Lately, I’ve noticed that most of my conversations with friends, mentors, and family members have circled around the idea of identity.
Maybe it’s because graduation is right around the corner and I’m still not sure what post-grad life looks like yet, or maybe it’s because so many questions I get asked are along the lines of “how are you doing since the breakup?”
My answers are straight-forward and simple: “I have no idea!” and “I’m doing well, thanks for asking!”
But on one occasion I found myself with tears starting to well up in my eyes because one friend simply said: “No, how are you doing? Please tell me so I can pray for you.”
Honestly, I have moments that I am overwhelmed. I thought I had a clear picture of my future, both in career and love but both of those changed dramatically. I look to God when things are wavering and seem out of control. In those moments I am learning to stop and say, “God, use this uncertainty and teach me.”
Last Saturday night, a few friends and I had the opportunity to hear world-renown NYC Pastor Tim Keller speak at a church here in Los Angeles. He spoke at the concluding session of the TogetherLA conference and his session was free, so being college students who love to soak up any new information, we jumped at the chance.
And of course, Tim Keller spoke on identity. Similar sermons and speeches have been given and each time I find myself completely bewildered that God created me and relentlessly pursues me each and everyday. And he does have a plan for my life, even if I can’t see what that is right now. My career and love life don’t define me. Who I am in Christ does.
“Your identity is not your feelings or the interpretations of your feelings.
Your jobs, dreams, aspirations, goals are not the only things that define you.
Any thing that you try to get self-worth from that isn’t from God will destroy you.
We have the identity that is not achieved-
Jesus Christ is your one true love and he went to the cross to show you what that means.”
We are defined by God and God alone. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “But it is God who established us with you in Christ and has anointed us, by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.” As we grow in trusting God, He is likewise molding us into the person he created us to be.
I think it is so important in this time of preparation for the next season of our lives that we learn and put our whole selves into God’s steady hands. Our identity rests in Him and Him alone– the creator our inmost parts and the keeper of our souls. He is our safety and our home base while everything else seems to be a slippery substance crawling out of our hands. He is our unbreakable foundation when grad school applications are looming in the distance, apartment lease and roommate agreements are confusing as all get out, and romantic interests slowly fade. Our neediness for daily joy and happiness is a link to His presence.
In this time of waiting and preparing for the next steps, I am learning to listen more to Him and less to my doubts and fears. His faithful love is mine to embrace. He knows my next step, and the one after that, and the one after that. After all, He has known my identity for ages and ages, and He cannot get enough of who I am in Him. And he feels the same about you, too.
P.S. here are some more verses on Identity for your bible studying pleasure!
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
1 John 3:1-2