“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Identity. Who am I?
This is a question I have been struggling with for a large part of my life. I always looked to outside sources for my identity. What did people say about me? How did people treat me? Did I have a lot of friends? Did people pay attention to me or ignore me? Was I left out? Was I included? How many likes did my picture get on Facebook? How many friends did I have on Facebook? Was I successful in other people’s eyes? Etc. Etc. Etc.
As you can imagine this was an exhausting process but it was very so much a part of my life for many, many years.
I was constantly looking for people’s approval. Approval was all I wanted. Approval was everything to me. If I felt like I had peoples’ approval then I felt good about myself. If I felt like I didn’t have their approval, I felt terrible about myself. I over analyzed everything, worried constantly about what people thought of me and I was miserable inside even though I would’ve never admitted it.
From the outside I probably seemed like I had it all together. But I didn’t. I was just torn to pieces inside because I didn’t know who I was, whose I was. I changed myself depending on who I was around and what I thought they wanted me to be.
Over the last few years, as I’ve grown in my relationship with God, he has helped me overcome these battles raging inside of me, battles I know that a lot of you probably deal with as well at times in some form or another.
One day, a day that I was really struggling with my identity, God said to me, “Why are you putting your self-worth in other people’s hands?”
And a light bulb went off inside my head. Why was I? Why was I putting my self worth and value in other’s hands? The last 10 years of my life I had put my self worth in other’s hands. How I was treated was how I felt. And it was a rollercoaster: ups and downs, curves and drop offs. If I felt treated good one day I would be sitting in that rollercoaster seat climbing that track feeling great but the next day when someone would disappoint me or not treat me the way I would’ve liked I went down fast and sharp and would be at the lowest point on that rollercoaster track.
Wouldn’t I always be disappointed? Humans are sinners. None of us are perfect. Because we are all sinners, putting my value and worth onto other people was a self destructive thing to do. People are always going to let me down at times in my life. People are not always going to like me. People are not always going to treat me good.
Putting my self worth and value in other people’s hands was not fair to them and it was not fair to me.
We need to look to GOD for our identity.
Not our work, our success, our money, our looks, our social status, our Instagram followers, etc; because that can all change with a drop of a hat.
“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away–look, what is new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I look to GOD for my identity. He tells me I’m a new creation. I’m his child. I am chosen. I am redeemed and forgiven. I have been raised up. I am accepted. I have been set free.
GOD accepts me. GOD has chosen me. GOD has set me free.
You and I will always change. Change is inevitable. I’m sure none of you are the same person now as your 14 year old self (or lets hope not). Think back 10 years ago, are you different now? Think back 5 years ago? Even 1 year ago? Are you different now than you were a year ago? For I’m guessing all of us the answer is yes.
GOD will always stay the same. He is constant. For eternity. And to find my self worth and confidence I don’t look inward (because I am always changing), I look outward to GOD.
If only my 15 year old, 20 year old and 27 year old self knew all this. I could’ve saved myself a lot of torture and heartache. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and butterflies now. There are many days I still have to fight the enemy when he tells me I’m not good enough. There are still days I find myself going back to old habits but they are fewer and farther in-between.
If you find yourself always seeking other’s approval, constantly worried about what other’s think, not really knowing who you are, feeling insecure, constantly checking to see how many Instagram or Facebook likes you got and feeling down if you didn’t get as many as your friend….. I am here to tell you that YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE ACCEPTED. YOU ARE CHOSEN.
This world needs you.
GOD knit you in your mother’s womb and has great plans for you.
God loves you and wants a relationship with you. And I promise you, if you seek him out, in time he will answer your prayers. He will help you overcome obstacles that you never thought you could overcome. He will help you see your worth. And you will feel his love. He loves you so much. He doesn’t care how you look, how many Facebook friends you have or how many times you’ve messed up in the past…. HE LOVES YOU FOR WHO HE CREATED YOU TO BE.