I’ve been reading about and contemplating my identity lately. Who am I really? Which part of my identity makes my decisions and establishes my priorities? Which one can I rely on when I need a convenient excuse to do or not do something? Which identity motivates me and which one do I really want to be the driver of my responses and motives in life?
I’m definitely a task-oriented person, which is great for getting things done (that I’m interested in), but it is certainly a negative when it comes to getting to know people. People aren’t too receptive to being treated like a checklist.
I’m a mother and a wife; somedays it’s hard to determine which one has priority, especially when I’m also sort of an introvert and like MY time to recharge. I’m a Canadian and an Albertan and a Calgarian, with political opinions within each framework. I’m an administrator and an organizer, which go hand in hand with being task-oriented. I’m a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a friend, a homeschooling parent, a Matt Maher fan, a volunteer, and a church goer…unless I’m a camper.
There are many of those things that I don’t do well and some of them that I do. I’m also a very flawed human being. I’m a procrastinator, an impatient person, a speeder, a judger, a competitive game player and one who is too sarcastic.
But who does God say that I am? What matters most to Him?
He would say that I am His child and that I’m loved by Him. I know that when everything is boiled down to simplicity that that is all I want my identity to be. The rest of my identity, without God, can easily be labelled as busyness, stress, guilt, and a checklist. Recognition and acceptance of my status as a child of God automatically makes me aware that I am a follower of Christ (a disciple) and therefore, a servant. What I think, feel and do needs to come from the base of knowing that I am first a child of God and that my life here is not my own, but, instead, is just a short time to honour Him. “Everything else” (all 23 items I listed + a few more) that I am should take up a lot less space and noise in my life.
Even though I know these things, I still struggle with Matthew 10:35-39, “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
I have times of quietness and reflection when I say to myself, “Yes! This is who I want to be. I want to stop being selfish and living for me and start giving up my life for Christ. Starting right now, I’m going to do better!” These are very quickly followed by moments of interruption, distraction and a loss of focus.
My best moments, though, are those when I am in God’s Word, reading encouraging books, taking time to listen to God, listening to inspiring music and serving. I’m thankful to be in a community where I am encouraged by others’ presence at worship on Sunday, by willing hands who pitch in to serve, by all of those who are striving and struggling to honour God with their lives, with their time, in their priorities and in their compassion for me and for each other. I know and I can see that we are all wrestling with our identities, but I can also see that we are all wanting to give up our lives for Christ, with the hope, and the reality, of finding a new one. I’m praying for God to continue shaping the rest of my identity based on being His child and a servant in His Kingdom.