Are You Misplacing Your Identity?

As a little girl, I did not know much about God. Growing up in a post-communist country where religion was prohibited for many years, my family rarely talked to me about God. 

 

When I got older, I started questioning if there was something more to life. If there was some kind of big meaning in life. If there was a purpose for me. So I started searching. 

 

I searched for meaning in achievement. I thought that if I get good grades in school and then get into a top university, then that will automatically somehow make my life meaningful. 

 

I started putting my identity into my performance. Every time I failed was not just a failure. It was something that would make my life less meaningful. 

 

And when a person does not see meaning anymore or has lost his or her meaning, that person has only two choices: either give up on life or find a new meaning. 

 

So I started searching for meaning in the image I projected to the world. In the way I looked.  I knew I was not perfect. But I wanted others to at least think that I was. 

 

And then God took that away from me, too. I got a really bad skin infection that no make up could cover up. And even though for a 17-year-old it was a painful self-image experience, God worked it out for my best. 

 

That was the first time I started seeking for God’s help. I did not know what to do. Everything where I put my meaning – my performance or my looks or image – was taken away from me. 

 

I had to find something or Someone where I could find my meaning permanently. Someone who will not fail me. Something that won’t be taken away from me. 

 

And that’s how I found Jesus. 

 

It’s SO freeing failing an exam and knowing that that failure does not make me any less of a human. It’s SO freeing seeing my imperfections in the mirror and knowing that they don’t define me either. 

 

I still have some small scars left on my face from that skin infection back then. Now it’s a reminder of God’s grace. 

 

I like to think of them in the same way as when God had a wrestle with Jacob. He touched Jacob and hurt his hip. But Jacob’s life changed at that moment. He lost his old false identity and was given a new one in Christ. From that point on, he was to be called Israel. And that limp was meant to remind him of God’s grace.  

 

So I kind of came to view the scars as a reminder that God changed my identity back then. He taught me not to place my identity in my looks or anything else. Now I have a new identity in Him. 

 

Were there any times in your life when God would take away something from you in order to teach you to not put your identity in that thing? Are you putting your identity in something other than God now?

8 Comments

  1. My parents came from a farming background with families that lived through the depression. A hard time for all every where. They were not well educated-my dad did get to finish high school (he was so smart), but my mom only got to finish the 6th grade because she was needed in the fields. But she was equally brilliant or smarter than my dad. In the beginning my parents were share-croppers and my dad used a mule to plow fields. The field was rented out from underneath them because the new tenant had a gasoline driven machine that could help produce more money making crops. So their move to the city. I think my mom may have suffered from some insecurities, because she never talked about God. We “visited” church but were never members. So even though there were churches every where, I grew up not learning about or knowing about the love of God. Years later I am sure my parents were saved, I saw them studying the bible, discussing lessons, and enjoying going to their home church, but by then I was married and out of the house. I gave my heart to the Lord in the 4th grade in vacation bible school, but did not receive training or encouragement in following Jesus. Lots and lots of history not important now happened and I am now married to a man of God. His first wife died from cancer, my first husband had many, many “girlfriends.” All I can say is that I am thankful for the past, as it has led me here!! And I would not be the me God created me to be! We are moving back home (job transfer) and will join my old church in Rosharon, Texas. Once there we will join in the motorcycle ministry. The bikers there have such a love for Jesus and need to hear about the love and grace of God. I am excited about this new career in God. My husband, Rob is encouraging and helps tutor me answering my questions about the bible. It is so exciting to learn about God and about the people of the bible. They were just like us, mistakes and all. I am very glad that you, Kristina found our Lord, married your sweet husband/man of God!! Most of all I am thankful that even though I am 67 years old and you two are much, much younger we will get to spend an eternity together loving, praising, singing, serving our Father and we will get to meet!!! I am really looking forward to the days when we can actually meet and visit!!! You are a blessing and an encouraging mentor to this old lady!! Thank you!! Take care of you-cause you are the only you we have!!! Love you both!!! Betty and Rob

    • Thank you for you sweet words! That’s very encouraging to hear :) I am happy that you found your man of God and will be doing ministry with him. I am looking forward to meeting you in person too one day :)

  2. If only all our young women would see themselves thru God’s eyes. I love this.
    -Renea (mom of 5- 4 girls)

    • Thank you :) Yes, I wish all women, not just young, would see themselves through God’s eyes :)

  3. How I absolutely loved this!! This was insightful, beautiful, and so amazing inspirational! I know God was in this one. <3

    • Thank you so much! Yes, I wouldn’t be able to write it without God’s help :)

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