In which moments of life do you define your identity?
Is it the day you walked the platform toward receiving your high school or college diploma? For some, the accomplishment of earning your degree concluded a journey involving academic, financial, or systemic challenges.
How about your wedding day? Dreams cultivated as little girls blossomed into reality as you committed to a new chapter in life. Fears of not finding “the one” gave way to the realization that you are committing to share life together with your spouse.
Promotion or successful career? Knowing that your efforts to reach a job related goal have yielded fruit brings a sense of satisfaction. Especially when your skills are recognized.
Becoming a parent? Whether through birth or adoption, attaining the opportunity to parent presents us with challenges and rewards that exceed expectations.
Recognizing the movement of God’s hand in our lives is worthy of celebration. Yet, too often, we find ourselves defined within the boundaries of culturally valued achievements. The rub is that these “identities” are merely chapters in our story.
Scripture bears witness to the public narratives of women who served God in prominent roles. Yet, only a small percentage of their lives were spent serving God in such capacities. How long was Esther actually Queen? In what ways was Sarah a vessel of God’s glory during the ninety plus years before giving birth? What did Deborah discern to be her next step after her time as a judge ended?
Whether our paths take us toward the crowds or to a desert; to a place of routine or a new adventure, our identity remains the same:
. “For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[b]“ (Acts 17:28)
(This post is written for the Five Minute Friday prompt “Define.” Join the fun at http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/)
I love the women from the Bible you talked about. They were such great friends examples of persistence and faithfulness. Great post! I’m over in the 55 spot this week!
Beautiful. I love how you tied all those awesome ladies together and the scripture you chose at the bottom. This was a beautiful message. Glad to be your FMF neighbor.
Jeannie Prinsen says
This is so, so true, Stephanie. If we define ourselves by a particular role or stage or achieveement in life, then what happens when that role or stage is gone? There can be a real grieving process there, and rightly so sometimes, but there is the challenge and invitation to go deeper and find our identity and definition more deeply in Jesus. I used to go to the Christian Reformed Church and we regularly read aloud the 1st Q&A of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What is my only comfort in life and death? That I am not my own, but belong, body and soul, to my faithful Saviour, Jesus Christ…” I love that so much. Thanks for sharing these examples from Scripture and encouraging us with your words.
Jeannie (#30 this week)
Hi Stephanie! Love this! Our identity must be firmly rooted in Christ. I have so many friends who have forgotten who they are after motherhood or marriage. As you know, I found out the hard way that wrapping my identity up in another human isn’t what God has for us. Thanks for sharing!