“Well, my name is …, I am … years old, I live in …, and I work as ….”
“No, sorry, I asked who you are–not how you are called, how long and where you live, or what you do for a living. Who are you really? What is your identity?”
We all need a sense of identity. The urge to know who we are arises in adolescence. We search our hearts. We seek role models. We need to know what our place is, where we belong, and what we’re worth. Stroke by stroke, we paint an image of who we think we are—or more often, of who we’d like to be. The degree to which the resulting self-portrait reflects the truth affects our fitness for life.
Speaking for myself–I wanted to be beautiful, lovable, and loved. Recognized for my character and intellect. In control. Known and understood. Needed.
I searched in all the wrong directions, taking the lines and colors to create my self-image from introspection, people, situations, and circumstances. I was deceived, confused, and frustrated. Hurt pride, anger, and bitterness took root inside me. I felt useless. My portrait was a mess.
Until, at the age of forty-three, I found Him. He explained that I couldn’t search my own heart, because it is deceitful. But He also said that I’m wonderfully made. He said that it was better to take refuge in Him than to trust in men. He knew me like no one else, including the ugly growths and wounds inflicted by a life lived without Him.
He is the Most High God, the Creator of all, and the King of kings. Yet He longs for communion with me–so much that He died for me. He restored my soul, uprooting the parasites of darkness. He cleansed me and completed me with His gifts. He needs me to shine His royal light in a dark world. He knows my destination and the way. He is my Guide. I follow Him, step by step.
I was a sinner. He made me a saint.
I was worthless. He made me worthy.
I was skeptical. He made me trust Him.
I was proud. He made me humble.
I was broken. He made me whole.
I was a vulnerable approval seeker. He made me rest in His arms.
I was introspective. He made me focus on Him.
I was a psychologist turned programmer turned technical information developer turned campsite owner turned housewife. He made me a pastor and a writer.
I was lonely. He made me the wife of a loving, godly man.
I am barren. He made me the mother of the most beautiful girl in the world.
I am Nordic. He made me a resident of Italy and bear the hot summers.
I am an introvert. He makes me come out of my comfort zone and witness for His grace and His love.
I am a confrontation-avoiding coward. He makes me brave.
I am His beloved child in whom He is well pleased.
Who are you?