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Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

Life has a way of shaking up what we think is secure. Like an earthquake, the ground shakes and aspects of our lives we thought were stable become insecure.

We can all pin point times, or seasons, in our lives that have shaken us into new fears and doubts. We all have scars that leave the stamp of feeling out of control, and wounded.

Insecurities give voice to the places in our lives that feel helpless, hopeless, and broken.

For me, insecurities tell the story of intimacy that has been broken, and where self-preservation resides. Insecurities are my red flags that let me know that there is distance between me and the Lord. My insecurities help me track the cravings of my soul.

Insecurities are telling of where the weight of wounding words has taken root in our hearts. It is when we start to listen to the voice of lies that our security is challenged. Places that were once smooth with security and confidence become jaded and jagged with doubt.

Skepticism and worse case scenarios become our preoccupation through the eyes of insecurity. 

Within all the muck and mire of insecurity, it is also a gift. We are all created for a relationship that is both perfect and untainted. We can taste this type of relationship through intimacy with God. My insecurities have always been a great litmus test as to where I have distanced myself from his security.

My insecurities give light to the smallest places where I have removed my eyes from his steadfast love and intimacy.

Insecurities prey on the unchangeable in me and make them seem replaceable. Most often my identity in Christ is challenge when I feel insecure. I begin to substitute what God has said about me and replaced them with lies. My insecurities are the labels of those lies.

I am learning to navigate through my insecurities as a road map that leads my heart back to his arms. Insecurities never feel good, but they are a gift. They rise up to let us know that a void has been created between us and God, and that intimacy is needed.

Our identity in Christ never changes, it can only be challenged.

What are your insecurities telling you?

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Ever have those days where you are just tired of feeling like the “other” in life? Sometimes I feel like I carry around the label of “other.”

Being the “other” is one of those things where you feel like you are so close yet so far away. The “other” could mean being the person passed over for the job, always the friend and never the interest, the cheerleader not the player, or the go-to but not the everyday. Being the “other” feels like never measuring up, or not being enough.

The “other” for me is kind of like always playing the supporting actress role. Some day’s invisibility is felt deeper than others. There is a sting to it.

One of my least favorite adjectives is being labeled as comfortable. I cringe whenever I hear anyone being described as comfortable, including myself. The word comfortable speaks to me as one being taken for granted and overlooked. Comfortable is assumed and depended on, but not necessarily considered. If I am being most honest, I fear this label.

Labels are real. We all have them. Every single one of us feels inadequate, unseen, insecure, and not enough in some area of life.

The root of labels comes from a place where we have either been told by someone else we don’t measure up, or we realize inadequacy in ourselves by way of comparison. Labels are the words we use to describe who we are NOT, and keep us paralyzed in our perceived weaknesses.

Labels shape the way we respond and the active role we play in our own lives, as well as the lives of others. Labels bear the scars of misperceptions and wounds. I hate that.

There is no freedom in comparison. The truth is that we are all wired uniquely. Everyone has gifts and talents that make them specifically great and valuable. Everyone has something incredible to offer. I believe God has wired us with passion and dreams for specific things He has for us – things only we are meant to do. Labels kill that value.

“Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what YOU have to offer.”

I want to encourage you to take a hard look at your perceived labels and wrestle through them. They will only keep you chained to fear. Choose courage to see yourself differently and add value to others. YOU have incredible things to offer.

What labels do you struggle with?

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We all grew up memorizing the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names/words will never hurt me.

This is just a bunch of bull. Why do we teach people this!? The truth is that I would rather be hit with sticks and stones because it heals faster, and it doesn’t leave as painful of a mark on me.

Words mean everything to our hearts and life. The sound of those words can make or break someone forever. Words and names pierce the deepest parts of us, and in such a short period of time. I am sure we can all think of words we heard in the last 24 hours that either encouraged us or left a mark of hurt.

Tone of voice means everything as well. Growing up I knew when my mom was mad. We didn’t even have to be on the same floor of the house and the message was clear!

We listen to words and voices. Those words tend to determine how we view ourselves. They dictate the lenses through which we base our identity on.

My heart hurts when I see the lifelong lies people live out. I hate hearing about the hurts that people have experienced that have now developed into daily patterns of insecurity. It breaks me. I am sad over my own lenses that determine the way I hear.

I am not good at receiving. I gloss over compliments and sometimes encouragement. My immediate thought is that those words are not meant for me. I have lies that were solidified in my ears a long time ago. It’s hard to hear “you’re beautiful” because “you’re ugly” has been spoken over me for too long. I still wonder what beautiful feels like.

Our culture speaks the words that nothing is enough. We have an un-meetable bar for being lovable, worthy, and valuable. All of those seem to come with competition and pain. That makes me sad. I don’t know one person who is confident in their identity.

Our identity can be challenged but never changed.

The misconception about identity is that it changes. The truth about identity is that it is a fact; a fact that is unchanging regardless of any conditions.

God created us with the identity that we are valuable, lovable, worthy, and His beloved. That never changes. This is the truth that we need to measure all words up against. He says we are worth saving and worth loving – worth laying down His life for. That is fierce love and value. Nothing changes that truth.

Our lives face many battles and challenges to this truth, but truth can’t cease to be truth. You are spoken over and spoken for. That never changes.

I get that this is a lifelong challenge. Changing a long time pattern of thinking and believing takes time. My hope is that your lenses start to change and the voices you begin to hear at that of truth.

You are worth it!

What are lies you struggle with in your life? 

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I often ask myself the questions of what am I wired to do? What are my gifts and talents? How has God made my personality to reveal who He is?

These are questions of the doings of my heart, but what about the deeper things? Why does God care about me? Who am I that you are mindful of me?

I think I can lose sight of some deeper values of God.

Andy Stanley talks about how we can miss a vital part about who God is when we only look at salvation. Yes, Jesus did save us from life apart from God. He has redeemed us, but there is more. God has not only saved us, but desires to reconcile us to an original relationship plan.

I know I can get stuck on just seeing Jesus as the forgiver of my sins, and the one who stands in the gap for me to be reconciled to the father.

I often miss the relationship.

We are all created to know and be known. We were created to enjoy and be enjoyed by a perfect relationship. We were created to belong, be loved, and be cherished. Jesus came to offer that message as well. When we decide to accept Jesus’ invitation for salvation we are also accepting an invitation to being reconciled to a place of a restored relationship.

In Him, I am spoken for.

In Him, I belong.

In Him, I am someone’s someone.

In Him, I am enough.

In Him, I am loved.

In Him, I have trust.

There is a brokenness in my relationship with God. One that started back when sin entered, and one that I up hold when I forget that my original design is to be known and know an intimate relationship with Him.

The brokenness in my relationship with Him affects every area and relationship in my life. I know my other relationships walk with a limp because of it.

Jesus has a message that was deeper than just saving us from hell. I am so grateful for salvation. Eternally grateful, but I don’t want to miss the deeper message He is also offering.

We were designed to know and be known through a perfect relationship. Sin has tainted the original plan, but it is not lost. He still desires me.

Who am I, that you are mindful of me?

I am His.

How is your relationship with Him doing?

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The heart fascinates me. I love people. I love getting to know the story of another. I am a big fan of big crowds, and nights filled with intertwined conversations.

We are fast becoming a culture that craves relationships and community, but actually gives little time to develop either one. We are a culture that thrives on status. The success of being known is measured by how many followers we have on Twitter or Facebook. If people want to get to know us, we have links we can pass on to them.

Even the course of questioning is changing rapidly when meeting someone face to face. Our culture has three basic questions we ask to figure out someone’s identity. We ask the questions of “What do you do? Where do you live? What school did you go to?” Now we have shifted into “Are you on Twitter? Do you have a blog? Can I find you on Facebook?”

We need people to fit into a category or box of identity…..

I am honored to be guest posting over on my friend Tony’s site today! 

Would love your thoughts regarding today’s identity.

Read more…..

 

 

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