We’ve all had our doubts about who we are. Recall middle school? Even high school? How about puberty in general? Yeah, I remember and it wasn’t fun. It was hard, confusing really, and let’s be honest: so awkward. So many changes: internally and externally, physically and emotionally, mentally and relationally. We went through times of trying on different masks, seeing which ones fit and which ones felt good, and which ones were just not right. We experienced an identity crisis. We tried different things, listened to different music, switched up our wardrobe even, just trying to figure out the answer to the one question we’ve all asked ourselves at least once: who am I?
“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 NIV
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 NIV
I am a creation of God. He formed all the details and crafted them to make me. I am a human being created in the image of the one true God. My identity is a reflection of my Creator.
“A strong woman is someone who is walking in her God-given identity, unaffected by the world’s image of a feminine role or the religious pressure to conform to some reduced version of herself.” Kris Vallotton
I can tell you in full transparency that right now, my identity does not feel like it’s in Christ. It’s screwed up. I see my identity through the lenses that I am jobless and broke. At times I see myself as worthless and unwanted. I know that’s not true, but some days it sure feels that way. Christ says I have infinite worth and He deems me desired. God says my identity is not based off an occupation, the amount of money I have in the bank, the number of friends I surround myself with, what my body looks like or the style of my clothes – it is in Him alone, my Creator; the One I am fashioned after.
The only thing, the only One, who determines my identity, is the One who created me.
“Everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:7 ESV
“Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3 ESV
I was made by God and for God. That right there should be a huge relief because first off, I know who my Creator is and second, I know why I was created. That takes the pressure off of me to attempt to figure things out. My purpose is to bring glory to God; the LORD who made me and knows me in intimate ways. It’s the same purpose every human being has. But the specific way we have been designed – our likes, talents, interests and passions – those are the unique ways in how we bring glory to Him. Likes and interests can change over time. Talents can be added or limited. Passions can grow. There isn’t just one way for me to bring Him glory; there are many ways, and the joy is finding how I can.
Our God is a God of many things. He is creative and knowledgeable. He is gracious and just. There is so much we don’t know about Him but what we do know is enough to take our breath away. Scripture says we are made in His image, bearing His likeness, and that by Him we have our being. Knowing who our God is, the One whose image we are fashioned after, is what clarifies who we are at the core.
“…for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” Revelations 4:11b NIV
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Growing up in a world such as ours, it can be confusing figuring out who you are. Parents, whether unconsciously or purposefully, have expectations for who you should be. Friends take a huge influence on you. Society and culture display their ‘standards’. Clothing is a statement. But in the end, when you get down to the simple truth, none of those are you. You, my friend, have been intentionally created and specifically purposed in life, not only to bring God glory, but to be loved by Him.
“Define yourself as one radically loved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.” Brennan Manning
Being created in the image of the One who deeply, unfathomably loves us is who we are. We are beloved creation. Cherished children. There is no better identity than that. Nothing else can give us confidence and security in who we are. I may doubt who I am at times. I may struggle with how I am perceived by the rest of the world based off my occupation (or lack thereof), clothing, education, or social circles, but their opinion does not matter because it isn’t truth. God’s opinion is the only one that matters because He is the One who created me and gave me purpose. My identity is solely found in Him. In Him I am.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV