Finding Your Identity
As young adults stumbling our way through life, a lot of us spend a good amount of time trying to figure out who we are.
Some people think they’ll find their identity in their career, others in sports, boyfriends or girlfriends, hobbies or money. The possibilities are endless; you can look anywhere and everywhere. You say you’re a teacher, an accountant, a soccer player, a millionaire, a runner, a singer, a painter, maybe even a candlestick maker; who knows.
But speaking from experience, I can confidently say you won’t find yourself in any of those things.
What I have found, is that sometimes it takes losing everything you thought you were to be able to figure out who you really are. If you were to ask me who I was about 3 years ago I would have told you I’m a rock climber, a runner, a kayaker and a backpacker.
If you ask me today, my answer would be completely different.
Around 2 years ago I fell in a rock climbing accident and broke my back.
This took all the things that I let define me, away from me. I was stuck in a back brace for three and a half months and the most exciting thing I could do was walk.
I was no longer a runner or kayaker or backpacker, and definitely not a rock climber.
So now that I couldn’t be any of those things, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.
For the first couple months of having a broken back, all I could do was think about the things I couldn’t do. I remember telling someone, “but that’s who I am” when discussing all the hobbies that had to put on the back burner.
But then I realized that none of those things are who I am at all, they’re what I do. They’re all so temporary. They can be gone in the blink of an eye.
As I thought about the difference between who I am and what I do, I came to the realization that there’s only one completely stable, unwavering identity that I have or need: Child of God.
Don’t get me wrong, as soon as I was all healed up the first thing I did was head back to the rock wall. I still love climbing and running and kayaking and all those things are God-given passions and I think it’s important that we embrace them and pursue them.
But they can’t define you. Nothing so temporary can hold your identity; because once they’re gone (and they all will be eventually) you’re back to square one of trying to figure out who you are.
Colossians 3:1-3 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
As a Christian, my life is hidden with Christ. This is something that can’t be changed or affected in any way; not a broken back, a lost job or a breakup, an empty bank account or even death can change this truth.
In a world where things break, everything ends and nothing is guaranteed, our identity in Christ is solid ground in the midst of sinking sand all around us.
So pursue your dreams and embrace your passions but don’t let them define you. Stop looking for yourself in things so temporary and unstable; in all the wrong places. Instead, find your identity in something that can’t be broken or changed, in Christ as a Child of God.