Identity; the condition of being oneself and not another.
Identity; condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is.
Do you ever have a day where you just feel more like you than you have for the last few days? A day where you look in the mirror and think, “yeah. this is me. listen here, world, this is who I am.” For me it’s when I’m wearing black, high top Chuck Taylor’s. It’s how I feel the most me. The most natural, the most undone, the most not trying to accomplish anything but here I am in my black Cons and this is the kind of day that it’s going to be.
I feel it when I’m at work. When I’m in my element, my groove has been found and it’s busy and I’m multi-tasking and smiling and people around me smile back. I feel it when I’m snuggled by the fire with a book. I feel it when I pick my kids up from school.
The world tells us we need to be something. Accomplish much. Strive and have drive and reach for the stars! Each human being will interpret differently what those things might look like in their life but if I’m completely honest, they just muddle me up. When I think I need to strive I start to think of all the things I’m not. Ooh, perhaps I should start my own business. That would be striving. Or maybe I could go back to school because that would show I have drive. Homeschool! I should definitely homeschool because that would be a really great accomplishment.
Thing is, God has not designed me for these things in the here and now of my life. A business-minded individual I am not, though it intrigues me. Adding school to my current repertoire of activities would likely kill me and therefore any amount of drive would be impossible really, from the grave and all and I assure you it would only take asking my children once (I know, cause I tried just for fun) if they would like to be home schooled and you would hear a resounding, “No!” Followed by, “Why?” and my favorite, “With you?” The sad part is they weren’t trying to be funny. One hour of watching homework hour in our house and you too would be questioning if I should even be monitoring this, let alone trying to instruct a full days worth of curriculum.
So these things are obvious to me, even laughably so, things that I should not be striving for. But that raises the question – what should I be striving for?
I find myself putting who I am into various identifiable groups, day after day. I am a mom. I am a homemaker. I am an employee and part of the sisterhood of where I work. I am a yoga practicing, smoothie loving, God fearing, converse wearing, ripped jean loving girl. Seems simple. This is who I am.
I’m sure it’s different for you. You may be a runner, a hockey player, or a soccer mom. A gardener, a cook, a tech geek or a babe. A make-up wearer, no-makeup wearer, a dye my hair funky colors or let the gray come in natural sort of woman. You may be the church secretary, a model or the voice behind the songs on the radio. Whatever it is, we all have a thing that we feel defines us. This last Sunday I even realized the depravity of my heart in terms of identities at church. Because we’re a center court family and not a sanctuary one (you’ll only understand this if you attend Northview) I was frustrated when we arrived to find our area full. We trudged grumpily off to the sanctuary to find a seat. I didn’t like where we sat, the music is different, you can’t take your coffee in and you can see the pastor live, in person. So lame! I’m a center court girl because I value community, unlike these people. I will happily allow you to see the pastor in person and I will watch him on a screen because I’m humble like that. I feel it’s important to be a part of something smaller, more intimate, and this packed sanctuary could never offer that for me. Basically, I was ticked off because this messed with my identity. Or at least my own perception of who I am.
As I talked with the boys this morning on the way to school, grilling them on last night’s ‘bible’, the topic came to sin. We talked of David and how even though he had hurt many people leaving a trail of sinfulness he came before God and stated that it was against Him that he had sinned. David, a man after God’s own heart, a devoted follower of Christ, royally messed up and then on top of that he tried to cover it up and make it all look okay. It took Nathan pointing out to him the error of his ways and suddenly David’s heart bled with understanding. He got that he was wrong and that he had sinned against His holy and righteous God.
So what’s the flip side? If we sin against God alone, the positive of that should be that we live for Him alone, right?
So as I lay in yoga class this morning I meditated on that thought. I didn’t have a verse but I wish I had. The thought, for today though, was enough.
I live for you alone.
I live before you alone.
My actions are for you alone.
My words are for you alone.
My yoga is for you alone.
My style is for you alone.
My work is for you alone.
My friendships are for you alone.
My heart is for you alone.
I live for you alone.
So where does that leave all of these places that I find my identity placed in? It leaves them at the feet of Jesus. Confessed as sin. Confessed as places where I have robbed God of His glory and placed who I am in a job that I do or the clothes I might wear. If I live for Him alone it means that my identity must be found in Him, in being His child, His workmanship, His to use as He wills in the places that He has me no matter what. No. Matter. What.