Today we are going to look at what forms our identity. There are so many different factors that make each one of us who we are. Here are just a few:
· Childhood. Whether we had a great childhood or not – we were molded in part by our past experiences. Parts of my childhood were wonderful & parts were truly awful. And whether I like it or not those experiences left a mark on me. I have done a lot of healing but honestly there is probably more to do. My experience has been that the more I heal from my past the more room I have to receive God’s words about who I am.
· God’s word. God tells us over and over again in the greatest love story ever told what HE thinks of us. What he did for us out of that love. But so often it seems the world is shouting so much louder………….
· Things we were told about ourselves (even those that weren’t true). My son had a speech delay when he was little and he stuttered. Most people couldn’t understand a word he tried to say & because he couldn’t express himself well he had a number of teacher who wrote him off as stupid. & he believed that. That lie followed him for years – he hated school. Homework was a battle field in our house. He had things he was really good at – football, video games, computers but regular school work wasn’t it for him. Then he started going to Essex Tech and football and found a different way of learning and he did really well and gained a ton of confidence. When he left after high school to attend Masters Commission in Maine he had to deal with the scars that those experiences had left on him. And once he had dealt with it my son started talking. That boy can talk your ear off today – but he’s got years of being silent to make up for because he believes the lie that no one wants to hear what stupid has to say. I’ve noticed something else when he’s preaching to the teens or praying out loud for someone…………there is no hint of a stutter in his speech at all.
· Expectations of others. Growing up I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be what I thought other people wanted me to be. It wasn’t who I was or even who I wanted to be but I took on those identities because I felt it was expected of me. And the result was that I ended up lost and broken and in desperate need of a savior who would love me just the way I am.
· Wrong expectations we place on ourselves (supermom, appearance etc). When Paul and I got married I had this idea in my head that to be the perfect wife you had to keep a “perfect” house and serve the “perfect meals” and do everything else perfectly. Well there was only one problem. I’m not perfect. But I almost drove myself crazy trying to be. Thank God I have a husband who would rather spend time with me than have an immaculate house. One of the few regrets I do have today – is that when my kids were really little I spent so much time cleaning when I could have spent more time playing with them and making messes.
· Expectations thrust on us by the world we live in. You can’t turn on a tv, move a mouse or open a magazine today without being confronted with the world’s idea of the perfect woman. I was watching something on tv the other day and it was showing the actors backstage getting their hair done and their make up on. They were quite ordinary looking. And those cute models………….they are so thin they don’t even look healthy. This idea of perfection is thrust at us from every direction and when we look in the mirror we can only find ourselves lacking, not measuring up, failing.
· Lies of the Enemy from birth. What lies are you believing? Maybe it’s the lie like my son believed – that he wasn’t a good student. Or maybe it’s the lies you were told as a child. For me – it was that my Dad wanted a son when I was born. Now that part was true. My Dad hoped for a son – you know the whole carry on the family name, work on cars, play baseball and basketball, hunt and fish with kind of thing. But what the Enemy did with that was to whisper in my ear my entire life that my Dad loved my brothers more than me. That was just not true and I didn’t really learn what a lie that was until it was almost too late. When my Dad got sick and was dying I experienced the depth of his love for me and recognized that lie for what it was. Now was my Dad perfect – nope. But he loved me the best he could with everything he had.
· This is not an exhaustive list. I’ve only shared a few. These may not be yours but don’t let that stop you from discovering and seeking healing from your own list.
God is inviting you to step out of all these things and be the you that he created....the you that he had in mind when he created you. Let's pursue that instead of the false ideas of who we should be or ought to be. YOU ARE ENOUGH IN EXACTLY THE CONDITION THAT YOU ARE IN. Live life to the fullest and just be you.