Take Exit 31: Discoveries About Identity

Duck #45

I really want to know who Jesus is and I also really want to know who I am. I think that those are two very important things, because I think that identity is crucial to living. According to the dictionary app I have on my phone, the word identity means : who someone is; the name of a person; the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.

Who someone is.

I’m in this weird place, friends. It’s my last semester of college and because of that I’m trying to be fully present where I am, but also hope and prepare for the “what’s next?” segment of my life. As a 2nd semester senior, you hear a lot of “oh, how exciting!”, “are you ready to graduate?”, “enjoy this time!”, “plan for what’s a head”, “get ready!”, “relax!”–basically, you hear a lot. It’s awesome. It really is. When else am I going to be in a section of life that merits so many words to be poured into me constantly and consistently just because of the nature of the section of life that I’m in. I mean, I guess when I get married I’ll also be told a lot of things, but I don’t even have a boyfriend, so I won’t go there. 😛 My point is this: there’s a lot of words being thrown my way and it’s awesome, but it’s also very overwhelming.

Friends, readers, followers of my blog, you’ve gotten to know me over the past year. I’m a thinker, I’m a struggler, I’m a dreamer, I’m a lover, I’m curious. Over the past year I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned a lot about who I am, but I’ve also learned that I have a lot more to learn. I suppose I never thought I was done learning, but I thought I reached a point where I was cruising. You know, like when you’re taking a road trip and you really have to pay attention to the GPS, until it gets to the point where it tells you to stay on I-95 or I-40 for 80 miles or more. I thought I had at least 80 miles, but I don’t. My little GPS is telling me to change lanes, take exit 31 on the right, turn left at the light, and continue driving for another 3 miles before I have to make another turn.

So what does this have to do with identity and Jesus? Well, I’m not 100% sure, but that’s why I’m blogging. Haha. Because I’m sure that I’ll conclude something before I finish this post… 🙂 Let’s take a journey, shall we?

Learning about yourself is hard, is it not? It’s so good, but it’s so hard. If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly trying to better yourself. You’re constantly trying to be the best version of yourself you can be and looking for affirmation in how well you perform or how well other people say you perform, but that’s exhausting. And quite frankly, I’m over it. But you see, that’s all I’ve known. I’m good at performing–really good at it. So, I don’t know how to not perform. I’d like to think that I’ve had glimpses and scenes and moments where my mask was off, my costume was on the rack, and I wasn’t reciting memorized lines. In fact, I know that’s happened. But when you’re not in the habit of being raw, when you’re not in the habit of speaking your mind, when you’re not in the habit of freedom, it’s really hard to try and be raw, speak your mind, and be free. That is, to do these things so freely, a type of freedom that you can’t foster or create.

I find my identity in my performance. And that’s hard for me to admit for several reasons.
1) Because I’ve blogged about it before
2) I feel like I should be over that by now
3) If I mess up my performance, I feel lost…

But here’s the thing, just because I find my identity in my performance does not mean that my identity is my performance. My dictionary app said that identity is: who someone is; the name of a person. As a Christian, my identity is: daughter of God; righteous (2 Corinthians 6:18), co-heir with Christ; holy (Romans 8:17),  beloved; redeemed (Ephesians 1:7). And you see, what I fail to remember is that the identity I’ve been given through Christ isn’t like the identity I’ve gained in the world–it can’t be stolen. If someone takes my Bible, I don’t have to go to the police and explain what happened, or tell the bank to cancel my debit and credit cards. The identity given to me by Jesus is permanent, it’s constant, it’s always.

Okay, awesome. Great! That all sounds wonderful, right? But why is it so hard to remember? Why is it so hard to grasp and believe? Well friends, I’m figuring that out. Because believe me, I get it, it’s not easy to own up to your identity, especially when the words “prone to wander, Lord I feel it,” seem more true than ever. But here’s what I think, and this may or may not be be true for you–it’s hard to understand our identity because it wasn’t ours from the start, it was given to us. And when we receive it, we latch onto the title because it’s beautiful. But as we learn about the title and what it means, we realize how much we don’t deserve it. So we question it, we doubt it, we don’t believe it. We latch on to the good and completely forget grace, we ignore the Giver. At least, that’s what I often do…
A.W. Tower said, “what comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Because Jesus died, took our sins, and in exchange gave us His righteousness, our identity became His. Y’all our identity is Jesus. So, what comes to our minds when we think about our identity is the most important thing about us.

Jesus loves because He loves because He loves because He loves because He loves because that’s who He is.
I’m learning that. I’m learning about who He is and about who I am.

So, Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, would you reveal yourself to me, to us? Would you show us Your character? Would you drive us to know You for the sake of knowing You and through that would you help me, us, to understand who we are?

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