Identity means "the distinguishing character or personality of an individual" according to merriam-webster.com. I mean most people can tell you the definition of identity, but what does it actually mean? When I was growing up, I attended a church that preached and drilled that our identity should be found in Jesus, not in anything else. At a point, it kind of got redundant... but little did I know that the seeds planted in me would grow into a tree that I would run to for cover.
In high school, I considered what I did and what I accomplished my identity. I was a theatre kid who was always at rehearsals and loved performing... the girl who was the top 10% of her class and that was it. I was the "good girl" who went to church weekly and I was one of the four Asian students in my grade, so of course I would make excuses and say, "Is it because I'm Asian?" I never thought anything of it, it was just who I labeled myself to be or maybe it was who people labeled me to be or both.
Fast-forward to college, where my major and what degree I was pursuing became my new identity. I mean how could it not be? As a freshman (or frankly when you meet people in college), you would state your name, major, and hometown. I became Nicole, Medical Laboratory Science major (later changed to Public Health), pre-med, and you know Blue Bell ice cream? Yeah, my hometown makes it!! That's been my identity all throughout college more or less. But what happens when you go through an identity crisis?
I was the cream of the top in high school and I felt like I was on top of everything I did. In college, however, especially at UT... classes were more challenging and grades mattered even more since after all, my goal was to get into medical school. What happens when I would do my very best, yet I felt like I was letting myself and my family down? I tried to find my identity in what I did, the grades I received or what career I was pursuing...but frankly it was never satisfying. I knew deep down there was more. This couldn't be it. I refused to accept that my identity lied in all those things. There had to be more to my identity than just that.
One day I was driving to school and was listening to a podcast from Bethel Church in Redding, California. Pastor Bill Johnson was speaking on identity and he said:
“I can’t afford to have a thought about me in my head that He doesn’t have in His head about me. Any time it entertains things that are not absolutely true and central in His perspective about me then I’m visiting something that will war against what He thinks about me".
What he said resonated in my spirit. All of those thoughts that I had about not feeling good enough or qualified enough to reach my goals and dreams was nonsense because God doesn't think those things about me. I realized I had to change my perspective on how I viewed myself and what my identity is. I needed to focus on what God thought about me and what my identity is in Him.
Psalm 139:13 says "For your created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
I am not sure who I heard it from, but I remember them saying that each of us is a God dream. He dreamt about each one of us when He created us--- every.single.detail. This verse amazes me because the God of the universe who created the stars, moon and the planets knit me together and not only that, but I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I do not want to worry about what others say or think about me, what I think about myself or what I identify with overcome me. I do not want my identity to be found in my achievements, my career path or my relationships. I choose to be His daughter, daughter of the most High King. I want that to be my first identity, the one I hold above the rest.
So just in case you forget or get a little lost, remember who you are.. you are a child of God. It is never too late to call on Him and you are never too far gone.
The girl with upside down dimples