I don't often think about my high school years, but I do enjoy staying in touch with friends. High school was, well, high school with all that involved. Classes, homework, and the social media of it's time.....connecting at our lockers, while walking to classes, and at games. We talked on the phone a lot, which was connected to the wall in our house. I always sat on the counter and chatted. One phone for 7 people. On the wall. Shocking in today's world. But I digress...........
Lately God has been speaking to me about my identity, and reunion stuff had me thinking about where I received my identity in my teenage years. My family and my church were a solid part of my life, but I can't help but smile when I remember how great I felt in my saddle shoes, mohair sweater, and white pleated skirts. ( no pants allowed for girls at that time). Even my saddle shoes helped identify who I was. Or so I thought at the time. I do remember wanting to fit in, desiring the right clothes, the support of friends, and for me a boyfriend that not only cared about me but (subconsciously) made me feel safe. In the sixties there were only the after school intramural teams for girls, and such activities as cheerleading, and school "clubs" to join. Seeking acceptance was so everything as I walked through what was called junior high and high school.
Recently, God has been guiding me to ask where I get my identity. I confess there are still moments in time when I wonder if someone will like me, how will this aging overweight lady be viewed, or even if what I write will be understood and embraced. I am tempted to identify myself by what I do or don't do, or maybe how I look. Yikes. I am tempted to identify myself by how others view me, so is there still a bit of that teenage girl inside of me looking for approval? Maybe in all of us?
Dr. Brian Simmons has a Facebook page on his Passion Translation of the Bible. He often posts something he calls "I hear Him whisper" which are prophetic words from God. Today's was "I hear Him Whisper: I (God) am your identity." Needless to say, he had my attention. God is not subtle when He wants to me "get" something. He often overloads me with the message, and this time was no different. Several books have been coming to my attention and even though the topic is not about just defining who we are, I have been drawn to their words on "identity". Lisa Bevere, in her book, "Lioness Arising", talks about how we are each created unique by God. We cannot be anyone but ourselves in life. Each of us created for a purpose, with Christ residing in us to give us all we need to accomplish that plan. Lisa's latest book, "Without Rival" is about how to embrace your identity and purpose in an age of confusion and comparison. (To compare is to despair). Kris Vallotton asks how we see ourselves ~as a prince/princess or a pauper in his book, "The Supernatural Ways of Royalty". And let me not forget what God's Word says about His children. Yeah, God is definitely at work here!
We do identify ourselves by wearing many hats in life. For me, that of daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and writer. They are all parts of the whole me, but deep inside, God is asking, do you see? Do you really see that I am your true identity. I live in you. You are a new creation in Me. Your body is my temple! Your spirit filled with my Spirit. You are a daughter of the King! King Jesus! You are not to please others, you are to please Me. You are not to fear others, you are to fear( be in awe) me. I love you as if there was only you, my child. My beloved. You can rest in this truth of where we find our identity.
Many in life are seeking to belong, to be accepted, and they may change themselves to blend in, to fit it. I am not talking about just kids here, I am talking about adults who "go along with the crowd" whether that crowd is found in a church pew or on a bar stool. Oh how it must sadden our Papa God. He created us to be unique and find our identity in Him alone. He wants us to embrace who we are on our journey to be Christ like.
Kris Vallotton says, "We all act according to who we believe we are, so it is vital that we hear who the Lord says we are. When we hear God's name for us, we can allow that name to define our identity. We need not ask the question, "Who am I". God has already answered that!
Like all of you I am blessed to wear many hats, several listed above. But I am even more blessed to know that I am a daughter of the King. I can rest and be at peace in the knowledge of my true identity. We all can.