of his identity. I think this is such a beautiful way to describe identity. Like we said, your identity is the permanent foundation for your being, and if you find your identity in temporary things, you will be lost if you lose them. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, got it right. God’s love is permanent and unchanging, and that’s where our identity should be found.
Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” God knew our identities before we were even born! He had a plan for our lives, and loved you before you were conceived. I don’t think anything is more permanent than that. Because of this love for us, God sent Jesus to die for our sins. This love is not just a metaphorical image, or a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. Jesus tangibly showed us his love when he chose to take our sins upon himself and die for us.
Sadly, many people don’t know this love, or they choose to ignore it. They are left with a God-shaped hole in their life, and everything they try to fill it with doesn’t quite fit. Searching for your identity anywhere but in God will ultimately be disappointing. Our spouses, children, friends, careers, or appearances might disappoint us, but God’s love won’t! Our identity is secure when we find it in God’s love.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY LIFE?
Have you ever been disappointed, by yourself or someone else? I know I’ll raise my hand, because we all have. Here’s the good news. Once you learn that our identity is in God’s love for us, you don’t have to let these disappointments affect your identity. Let me show you some ways we can turn our words into actions.
If you feel like you’re not a good enough mom, recognize that your identity is still in God’s love, and not your role as a mom. While being a mom is an important responsibility and role, if you fall short in it, your identity is still secure. If your relationship or marriage fails, your identity is still secure! God blesses some people with partners, but they don’t make you who you are. If you lose a job, or a friend, or fail a test, your identity is still secure in God.
Make that your mantra! Write it down, and put it somewhere that will easily remind you. My identity is secure in God’s love. Even if you know this, it’s sometimes easy to fall back into the habit of letting other things define you. Make it a point to remind yourself this truth every time you doubt.
Sometimes, life can leave you broken, or hurting, with trauma or pain from past experiences. If you are dealing with something like this, it’s hard to change the way you view your identity. You don’t have to face it alone, and you can learn to be confident in your identity regardless of what other people have said about you. If this resonates with you, reach out to me! I will help you find your identity in Christ and learn to be confident in it, so that you can live life fully, like God intended for you to.