Have you ever questioned yourself, wondered (truly) who you are and what you have become? Have you had a crisis of identity? I find myself in this place; here, and now. I am coming out of an 8-year valley; a deep, wide and painful valley. This was a valley of death, suffering, and devoid of hope more often than not. The ironies in coming out of the valley you’ve been praying to escape…is that you come out changed. You come out of the valley with a new world view. You come out of the valley scarred. You come out of the valley with different spiritual eyes. You come out of the valley with a new identity.
In “Dancing in the Desert” by Marsha Crockett, she tackles beautifully what it looks like to suffer through our identity in Christ. I want to know what my purpose is in Christ; I actually fear living this life without it. It is so important to remember that above all, God pours His love into each of us. We are His and He is ours. So, remembering that we are here on this earth because he loves us above anything else is a good place to start when trying to find our identity. It’s going to come down to me (the queen of stubbornness, yes, the title is mine) letting go of myself, my plan, and my wants should I ever have a chance of taking on the vision God has for my life.
Marsha writes about the different ways God delights in us each day.
- “You are the image of God.” Psalm 139:14 states: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” These are powerful words, Readers. We are made, by Him. We are unique and loved by Him despite ourselves and/or our circumstances.
- “I am the beloved bride of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 says: “And we, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.” With each passing year of my life, I feel ever-more fortunate as I know that my relationship with Him is growing. I have been given an opportunity to transform.
- “I am Gods chosen vessel.” I am a God-ship. I know it is my calling to love others well, no matter the circumstance. John 5: 30 states: “By myself I can do nothing…for I seek not to please myself, but he who sent me.” We must rely on the Holy Spirit within us to be this vessel. We have to remain open to hearing His call on our hearts.
Ms. Crocket narrows down the chapter on identity in Christ to the following key concepts:
- “Identity rooted in Christ seeks not its own glory, but lifts Him up as Lord of all.”
- “Identity rooted in Christ seeks not its own comfort, but releases compassion into the world.”
- “Identity rooted in Christ seeks not to do what pleases the self, but what pleases God.”
- “Identity rooted in Christ seeks not to accomplish great things, but rests in the great arms of Gods love.”
My prayer today is from Thomas a’ Kempis:
“Deepen Your love in me, O Lord, that I may learn in my inmost heart how sweet it is to love, to be dissolved, and to plunge myself into Your love. Let Your love possess and raise me above myself, with a fervor and wonder beyond imagination. Let me sing the song of love. Let me follow You, my Beloved, into the heights. Let me soul spend itself in Your praise, rejoicing in love.”
I pray my identity is always rooted in YOU my savior, my redeemer, my Lord.
Heather Norten is a wife to one, mom of two, sister to three and friend to many. She is a Christ follower who has held various leadership roles within Women's Ministry at Southeast since 2003. Currently, she is the women's events coordinator. "I love our church community and am honored to be writing again! My prayers that the words you find here bless you in some way!"