I was thinking through some things last night and got round to thinking about identity. It’s a theme that has come up in my life fairly often over the past few years. In fact, I just found a blog post on this very topic that I didn’t publish. There’s plenty I could write about identity in general, or my identity in particular, but really there’s just one thing I want to say today: I’m so thankful that my identity comes from Jesus. I’m thankful that no one else can tell me who I am (or who I should be!) – not other people, not Satan, not even me.
Only God can define my identity. He calls me daughter and friend, beautiful and beloved, redeemed and precious and free. That’s who I am. A daughter of the King. And no one can change that or say otherwise.
There’s a song that says:
All my changes come from Him, He who never changes
I’m held firm in the grasp of the Rock of all the Ages
I love that! How reassuring that the one who gives me my identity never changes, but he continues to transform me, even as I remain secure in him.
I had a revelation today. It’s not world-changing or anything, but I thought I’d share it. Actually, it’s pretty life-changing for me. In our team meeting this morning, we were worshipping and praying and I suddenly realised that I like myself. I like who God has made me to be. I’m not only comfortable with who I am, but I’m glad he made me this way. I like me.
Maybe that sounds a bit weird, but if you’ve known me for a while you’ll know that this is fairly revolutionary. A couple of years ago my view of myself was pretty low. I remember writing ‘I despise myself’. I doubted my own abilities and worth. I’ve been on a journey of healing and freedom in many areas of my life and one of them has been overcoming inadequacy. Before I came to Thailand I’d have said I’d completely overcome this and I was living in the security of who I am in Christ, much more confident in myself and my God-given worth and abilities. The first few weeks in Thailand, feelings of total inadequacy returned with surprising intensity and I fought that battle all over again. As a good friend reminded me, ‘if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ (John 8:36) She thinks maybe this is my ‘free indeed’, as I learn to live secure in my identity in a very different culture and spiritual atmosphere. God has been so faithful in fighting for me and negative feelings about myself have been gone for weeks now.
But I don’t think I’ve EVER, in my whole life, had the thought that I like myself. So it feels like a seismic shift in my thinking. I can agree with this verse at a much deeper level now.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I’m not saying there’s nothing I’d change about myself or that I like all of the things I think, say and do. I’m just saying I’m happy to be me. And I think that’s a really good place to be.
Happy to be me 🙂