Words by Abigail Morgan
I can’t help but laugh a little when people ask me about my identity. Not because I am unsure of who I am, but because it causes me to reflect on the past four years of my life and see how my identity has changed. I think about how I changed from the person I was when I graduated high school and over my long four years of nursing school.
As a young person, identity can get lost. Those are the years when we are searching for who we are, who we want to be, and who or what will make us the happiest. Sometimes people find their identity in becoming a parent or working hard at their career; others find their identity in hobbies or possessions.
For years, I tried to find fulfilment in my own life and identity. I tried substances, poured my heart into intimate relationships, and lost myself within the thoughts and opinions of my friends. As someone who is very Type A, works hard, and considers herself an independent woman, I allowed my identity to slow drift as I introduced people and things into my life.
Now you’re probably thinking, where does Jesus fit in here? Acknowledging my relationship with Christ was one thing, but truly understanding the depth of this relationship is something that I have been growing in over the years. If we are not actively seeking an identity in Christ, we are caught up in seeking identity in worldly things. For me, it was relationships with others and making sure I excelled in school and sports. I craved a perfect existence.
Some people find themselves identified by their fears – their fear of failure, their overwhelming anxiety or depression. I feared failure. I feared that my parents would be disappointed in me. I feared I would disappoint myself. This fear drove my identity. As the years went on and my fear grew and grew, I eventually broke down. I reached a breaking point where I could no longer could handle my fear and disappointment. I was truly unhappy. I made decisions in my life that did not reflect my identity in Christ, and it was showing.
I remember standing in church one morning hearing a line from a popular worship song: “I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.” These lyrics repeated over and over, and I felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in so long—a peace that could only come from God. That same morning, my pastor had an altar call. He encouraged all of the followers in Christ to come to the front of the room and walk through a door. He said that by walking through this door, we proclaimed we were answering God’s knock on the door of our lives, that we were choosing to answer His call and allow Him into our lives.
On that day I said yes to Jesus again, I walked through His door and left my fear and my worldly identity behind. I left behind my desire to please others, compare my life to others, and my willingness to change my identity for others. Instead, I sought to please Christ where my identity is grounded in the one who has never failed me.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.Romans 6:6
When we identify ourselves in Christ, all fear is gone. Our future is secured in Him. I love the image of children sitting at Jesus’s feet. I picture myself sitting at the feet of the Lord as He proclaims peace over my life. Sometimes during my darkest times, I can’t help meditating on the fact my heavenly Father wants me and calls me to sit at His feet.
When I began to choose Christ first, I slowly saw small changes in my life. I felt peace even in the most stressful times, I felt comfortable in my own skin, I no longer sought out validation from men, and I no longer felt like a slave to my own worldly desires. I encourage you to ground yourself in Christ and watch as His power breaks every worldly chain.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into this wonderful light.1 Peter 2:9