Have you lost your identity? My heart goes out to all those who have lost jobs, careers, businesses and livelihoods during the pandemic.
I can only imagine what that must feel like. Years of studying, working, practising, refining, investing – gone – through no fault of your own.
Resulting in a loss of identity. I know who I was – but who am I now?
For some, I guess they will perhaps be able to start again and eventually go back to what they were doing but for others I guess the future is less certain.
I heard recently of airline pilots now working for Amazon, a graphic designer driving a Sainsbury’s food delivery van and an opera singer who was working in her local hospital. Many have had to leave their chosen career path only to discover themselves way over qualified for most jobs in a crowded labour market. Sadly those at the older end of the spectrum have found it difficult to find any kind of work.
Over the years we have also heard the experiences of elite sports people when their days of competing are over and suddenly they can no longer do what they used to do in front of the adoring crowds. Politicians, actors, singers, musicians, artists and others often face a similar loss of identity.
Perhaps for whatever reason you too are facing a loss of identity. The pandemic and consequent lockdown has caused many to struggle with their identity.
Who am I? What am I here for? I’m only good at… (and I can’t do it any more!) and can things ever be the same again?
It seems apparent to me that any of us can lose our sense of identity.
One of the chief objectives of the enemy is to kill, steal, confuse or destroy our identity. He will
- Plant lies in our heads that are contrary to God’s Word.
- Tell us that we weren’t wanted, we were a mistake God doesn’t accept us, we don’t belong, we can’t change and we’re not forgiven
- Tell us that we’re not good enough, have no gifts or abilities and will never amount to anything.
Knowing who you are is so important.
I can remember when Julia and I ran a youth camp years ago, we talked to the most beautiful red headed teenage girl who had believed the lie of the enemy that she was ugly. One of the things I asked her was this – ‘have you noticed how many young men are following you around….’
Clearly she has believed the lie sown by the enemy that she was ugly. It was impacting many areas of her life and she had little confidence in herself.
Let’s not allow the enemy to steal our identity.
Our identity must be in Jesus Christ
Knowing who we are in Christ brings confidence, validation, self-esteem, increases our faith and releases us to discover and understand our God-given purpose.
Paul puts it so well;
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG)
Our lost identity must be re-discovered in Christ.
That is the foundation of a secure, fulfilled and contented life.
“For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure! And he chose us to be his very own, joining us to himself even before he laid the foundation of the universe! Because of his great love, he ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 TPT)
The Bible reminds us that we are deeply loved, accepted, called, chosen, precious, belong, forgiven, uniquely gifted and fearfully & wonderfully made.
- We are known by God.
- We were not a mistake and we are certainly never forgotten or forsaken by God.
- We were formed by Him for a purpose and we discover that purpose in Christ.
The Psalmist concurs,
“You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.” (Psalms 139:15-16 TPT)
So, no matter what you’re facing in this bleak season of life (praise God that the seasons do eventually change!) know that your identity is found in Jesus Christ – and if you don’t know Him for yourself yet – then this is a great site to explore and discover more about Christianity.
Once you have settled it in your heart that your identity is in Christ then can I suggest the following;
Stop worrying about what others think about you
Whilst of course its important to be self-aware and become as godly as we can be, if the truth be known we do exaggerate how much others are actually thinking about us (in a negative way). Most people have better things to do with their time than waste it criticising and judging others.
The truth is that most people probably think you’re great and God certainly does! He’s your loving Heavenly Father.
Stop beating yourself up over the past
Presuming you’ve asked God to forgive you for anything you’ve done wrong and you’ve forgiven others the wrong that they’ve done to you – then move forward.
Sometimes we simply struggle to forgive ourselves over our sin, bad decisions and mistakes. Hear this – God says ‘I have forgiven you. It’s time to live in the present and to look forward to all I have for you.’ It’s actually very difficult to walk forward if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. So look forward.
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out!” (Isaiah 43:18)
Stop trying to be someone else
“By grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. ” (1 Cor. 15:10)
This acknowledgment from Paul of his own struggles with his identity was one of the greatest revelations of my life. I suddenly became aware that God had made me the way I am, a mixture of characteristics, gifts, abilities, strengths, weaknesses etc. He chose to make me that way and He wanted me to be comfortable in my own skin and to realise that He thought I was worth creating and to simply enjoy being me. I’ve written more about this here.
Stop trying to prove yourself to God and others
Just do your best and be your best. Relax and enjoy being you. Allow God to lead and guide you and decide where your journey takes you.
He knows best. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and dreaming big dreams.
Talk to God about them and let Him direct your paths.
“Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].” (Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP)
Stop looking to your fellow man/woman for the what you need right now
You may well need a job, finance or even food. You may need a door to open.
These are tough and challenging days for so many however one thing I have discovered is this – that the only One I should be depending on and looking towards is my God.
He is my provider.
My future is dependent on Him and no one else.
My life and times are in His powerful hands.
He is ALL I need.
We all need a revelation of the Father’s love for us
A few years ago I received a revelation from God during some prayer ministry that I received at a conference.
As I lay on the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit, it was almost as though I heard the audible voice of God whisper in my ear; “This is my Son whom I love – with Him I am well pleased.”
These were the very words that God used to affirm Jesus after his baptism in water (Mark 3:17).
Perhaps you need to hear those words today;
“You are my son (daughter) whom I love and my greatest delight is in you.” (TPT version)
I believe that each one of us needs to receive that revelation and for it to resonate deep within our hearts.
Why not listen to this – The Father’s Love Letter – it will blow you away.
Can I encourage you to understand this – you are loved, accepted, forgiven and you belong to God.
Nothing you have done in the past or can do now or in the future will ever change that. You are His child.
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Lord, I’m struggling with my identity right now, help me to really know that my life is now hidden in Christ and my identity is in him. I refute every lie of the enemy that has been sown into my life. Help me to accept myself as I am – fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you that you love me, accept me and that I belong to you. I am your child. Thank you that you “know the plans that you have for me, plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Please fill me with your Spirit and enable me to stop looking back but rather to look forward into all that you have for me. For your glory. Amen.
Be inspired and encouraged in your faith!
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Perhaps you’re looking for something to read to inspire and encourage your faith or perhaps you have a relative or friend that you’d like to encourage in their faith?
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