Five months ago my teenager set her heart on something that she had never done before and for five solid months I watched my child dedicate hours daily to learning this new craft. It’s pretty amazing really, the dedication and training that she put herself through was spectacular. Then when it just wasn’t quite enough, it was heartbreaking.
In High School your entire identity is wrapped up in what team you are on or what group you are associated with. As I’ve watched her mourn, it would be easy to say that this is High School drama, in just a few years no one will care what team you were on or what group you were a part of, but that’s not exactly true is it?
Here I am a (dare I say) middle-aged woman and I’d love to tell you that I regularly identify myself as much more than simply wife, mother, and children's director (not to mention age, socioeconomic's, etc). But in truth, do I place my identity and thus, my value, in the fact that I AM those things? Would losing my husband, kids, job, status, etc. then result in a loss of identity and value? On one hand we are all thinking, of course it would, and on the other, we all know that is wrong. We know that our identity should be in Christ, that our value is in Him.
I heard someone say something once that I quite liked, basically she was talking about how good it made her feel when someone complimented her appearance and how ego boosting that was. She thought about the fact that she spends about an hour getting ready each day, it’s the first thing she thinks about when she gets up each morning, and she thought "is it any wonder that my identity and value is placed in the approval or disapproval of others based on my appearance?" The same could be said for all of us, it may not be appearance (though for women, I think it too often can be), but is my identity and value really tied up in the kind of mother others think I am? Is it tied up in my kids, my husband, my job?
This last year has been all about me fighting with God to be able to say, “I will trust you, I will worship you, I will be yours, even if I have to let go of everything” because the fear of losing everything had begun to consume me. The truth is, the thoughts that consume our waking moments, the things we think about when we go to bed and as soon as we wake up, those are the things we place our utmost value and identity in, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Where is your identity?