Dear reader, stop for a second and think; what or who is defining you?
During the earlier days of my gap year, there were certain losses that took place that had my world shaking. I lost job opportunities, university aspirations and friendships. Through it all I definitely had what I would call an 'Identity crisis'. I found myself questioning who I was and what I was called to be and while I think it is important to find out who you are and what your purpose is, you shouldn't let the trials of this world make you question all that God has made you to be and called you to do. We live in a society that defines us by our successes and so many other things, we are defined by our social groups and where we find ourselves in that social ladder that many of us so desperately want to climb, who we know, who we've dated, by our Instagram likes/followers, by the phones we have, clothes we wear and the bags we carry, whether our frontal slays or not, the number of people we have slept with, if any and so on and so forth. I soon got sick of it, allowing everything else but God define who I was each and every day and in each and every way and so here I was, stripped of all I had thought gave meaning to my life and I essentially had to rediscover not just who I was as a person but who I am as a member of God's chosen generation and a daughter of the Highest.
This I believe is so vital in the journey of self-discovery as, if you do not know who you are in Christ, you will be very lost in this world. I had to ask myself these questions and I suggest you ask yourself too.
What happens when you fail that test, lose that job, lose those friends, potentially lose the approval of your family members, lose that great body? Do you lose yourself too?
When that inevitable disappointment comes in whatever shape size or form, do you crawl into your shell saying, "Maybe I'm not good enough" Maybe they were right, I'm not that smart/ beautiful/ talented/e.t.c"?
For some of you, the answers will be no, for a few, you might not be sure how you will react because maybe you have not been tested to that extent yet, but for many of us, our answer is yes. When our world shakes, we question our entire existence and that dear reader is a level of confusion that God never called you to experience. For that reason, he explicitly defines who we are in his word. But, firstly you must understand that it's not necessarily about who you are, it's about whose you are and from there you learn more about who you actually are.
So, the first thing you must know is that you are a Child of God. But, who is God?
God is a patient father but can also be a mother, brother, sister, best friend or lover. God is a merciful Lord, who from all things were created and only under his breath can all things stand. His word never fails and will will be done. He is gracious and loving, caring and understanding. He cherishes those he loves and will never forsake his people. He is constantly working out everything for the good of those who love him.
This is who God is to me but on the website below, you can find out more about who the Bible says God is:
In respect of all of this, who can I then say that I am?
Here are a few prompts in finding out who you are in Christ and who he has called you to be ;
- What does God say about you as his son/daughter? See Who does God say I am
- What are God's promises for his people? See Deuteronomy 28
- What is the meaning of your name? This was personally very beautiful for me to know.
- Which Bible Character can I relate best to? Once you stop reading the Bible as a story and more of a biography, then it's easy to be inspired and see that if the same spirit that lives in those people, lives in you, then you are more than able
- Who and what are you made of? I'd suggest you study more about being made in God's image and having the Holy Spirit dwell in you.
- I'd also suggest you find your own Bible verse that you can recite when you need to be reminded of who you are. My personal favourite is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. To me it means that I can overcome every difficulty, I can break through every chain, live through any disappointment, become whoever I want to be because I am backed by the strength of God.
So, dear reader, if you will learn anything from my journey, learn that you are not defined by your circumstances; neither your successes nor your disappointments define who you are. You are neither your success nor your failure, neither your likes nor your comments, your friends nor your family, your bank account nor your wardrobe, your university nor your degree course, your grades nor your job. You are not defined by anything on this earth. If you believe in God and all that he says that you are then do not let the noise of this world cloud your thoughts on all that he says you are.