This last year, I was stripped of my identity. Don’t feel too bad for me, it was done by someone who loves me dearly and who wants the very best for me. However, this event let me confused and frustrated. I have struggled all year to make sense of what made this year so hard and tonight, during a conversation with my dearly beloved, we pinpointed it. I was stripped of my identity. My identity as a mother, my identity as a wife, my identity as an employee, my identity as a volunteer…all of it stripped away with one question. What would happen if you took all of those titles away and you were just the daughter of the King. All that would be left, would be my identity as a child of God. There would be nothing to hide behind. There would be no where to run, nothing to busy my hands and mind with, just me and God. There, in that moment, God invited me to find my identity in Him.
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been angry ever since. How could God ask that of me?! Hadn’t He called me to be a wife, a mother, an employee, a volunteer? Hadn’t He given me those opportunities? This is where I always get myself in trouble. I take a good thing and turn it into a god thing. Those things, those opportunities, those are good things, but they become god things when I turn to them to define me. When I depend on those around me to give me value and purpose, I use the title rather than love the people. That isn’t who I’m trying to be.
I’m not going to say that with this realization, I am now on the road to beating this season of life. I’m far from it. I feel the pull to find my identity in something new every day, every hour, every minute. However, in this minute, I realize what’s going on.
I remember back to when I raised my hand and gave God permission to use me. I raised my hand and asked Him to take my heart of stone and turn it into a heart of flesh. In order to do that, I’ve got to find my identity in His love for me. In order to do that, He has to strip away my need to find my identity in those other things. I am not going to lie, it hurts. However, God has been faithful to walk with me through what I felt was the valley of the shadow of death. He’s been good and He’s been faithful. I am pretty sure He’s going to stay true to His character to get me through this next “valley of death”.
Until another confession…