Individual Identity

If someone asked you, “Who are you?” and you couldn’t answer with just your name, what would you say?

Would you say, “I’m a student?” or “I’m a business owner?” or “I’m a mom/dad/daughter/brother/sister etc?” Lately I’ve been confronted with a lot of these questions and God has been teaching me about the importance of individual identity and where you find that identity.

A few years ago I searched for my identity in everything I did. I was a student, a nanny, an artist, a beach girl, a dreamer, a friend, a daughter, a sister, then I decided I was simply just a “christian”. I thought I had finally narrowed it down, came up with the simple answer, and knew straight forward who I was for anyone who asked. Within the past couple of months I’ve been asked to go a step further and break down what even being a”christian” means, and why I do and say certain things and where this mindset came from. Lets just say, I had a little bit of an identity crisis on my hands. I was at a loss for words.

So, I went back and meditated on the core values, words, and revelations God had revealed personally to me about myself. Two words God has spoken over my life are Freedom and Adventure. When I surrendered my life to God I felt this immediate freedom, because I had been caging myself in and letting certain people and ideas hold me back. I was finding my identity in the things people had told me that I chose to believe and circumstances that had unfolded in my life. When I finally let all of that go, it opened my eyes to an abundant freedom, with no end. Freedom to dream, to act, to speak out, to not have to worry or stress- it is the feeling of letting absolutely nothing hold you back from the will of God and surrendering everything before him and being completely at peace with it. It is a feeling that I cannot describe but try so hard to put into words. Abundant freedom is what I have been given, and I speak it out like a broken record, not because I’m trying to be repetitive, but because it has been something that has radically changed my life and I cannot help but share it with everyone I come in contact with.

Adventure defined is 1. a risky undertaking of unknown outcome 2. an exciting or unexpected event or course of events esp. the exploration of unknown territory.

To live for God, is to live for adventure. You cannot aim to follow Jesus, the most radical man ever to walk the face of this earth, and not call it an adventure. Living in adventure does not mean every day has to be some extraordinary event, it’s having the eyes to see the adventure in the mundane. It’s being able to give up control, letting God have his way, and not knowing every single piece of the puzzle. When you do this God gives you new eyes to see life with a heavenly outlook instead of a worldly one. You might find yourself being pulled to make some pretty abnormal or radical decisions, you might be questioned or not understood, but that is totally ok. When you are sold out to the will of God and know that he is calling you to do something, he will give you the strength and power to hear only his voice and not be influenced by others. Stepping out in faith is supposed to be something we do continually, if we only aim to accomplish things by our own power how will we ever get the chance to see God work and bring him glory?

A few times I have been accused of being “too independent”. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I am a very independent person, but I’ve come to realize that this can be mistaken for a secure identity. Since I am confident in who I am and whose I am, I am not willing to compromise for anything less. This is not arrogance, it’s standing firm in the identity christ has given me. Some people just don’t know how to handle that and this is what God is now teaching me to deal with, because it can really hurt when someone attacks who you are as a person. But, once you establish that foundation, nothing can chip away at it.

I never want to be moving backwards I always want the fullness of everything God is willing to offer me and I will never choose to settle for just good, but always go for the great, because I have been promised abundant freedom, and made the choice to live in a constant adventure with the creator of the universe.

I have come to the conclusion that my identity is founded on being a radical follower of Jesus Christ and grounded in the words Adventure and Freedom. To solidify it my key life verses are Ephesians 3:20, John 10:10 and Genesis 22:14-17.

So…..

Who are you?

Aloooha. =]

Yahweh Yireh in the background (Genesis 22:14)

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8 responses

  1. Hi Emily, really loved this blog post. I talk about ‘labels’ in my book, and how we define ourselves by those labels. Sometimes in a negative way (I’m a worrier, I’m clumsy, I’m forgetful etc.). We can change how we feel about ourselves when we look at our positive labels instead. For me those might be; Dad, partner, friend, neighbour, listener, giver, lover, musician, painter, writer, creator. Your post acts as a great reminder to everyone to find their positive labels. I long to be more adventurous like you – someday I’m going to make that happen. Thank you. 🙂

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