Identity is Not About Me
This is part of the Not About Me November series. Check out the rest of the series here.
Who are you?
She whistles noises from her highchair; deep growls, high pitched sounds, trying to hear that one-and-a-half-year-old voice she has been missing since leaving her parents.
“She’s trying to find her voice”, I tell my college-age son, stacked between long hours of conversation about all those his age floundering along the cliff of doubt; a generation hiding behind Instagram, Twitter, and Etsy; inside crying out to rise up and be used in this pivotal time in history…
A whole generation looking for their voice, but finding none; having only two places to run; the world or God.
I get a text, “I am kicking out my daughter, please pray”. I run into a young friend at the corner store hugging me, needing someone to affirm him. Another I try reaching them through Facebook.
A mission field of young people. Who will point them to Jesus?
And often we think of the mission field as a foreign land with mud walls, no electricity; when a generation is all around us screaming, “Won’t somebody tell me who I am”.
She looks deep into a well (John 4:1-26), he climbs a tree incomplete even after His fill of materialism (Luke 19:1-9), she reaches through the crowd to find her healing (Mark 5:25-34)…All asking, all questioning, “Who am I and how do I fit in.”
“And yet, could it be the key is not to find our identity, but to learn how much we’re loved?” I finally tell my six-foot-four son, batting at the world for answers. One-year-old still vocalizing in the background, still wanting to be heard, still needing us to know she’s struggling for her voice; she’s important.
For in a world where identities and clear thoughts can so easily get lost, didn’t God create us in His image (Gen 1:27), make us for His pleasure (Col 1:16), call us (1 Pet 2:9), give us His identity (Col 2:9-12), identify us as children lavished in love by our Father (1 John 3:1-2)?
The old passing away, aren’t we now new creations (2 Cor 5:17)? Where once we were lost in our old life, now pressing onward for the prize, wrapped tight in the knowledge of our relationship with Jesus (Phil 3:13-14)?
Modern day Psychology, New Age Spirituality might lure us inward to find purpose. Others might claim our identity is found through nature, career, relationships, or social status.
But an identity built on anything other than Christ, one focused on anything less than His new life in us, will eventually crumble in time. (Matt 7:24-27)
For we truly have been adopted, chosen, predestined, hand-picked, known by our Creator long before we ever breathed life. (Eph 1:5, 2 Tim 1:9)
And when we get that we are not “chance” or “happenstance”; when we can grasp that we were known beforehand, predestined, formed for His plans and purposes…everything changes.
Our goal then becomes about reflecting His love, instead of finding ourselves in a world screeching for a voice in some fickle spotlight. (2 Cor 3:18)
How about you? Do you know who you are? Do you know you are loved? Do you know you have a purpose chosen by God?
She holds a note there in her high-chair. I know she has found it; loud, proud; our one-and-a-half-year old foster toddler; finding her voice in a world floundering with hopelessness and needing more than clones, but true reflections of those who know it’s not about us anyway.
And isn’t it time we simply abide in His great love, needing not to know, but knowing we are known by God?
For after all, this earth doesn’t rotate around us. We have a God whose sole plan for us is to reflect His identity.
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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11/15/2014 10:36:15 pm
Beautifully said! We are all trying to find our voice no matter our age. I love your description of hiding behind our technology where are words say one thing but our heart could be screaming another. I also appreciate the reminder that missions does not have to mean how people are ministered to in other countries but it can look like what you are doing in your own neighborhood. Thank you linking up to The Weekend Brew.
11/18/2014 08:06:49 am
Finding our voice and knowing our place in the world is our ongoing struggle isn't it. How grateful I am God defines our identity. Thank you for linking at Unforced Rhythms.
11/18/2014 09:28:42 pm
So true. I love the visual of the one-year old screaming, trying to find her voice. The world is very noisy with a lot of one-year olds of various ages trying to find their importance and worth. It isn't until we stop screaming to be heard will we be heard. I'm always amazed at teachers who speak quietly in order for their class to hear (I tried it with a group of kids; they kept talking).
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