How many times have you heard the word ‘identity’, or listened to a sermon on your identity,or listened to someone talk to you about your identity? How many times have you listened and then walked away, feeling more confused, guilty, angry and condemned?
Personally, I have spent many years wrestling with my own identity issues. As an adopted child growing up in a large family, I didn't know how to deal with the turmoil I felt inside,so I went on with my life trying to blend in with others.
I grew up knowing all the verses about God’s perfect will and love, all the ones on adoption, and all the ones about having a new identity in Christ. When my adoption story came up in the presence of guests, I knew how to push down the memories and put on a show. I learned how to smile when people told me how lucky I was to be adopted into this new family and new country. Yet at the end of the day I would curl up in bed and as the darkness invaded my room, I would cry. I felt so desperate for the peace and joy those verses promised, but I never felt. I put a band-aid on a gaping wound and smiled big, so everybody would see that I was happy.
Being honest with myself and God was way too painful and scary,so I avoided my reality as long as possible. I would cover my questions with all the nice verses I knew, but deep in my heart did not believe.
This past year, God brought me back to address this deep rooted issue I had left to fester over the years. I fought, I kicked, I cried,and I ignored Him for a while, until my solutions left me broken and deeply hurt. I ran down as many side trails I could find, but they all left me empty ,confused and desperate. I came back to God scared of what He was going to do to me, but He simply started again in the same place where I had quit.
I really really wanted to know who I was, because I no longer knew and I was scared of the person I saw myself becoming. My pride had vanished and in its place stood a girl who was out of excuses. I was willing to listen for the first time in my life and God told me who I was in His eyes.
“ All beautiful you are,my darling,there is NO flaw in you…”
(Song of songs 4:7)
“ Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!!! See I have engraved you in the palms of My Hands; you are ever before me…” ( Isaiah 49:15,16)
“God chose the foolish things of the world,to shame the wise,God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not to nullify the things that are…”
( 1Corinthians 1:27-28)
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not harm you,plans to give you hope and a future……”
These are real words from God, but for many of us these are painful to read. They may bring up memories, stir up questions, anger, or re-awaken a longing inside, that once upon a time was there. For some, the reality of being fully known, loved and wanted is an oxymoron and the first thing we ask ourselves when we read these words is, ‘What does He want?’ There must be a catch somewhere in this pretty picture.
What makes God so amazing is that He is who He says He is and it will never change with the time or circumstance. He does not manipulate or play games with the children He loves.
God says simply to you today….”My Son, My daughter, I chose you before you knew your name…or your country…I chose you to stand before me, I chose you to pour out my love on…… I see no blemish, no ugly past, no baggage, no mistake….I am God and I have set my seal of Love on your life, I signed the adoption papers before you ever knew you were an orphan.”
God leaves us with a choice, to accept the adoption, choose the identity or to walk away.
When you and I run to Him,there in His arms, we will know who we are. In the light of His Love our identity is going to be clear, because we were made in His image, to bear His likeness.
“Though my mother and father forsake me, The Lord will receive me .” ( Psalm 27:10)