Identity Under Attack

When Melissa first asked me to prayerfully consider joining the EHM and Generation Hope team, I thought about what I would like to say to women my age – or really any age.  If I only had one thing to tell them, one topic to talk about, what would it be?  Immediately, “identity” came to mind.   During college, I started to really recognize the importance of having my identity be rooted in Christ, and my journey in this life lesson has only continued during my post-college years.

After college, life was not at all what I had anticipated.  I did not land a sweet full-time job, live in my own place, or even get hitched.  It has been a roller-coaster ride sometimes tainted by insecurities.  You see, the world seems to have a certain set of standards for life, and I really have not been meeting them.  Family, friends, co-workers, fellow churchgoers, and random people I have just met have all given me their two cents about what I should do in life.   I am sure that the majority of them all have had good intentions, but the input they have given has been interesting to me.  Many times their advice seems to say that I should do whatever it takes to get where I “should be.”  Well, where should I be, and how do you know?  Please do not get me wrong, there is great value in seeking and receiving wise counsel.  In fact, wise counsel has helped me through this interesting time of life, but why is our first reaction to tell people how to better advance in this world?  Advice is not bad, but are we also encouraging people to seek the Lord in every matter?

Okay, why am I talking about what people have said to me?  I bring it up because people will always say things, but will what people say throw you off course? There were many times when people’s comments made me question the choices I had made and doubt if I were traveling on the right path.  They really affected my self-worth and made me feel incredibly small.  Again, these people might have thought they were doing me a favor and being kind, but Satan used their words to confuse me.  After many experiences like this, I learned to remember the truth.  The truth is that I include God in my decision-making.  I seek His wisdom, knowledge, and discernment, and I long to be wherever He wants me to be.

Sometimes following God’s path means that I’ll be going against the grain, and I might do things that don’t make much sense to other people.  Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  There’s the way of the world and then there’s God’s way.  These ways are totally different and will conflict.  It’s important to make sure that we measure ourselves according to God’s standards.  At the end of our lives, He’s the only one that gets a vote.  I don’t mean this to sound harsh, intense, or as if others don’t matter, but we need to make sure that we’re pleasing God before others.  I have actually found this freeing and try to apply this end of life truth into a daily concept.  At the end of the day, have I pleased God?  Am I doing my best where He has me for His glory?  Am I seeking to please Him and not others?  If I answer “yes” to these types of questions, then I’m doing okay.

Additionally, I recall the truth of who God is and who I am in Him.  I remind myself that God has a purpose for my life.   Many of us know Jeremiah 29:11, but here it is again. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”  He knows the plans.   That does not mean that you always will, but we can rest knowing that He does.  May I also point out that right this very minute, you are living out the plans He has for you.  Life isn’t going to start when we get married, when we get a promotion, when we have a child, when we get a raise, when we become famous, when we get praise for our work…life is now.  His plans for us are happening now.

We combat our insecurities and secure our identity in Him by remembering these truths but also by growing in our relationship with God.  Praying, reading His Word, and spending time worshiping Him (in song as well as in our actions) will help to keep us firmly rooted.  He will be our firm foundation.  Matthew 7:24-27 reminds us of this.  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

I love that the symbol of Generation Hope is an anchor based on Hebrews 6:19a, which says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  God, who is our hope, is an anchor.  When we cling to Him, we become firm and secure.   Will you continue this journey with me in seeking a healthy, godly identity that will keep me from compromising, from being tossed by the waves of life?  Press into Him.  Learn more about His character and how He sees you.  Stand firm on the solid foundation, and drop your anchor in Him!

~Katie Cline
Media Coordinator for EHM
Co-Leader for Generation Hope

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