Identity Crises

Identity Crises

There was a time when I had no idea who I was.  When I was with “them” – I acted like them.  When I was with “y’all” – I acted like y’all.  It was a miserable time from the age of 6 years old until 50 years old, I struggled with my true self.

What about you?  Do you know who you are?  Do you know why you were created?  Do you know your purpose in life?

Share your journey with me and then hear all about mine – how God dealt with me running from HIM.

1 Peter 2:9  – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Embrace who you were created to be!  Beautiful!

IDENTITY: This Is Who You Really Are

IDENTITY: This Is Who You Really Are

It was the morning of the women’s conference, and the Lord woke me up at 5:30. For the past couple of weeks I had made the choice to surrender my life to the things of God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in “Spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Teaching me who I was in him. I had settled my heart to cast all my cares on the Lord each day, refusing to worry about the stupid things I always seemed to worry about.

I was no longer afraid of getting in front of a group of women who might judge me as they inspected me. I didn’t care in the least bit. Seriously. I can’t explain how or when it happened, but clearly the power of the Holy Spirit pushed out all those nagging areas of insecurities and doubt. He redirected my focus more so on him than on anything else.

Speak the truth, Kristi. Get up on stage, and tell the women the truth, I heard the Lord say to my heart early that morning.

When I got on stage, I poured my heart out to the women. I talked about what the Lord had done and was still doing in my life. I talked about every insecurity and flaw, and I even talked about my many areas of regret—such as the years I had walked in self-righteousness rather than humility, hard-heartedness rather than compassion, and anger rather than forgiveness.

But most important I talked about the power of God and how in spite of our issues, mishaps, mistakes, and misguided images of ourselves, the power of God will never fail to transform us if we just let him. The key to change lies within each of us: Jesus Christ resides inside of us to empower us!

How do you generally feel, think, and speak about yourself, and does it align with God’s Word? It’s time to ask God to reveal the areas within your heart that need some fine-tuning and maybe a good dose of truth.

NOW TAKE IT, SPEAK IT, AND LIVE IT!

Read what the Bible says about who we are in Christ, and commit one or two verses to memory. Here are just a few suggestions: John 1:12, Romans 6:6, 1 Peter 2:9, and Colossians 3:1.

One Hundred Percent You

One Hundred Percent You

When Jacob came out of his wrestle with God, he left with a limp. But his new limp was more than physical; it was a mark of his new found identity. It was a symbol that he was now Israel, the father of a nation, and it was unique to him.

If you commit to the journey, chances are you’ll face your own wrestles. And chances are, you may come out with a spiritual limp; something that identifies your wrestle. It’s not meant to be a detriment or weakness but rather a symbol and reminder that you are now different. You’re now YOU!

You are unique, and I mean that in a very sincere way. When God formed you in your mother’s womb, He did so with great care and detail. He knew the giftings being woven into you and the experiences that would shape you, including the hard ones. God knew what part you would play in the body of Christ and it was unique to you.

Sometimes we get caught up in what other people are doing or being used for. We wish we had their talents or opportunity or role in the body. However, the lane they’re running in wasn’t meant for you…and yours wasn’t meant for them. Never try to be a copycat–be you. Be one hundred percent you because no one else can!

I absolutely love the way The Message pens Galatians 6:4-5:

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

Take a careful exploration of who you are and what part of the body you play, then dive into that. Don’t try to be someone else…be you!

Commit to the Journey

Commit to the Journey

If you want to find your true identity, fully commit to the journey! As we’ve discovered in the last few days, there will be hiccups, hesitation from others, roadblocks from the enemy, and trying days attempting to set you off course. But if you want to find the real you, it will take commitment!

Hebrews 10:35-36 are some of my favorite verses in the Bible; I recite them to myself all the time! It’s a great reminder to have confidence and courage in God, endurance and patience to stay the course, and a promise that there is a reward for our faithfulness.

Embrace these two verses on your identity journey and allow them to carry you through the difficult times when you want to give up and throw in the towel.

Truth is, difficult times have a way of bringing out the real you. When life is hard, we face who we really are and what direction in life we want to take. Personally, the darkest seasons of my life have matured me more than any other time–better than the good. Don’t waste the times that have the best chance of bringing out who you really are.

Whatever may come on this journey to find your identity, embrace it. Use these opportunities to mature you and bring out the best in you. You’ll be grateful you did!

The do not’s of Identity

The do not’s of Identity

As you embark on this journey, there are a few things you should avoid if you desire to seek out who you really are. You see, the enemy doesn’t want you to embrace who you really are. He would much prefer you wear the labels that hold you back from being all that God desires for you and he’ll certainly do his part to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Here are 3 “do not’s” for your identity journey:

1. Don’t Get Sidetracked. Again, the enemy would like nothing more than to deter you on this journey. Discouragement, hopelessness, and frustration may pop up on your journey, and if you’re not steadfast, he will use these bumps in the road to deter you from your identity destination. When you experience these moments, don’t get sidetracked but instead hold firm to the course and be determined to see the journey through.

2. Don’t Compromise. You’ll be tempted to take a shortcut or rush through any process that confronts the past or the pain. It’s easier to compromise but it’s certainly not worth it; any good thing requires some grit to see it through. Stay true to the new creation that you are. Remember, the old has gone and the new has come! Don’t be a slave to sin, which compromise tends to divert to.

3. Don’t Let Someone Else Tell You Who You Are. Jacob allowed Rebekah to speak into who he should have been even if it didn’t match. Chances are there are people in your life who want to speak into who you should be or the direction you should take. It might even seem harmless or good-natured in the moment, but if it doesn’t fit you, then don’t do it.

Maybe your parents want you to go to the same college they went to but it’s not a good match for your future. Perhaps you’re being pegged for a new role at work and although you’ve done excellent in your current position, you know that this new role isn’t a fit for your talents and dreams. Whatever it may be, don’t be so willing to do what others say you should do.

Romans 6:6 is a powerful reminder that we are a new creation and to stay the path, not revisiting or returning to our former way of life. Stay the course and you’ll find your identity!

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

Jacob faced an identity crisis. For years he was known as the younger of a set of twins, grasping at his brother’s heel for the role of first born. His mother, Rebekah, favored him over his brother and sought to secure a blessing for him, regardless of the cost. She spent Jacob’s formative years into adulthood trying to make him into the man she wanted him to be.

For a long time, Jacob played into that. He took on those same desires and pushed the boundaries in an attempt to be someone he wasn’t. Jacob’s identity was wrapped into his mother’s view of him and who she pushed him to be.

This all changed in Genesis 27 when Jacob steals the blessing meant for his brother. As a result of his decision and deceit, he flees from the only home and family he has known. It’s here Jacob must come to grips regarding who he is. Does he carry the labels he’s had into the new world or does he make a choice to be the man he wants to be?

God takes Jacob through a trying but incredibly beneficial season to discover who he really is and what he’s really meant to do. He receives similar treatment and deceit from his father-in-law that he himself dished out, which I’m sure was a huge wake-up call to the kind of person he wanted to be.

Jacob faced an identity crisis in adulthood and he chose to no longer accept the labels placed on him but to become the man he felt he really was and who God said he should be. In fact, he wrestled with God in his new identity and walked away a different person.

Jacob was labeled “heel grabber” when he was born, but after his wrestle with God, his name changed. The label that had defined him for so long was stripped and what was left was his true identity and purpose–to be the father of a nation.

As you read this, you’ve begun your own journey of identity. Will you continue to live life with the labels placed upon you or do you choose to explore and embrace the real you?

LABELS

LABELS

I’ve had many labels in my life–introvert, loyal, responsible oldest child, insecure, not good enough–the list could go on. Unfortunately, over the years I adopted what was said and believed about me, even if in my gut the label didn’t fit or I didn’t like it.

Even in the last six years when I took a difficult journey through the darkest season of my life, I struggled with labels the enemy whispered in my ear. I was broken, unredeemable, useless, and a disappointment to God and the people I cared about.

However, something began to change in me as I worked through the mess and pursued God’s healing in that season. I began to let what God said about me in His Word shatter the enemy’s labels for me. I began to see who I was in Christ and the redeeming power of the cross in my life.

As I did, not only did the recent labels begin to break off, but so did the old ones like rusted chains. I began to let go of the hurtful words and descriptions spoken over me for decades. I began to find my identity.

Perhaps you have labels of your own: parent, hopeless, rejected, spouse, forgotten, employee, unloved. Maybe they too are words people spoke over you or scars that have left their reminder of the wounds. Whatever they may be, their echoes play in your mind like a broken record and they’ve begun to define who you are. In fact, you find yourself living from those places instead of from God’s Word.

One label you can adopt is “child of God.”

Your Income: What do you have in your hand?

Your Income: What do you have in your hand?

God considers all work to be sacred and will hold us accountable for ourselves to Him one day (Romans 14:12). For those called to lead, a heart of service is of great importance. We are called to lead like Jesus did.

Read through Exodus 4:1-5. When God called Moses, He asked him what is it in his hands. God asked Moses to lay it on ground. What happened? It became a snake! God asked Moses to pick up again by the tail. And as he did, it became a staff again.

What does the staff represent in Moses’ life? It was a sheperd’s staff. It represents his identity, as a shepherd. It represents his income, because sheep tending is his livelihood at that period in his life. It’s all he has.

God is asking Moses to surrender all that everything that he has in his hands. God is asking the same thing from you and me. You job, your profession, you can offer up all that under His sovereign rule and authority.

Paul urges us to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1) and reminds us that “God’s call and his gifts are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29). No one nor any organization can change our calling or gifting….which are God’s equipping for our service to him.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet (Frederick Buechner)”.

Personal Reflection: Read each Scripture below and write what the message says regarding your calling and/or purpose for being.

1. We have been given different gifts to prepare us for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

2. He who began a good work in us will carry it to completion.

Leading Like Jesus…OnPurpose!!