Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Identity Isn't Found In What Others Say About Me

by Alycia W Morales

Life Lesson #10

Where do you get your identity from?

Is it the things others say about you? Your career? Your relationships?

I am many things: Wife, Mother, Step-mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Writer, Editor, Reader,  Crafter, Perfectionist, Multi-tasker, and so much more.

If I found my identity in what others said of me when I was young, I would be a loser, ugly, an outcast, unworthy of love or affection or attention. (Peers)

Or, I would be the teacher's pet, a great student, going places, smart, intelligent. (Teachers)

Honestly, I can't remember what my parents said about me at that time of life. But I can remember that they were hard-working, poured themselves into their careers. They loved me, for sure. But I was rebellious at that age, so I wasn't focused on them so much as I was focused on myself.

Which didn't get me very far.

The voices that followed me to college said I was depressed, lonely, striving, a seeker of affection/attention, a chameleon who could fit in anywhere out of desperation to fit in anywhere, yet still a good friend and student.

As long as I kept seeking to find my identity in relationships and what I did, I didn't succeed at any of it. I continued in unhealthy relationships with college-aged men and was depressed and alone for two years.

It wasn't until I met Jesus for the first time in forever that I was able to truly find myself. It wasn't until I gave my heart to Him that I truly knew who I was created to be.

It wasn't until I read my Bible and prayed and sought out God's heart that I discovered just how much I am loved. How to have a healthy relationship with anyone else - my parents, my mentors, my husband, my children, my friends. It wasn't until I met God that I discovered what I was created to do with my life on earth. Which, surprisingly, is what I wanted to do all along - write. That and other things.

And it wasn't until I got to know Jesus that I realized that my identity comes from God, not what others say of me. Sure, some do really know me and know what lives within me - and what they say still matters to me. But the enemy, unfortunately, will also try to use those same people to pull me down and rip my heart apart. Thankfully, I know who I am in Christ and can discern that it's not my husband or my child who is coming against me in that moment. So I can let those fiery darts bounce right off the helmet of my salvation, keeping my thoughts focused on who God says I am. And I can let those fiery darts bounce right off my breastplate of righteousness, because I am covered in the blood of Jesus, who holds my heart strong. And in those moments I can bring a word from the Gospel of Peace, which is sharper than any two-edged sword and can cut straight down into the matter and right the heart of the person the enemy has chosen to use to attempt to bring me harm.

So where do you choose to get your identity from? Is it time to find a new you?

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ... So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." 
Genesis 1:26-27


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