Monday, February 10, 2014

Identity Crises

Once upon a time, there lived a young girl in a big city similar to one she had lived in before. She was attending college and working towards the finish line of her undergraduate degree. Life was passing her by as she tried to keep up. Within a year, she had changed her address 3 times, changed schools, worked 2 jobs, entered into a relationship, and got engaged! She's the same girl in the rat race mentioned in the post before... in fact she's the same girl who wrote this entire blog! Woah... and to think the stories keep on coming!

Well hey there friends! It's me, the author of this blog... I know it's been a while, but I'm back.
Recently, the Lord laid a topic on my heart that I really feel like he's been working on in my life and urging me to share. I've been struggling with my identity. I don't believe young adults are the only one who experience this difficulty. It seems to be one area that reoccurs a few times over a lifetime. This past year, I found myself becoming obsessed with my grades in school and what people thought of me. Sadly, I must admit I've struggled with "what people think of me" for years; but worried over grades to the extreme of last year was unusual. The worst grades I've made were two C's, one in high school and one in college. In December, upon pulling up my term grades, I received two B's, one C, and one D. I made a C in Chemistry and a D in biology! In my mind, I was a failure. I was worthless; my professor probably thought I was dumb and incompetent, and I needed to give up. The college I attended not only wrecked my plans but ruined my identity. I was no longer a smart, involved, academic achiever. In fact, the dean's office sent me  a letter explaining to me that I was now on Academic alert for Spring semester and required me to complete seven hours of tutoring. How could a girl who started out with a 3.78 GPA be put on Academic alert? The dean must have thought I'm an awful student.

Oh my stars, how many of us find ourselves with this mindset? We give Satan a foothold and start believing his lies. We fall into a trap that magnifies our insecurities. In the grand scheme of things, those grades didn't matter. My identity is not found in my grades or what my professor or the dean thinks of me.

As the year came to an end, I felt God tell me of a different plan for my life than the one I had chosen. My dream to become a therapist came to an end. God laid something BIG on my heart. One night I was laying in bed thinking about how I could make a difference... how God could use me. Then I thought, it's not the physical needs that God is worried about with His children, it's their heart. A new fire started to burn within me. I no longer felt the need to fix people in their earthly body; I yearned to help their spiritual body. I could travel the world bandaging up children in third world countries; but where would they end up if no one cared about their heart. As I began to pursue this idea, I felt the urge to change my major. I am now a Communication major and hope to accomplish a Master's in Special education. I want to bring Jesus into places where He is not allowed, such as schools. The song, "In Christ Alone" seems to put everything into perspective.

Though days pass when I doubt the Lord's presence, question His motives, and wonder what others think about my crazy life... I know He will not forsake me.  I do not define myself in who others say that I am. I do not define myself by my achievements. Many times we get caught up in who the world says we are: a teacher, spouse, parent, student, etc...  My identity is found in Christ alone. Who are you? Do you care who people say you are, or who God says you are?

Prayer:

Dear Lord, 
Let us remember what is important in our life, to follow You. I pray for all of the broken hearts in this fallen world. Please lead us as your children to seek out those who are in need of You. Let us be a light unto this dark place. Use us as your hands and feet that we may be a witness to those around us. God, I pray that we find our identity in You. Give us an indescribable peace and confidence within that we may be empowered to proclaim Your name among the nations. Forgive us for the times we put our secular identities above our heavenly identity. I pray that we keep You in the center of our life shining bright for the world to see. 

In Jesus' name,
Amen


Scripture:

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16

"But you are a chosen people. a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."
1 Peter 2:9

"Command and teach these things. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:11-12