This topic of identity in Christ has come up a lot recently in my world and I decided to dive deeper into what it means to be a daughter in Christ and what does a strong identity in God look like? I’m going to be honest, without the title of wife and mom, I thought and questioned who I am, so many times in my journey! While I do have a strong sense of self and my own opinions on life topics, the question of ‘who am I in Christ?’ needed more thought for an answer.
You hear the verse about being fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) when addressing this topic. But truthfully that scripture feels overused and even though it’s supposed to be personal, it feels the opposite. Like okay I’m not a mistake, but what am I created for? Certainly, in the past, I needed God to speak personally about my unique gifts, skills, and attributes that He wants me to share with the world and obviously I’m not going to find those specific verses just for me in the Bible, as it’s written for all. I needed God to tell my spirit my strengths and weed out the lies I had believed about myself. Overtime God has used His word, others, or whispered to my heart who I am in Him. But let’s explore more.
I think when I’m really rooted in my identity in Christ, I feel loved, secure, purposeful, joyful and at peace with a heart of adventure, excited to wherever God is taking me. When I feel uneasy, unloved, kinda lost, maybe frustrated or disappointed, my secure identity in Christ slips. I find myself comparing myself to my peers more. I become more sensitive, easily shaken or offended and overanalyzing situations that I need to ‘let go and let God’ redeem and sort out.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So, I think it becomes about really pursuing Jesus and loving with a heart like His from pure motives and less what other’s think. Less about what the world says to strive for and more to encompassing the fruits of the spirit. “For the fruit of spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22
It goes back to the greatest commandment of "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:34. When this is your foundation always, then you can't go wrong. It doesn't mean we won't ever sin or make mistakes, but we should always be coming from a place of love. Imagine if everyone knew and felt love, how different the world would be. God created the concept of love. So many are lost, but if we love God and remember His steadfast love for us, we are grounded in a secure identity. "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them." 1 John 16:4
I think having a strong identity in Him, means daily submitting to His will and living in accordance to Him and what God puts on your heart to do. It’s listening to the Holy Spirit’s tugging on your heartstrings to speak up about or to do. Even the smallest of things, a smile, a hug, a heartfelt text, a shared meal, all make a big difference in a cold world. In Isaiah it says, “O, Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our Potter, And we all are the work of Your hand.” Let Him shape you. Sometimes that means extending grace to ourselves and to others and forgiving even when that person doesn’t necessarily deserve it. But an identity in Jesus means loving like Jesus.
I am made with purpose. I am made to love, give, be, do, experience, and feel. I am made to conquer and overcome. Life’s setbacks can be so challenging and have you really questioning yourself and your faith, but on the other side is such accomplishment. “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sister, whenever you fall into any trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith, produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity and inner peace]. Let endurance have it’s perfect result, so that you may be completely developed in your faith.” James 1: 2-4. Trials have a way of grounding us in Jesus, if we let it.
We all have gone through both incredible moments of love and laughter and also painful heartbreak and defeat, that have shaped us and left a lasting impact. Some make us better and some leave us worse off. What I can say from my own life is, pinpoint those painful events and acknowledge the pain and trauma that it has caused. Heartbreak can be devastating. But, notice that maybe as a result, bad defense mechanisms, coping skills, decision making, negative vices, thought patterns, and self-image issues have occurred. Realize it for what it is, that there was a cause and effect that happened. Then heal that “inner child” and work to move on from those painful experiences and not take it on as your identity. You aren’t what happened to you or the names you were called. (And absolutely no shame in needing counseling in order to process and get back on track! Sometimes that’s the best thing.) You can move forward, but it does take a lot of work and awareness to heal, change and rebuild. And some days you will slip back into those old ways, habits and thought patterns, but tomorrow is always a new day to start again. The goal is to break those generational ties and unhealthy patterns and not to keep reliving them. There is no one just like me or you and that’s pretty special. Find what connects us all, versus what separates us or makes us different.
Start each day reminding yourself your worth and fully living in God’s love. This is where affirmations have really helped me. I have biblical concepts of how much I am loved and my strength, value, healing, and conquering on my mirror and I say them out loud. There is something really powerful about speaking God’s truth over yourself out loud and your brain seeing that in the mirror. Scientifically it shifts how you view yourself overtime. Try it consistently.
So don’t take on a dark identity the devil wants you to relish in, but walk in the light Jesus meant for you. I’m gonna be real, its sometimes scary to walk in the light so “exposed” and sometimes the safety of living in the “dark” where I can hide is easier. But darkness breeds dark things. Living a life with Jesus, out in the light, is truly abundant and full and deep and rich and I’d much rather live that way. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
So, step into your calling with confidence. Step into the light. Step into your true identity in Christ.
“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12