We are constantly seeking on discovering our true identity our whole lives and our understanding doesn’t always unfold in the time frame we’d like. What happens to our identity when we experience failure? Or lose someone’s favor? Or become burnt out in our jobs or place of service? The very foundation of our identity is shaken and altered, resulting in us hustling to define ourselves by something or someone else. A stable sense of self cannot fully exist when we place our identity in external things. When circumstances change, our identity constantly changes too, but God is always at our side, urging us onward, holding us close to him.
I imagine God weeps when we try to be someone we are not and when we tell him who we are is unacceptable. We don’t speak up because it’s not okay to be seen as the one with questions. We try to change our appearance because we’re dissatisfied with how we look. We are always worried of what others might think of us? What if they think I am dumb? What if they think I am rude? We always try to please others that we do not even realize that we are losing our true self, our identity, whom we really are inside.
Sarah is an American with an important history in Vietnam; she is Vietnamese but can’t speak the language of her biological family. Where does she fit in?
As far as the question relates to her cultural identity, the answer is still working itself out. But when it comes to her identity in Christ, the answer is clear: she belongs in the arms of the God who created her exactly as she was meant to be and put her in exactly the story he wants her to experience. If our desire to fit in causes us to turn our backs on the fact that we belong safely in God’s arms, we might never experience a true sense of belonging.
God didn’t make me quiet and demure, and he didn’t make me to conform. He made me uniquely me, just as he made Sarah uniquely her. I know and believe it. I don’t try to be someone I am not anymore, and I can tell you for sure that not everyone likes the authentic me.
That’s okay. Sarah doesn’t pretend either. Today what she tells her children and helps other women try to embrace as well is this: “Be who God created you to be. He places value on you being you! It’s okay to look or act different from other people. Just be yourself and be strong in who you are. Be strong in God.”
I have found truly embracing who we are with all of our strengths and brokenness to be very freeing. When we each finally embrace this truth for ourselves, I believe God has a party and rejoices!
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.