Who am I?
This is a question that has haunted women for generations. From trying to wear the right clothes in middle school, to picking the right major in college, to even going through that mid-life crisis, we find ourselves asking, who are we? Where do our identities lie? Where do we get our satisfaction and worth?
The typical Christian response is from Christ. It can be so easy to say “Of course my identity comes from Christ.” But have you ever stopped to consider what that really means?
When I think about how I identify myself, so many words come to mind.
I am a daughter, a friend, a student, an athlete, a reader, a blogger, a leader, a lover of preppy clothing, an overachiever, a sorority sister, a regular sister.
But I still have many sins to hide.
I am broken, I am selfish, I am prideful, I am judgmental, I am a gossip, I am hateful.
Yet, it can be so easy to forget the most important statements of all.
That I am redeemed, I am loved, I am worthy, I am beautiful, I am saved, I am a prize, I am His.
I think that it can be hard for any of us to admit just how much we care about how other people see us. It’s easy to hide behind our plethora of activities, easy to hide behind our awards and achievements, and easy to hide our faith from the world. Every day we wake up and are faced with the battle of having to prove that we are worthy to the people around us somehow. So we force ourselves to get up early and make sure our hair is done just right, we interrupt our classmates in our pursuit to be the smartest voice heard, and we sign up for the mission trip we are unprepared for in order to get the accolades from our Christian friends.
But what if we stopped doing all that? What if we truly embraced our authentic identities in Christ alone? What if we didn’t question who we were in response to another?
“ But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5: 8
“Therefore I urge you, brothers, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.”- Romans 12:1
We aren’t perfect beings. And we never are going to be. So no matter how many awards, “Job well done”, and praise we receive here on earth, nothing is going to wipe away our sins except for Christ. That is why it is completely impossible for us to try to find our identity in any other earthly element, because God is our creator who has made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
I am talking about this subject today because I definitely speak from experience. I would definitely classify myself as a grade A overachiever. I am involved in so many different events both on and off my college campus, and take great pride in the leadership positions I have been able to attain going into my senior year. But I take too much pride. I take too much pride in being the girl who seems to have it all together. The girl who gets good grades, dresses well, is organized, and goes to bed early. But I’m not the girl who has it all together, and I am never going to be. And unfortunately neither are you.
I am just as broken as any other individual on my college campus. I face trials, endure hardships, and cry in the shower when my days become too much to handle. I get stressed out, say things I shouldn’t, and care way too much about impressing fickle boys. When I put my worth and my identity into being the girl who does everything and has it all together, I fail. My identity needs to come from Christ and Christ alone.
Too many days I find myself not seeking God when I am stressed out or upset, but turning to other things to get comfort. I seek to find my worth in social media, how many friends I have, and reminding myself of all the things I’m “good” at. I allow myself to obsess over my reflection in the mirror, obsess over the conversation where I said something stupid, and obsess over posting a photo on Instagram to let everyone see how much “fun” I am having. But I don’t obsess about God. I don’t obsess about others and intentionally hearing them. I don’t obsess about the grace I have been given.
So let’s stop. Stop putting our worth in earthly awards and positions and start building up our treasures in heaven. To learn to love ourselves and to feel that we are worthy of love no matter how many campus activities we invest in. To be approachable and open about our struggles. To not be afraid to talk to our friends about Christ and encourage them to live life with Him to the fullest.
I can’t be perfect, you can’t be perfect, but together with God, we can become perfect. I have no idea what identity you have been hiding behind these past years. Maybe it’s being a really great athlete, or the mother of your friend group, or the smartest kid in your classes. But those things don’t define you, they are the only evidence of the gifts that God so richly blesses us with; don’t turn a gift into your self-worth.
“He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
He delighted in you. Not because you were president of student government, not because you were Homecoming Queen, not because you went on 12 mission trips, but just because you were little old you. Riddled by sin and desperate for grace. So embrace your fallen nature today, you never know how God is going to use your scars to bless another.