God speaks to me through all manner of experiences, and in no way least of these is through my pastor on Sunday! He discussed identity… I have been wrestling with this term for weeks, now. Generally speaking, my identity has been “Chris and Jana.” And, I was quite satisfied with that. Now, to many, I am “Chris who lost Jana.” Someday, I may just become – Chris.
But, what does the identity of “Chris” look like? Where do I even start? Sunday morning, we were reminded of the fact that, as believers in Jesus, we are “saints” found in Christ. This is our identity from Colossians 1:2. I am here to bring glory to God. My life is His, my will is laid down in favor of His plan, and I serve my savior, Jesus. This is who I am, who God has made me…bringing me from death to life.
Some days I am able to walk in this identity found in Christ, other days I feel far from God. It’s me who creates the distance. God is always near. The things of this world get in my sight and darken my vision. Namely…grief. So, my identity becomes “grieving Chris” in those times.
What about my interests and passions? Don’t these characteristics also make up my identity? I have to overlay “me” on this life… This part of myself I am now trying to find. God gives freedom to exercise my interests while walking with Him.
This is a very difficult thing to understand. It’s difficult to write about because it all sounds so hard to pin down. There is no map for figuring out who you are. Didn’t I do this back in my teens and early twenties? Yes, but I hadn’t lived with a spouse for 21 years and raised two children… I am different now.
What do I want to get from this identity, ultimately? I want to serve the Lord in the way He wants me to. I want to live happily. I want to be comfortable with me. I want to be fulfilled. I don’t want to feel alone…
I would say, the more my identity includes Jana, the more incomplete I will feel. My life, the things I have learned, my behaviors, my thinking, and my heart will always include Jana, but my identity should not. I am me. It’s crazy, but this is a difficult thing to re-learn. I don’t think I will really move forward effectively until I begin to embrace my new identity.
I thank God for giving me my spiritual identity in Him. He gives me a purpose: glorifying Him. Everything else just rides on, and enhances, this purpose. My life is in Him and it is for Him. I am learning. Even as I struggle with these personality concepts, I am learning. God is forming me into the man He wants me to be. I will let His word be my guide in identity.
For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16