This past week, one thing that God has been speaking to me about continuously is my identity.
Who am I? What defines me? Do I truly know who I am? Or have I been building myself within a persona that I've created to fit into?
“When you know who you are, you will know what to do.”
I think ever since I was young, finding my identity has always been a struggle. I struggled with eating disorders because I thought that looking slimmer would help me fit in and be liked more by other people. I struggled to accept who I was because of hurtful words that were said to me in the past, which caused me to constantly adapt and change myself to suit the likes of people around me. Many times, I'd chosen to let the opinions of people define who I am; to define what I should become. And for a long time, I guess I'd been so used to this lifestyle that it'd become a subconscious thing that I don't take notice of anymore.
Our culture now tells us we have to live up to a certain standard - have a large amount of money in our banks; attain a high ranking job; have a huge social media following or ‘likes’ on our posts - in order to be “successful”. I’m not saying those are wrong to have. But as I pondered about it, I questioned myself, “Do these really form the foundation of identity that God has meant for me?”
Through this season, when we’re forced to detach from our usual lifestyles and stay home because of COVID, I started to really have the time to find and build myself in God. He started reminding me of this particular area of my life. And He reminded me of how KNOWING my identity is so important, because it determines how we live our lives. It affects our faith and growth in our journeys with God.
"You can’t go any further until you realise that the worth of your activity for Christ cannot rise above your understanding of your identity in Him." - Ps Steven Furtick
My identity is not based on who people say I am. My identity is not defined by the assessments and opinions of others or even myself. My identity is not who this world says I am. My one and only TRUE identity can only be found in one place and that is in Jesus Christ. There's no need to strive to live a life that seeks the acceptance of people, when the only Person whose acceptance truly matters has already freely given it to us. God has accepted us, not just the good parts, but our entire selves. Our flaws, regrets, pasts, everything good and bad; God accepts and loves us just as we are.
Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT)
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
And when we are fully aware of our identity IN CHRIST, no circumstance that may come our way can shake or define us. Because our faith and hope is anchored on God alone. When the enemy puts thoughts of what-ifs, fears, doubts, and lies into our heads, we have the confidence, courage, and faith to say, "But God will... God says..." because we are fully aware of who God has made us to be; what He has given us; because we are fully aware of who God is.
So who exactly am I?
God says I am a child of God. And if that's what He calls me, that's who I am.
So to answer the question, “Who writes my name?” I pray that we will choose to let God take the pen and that we may anchor our identity in Him, and nothing else.