I don’t remember being exceptionally quirky in high school. I mostly tried to get good grades and be friends with people. I didn’t have time for quirks…..which is why it’s unusual that on my 18th birthday, I decided to go and renew my driver’s license wearing an 80s prom dress. Let’s see the picture, shall we?
Beautiful. Note the following 4 things:
1) The puffy sleeves that almost go up to my ears
2) The sweetheart neckline
3) My signature. It’s not that my handwriting was that bad. It’s just that the pens they make you use are the size of tree trunks and you must sign all of your name in a box the size of a postage stamp. This signature, consequently, earned me the nickname “Bum Feemstev” in my college Sunday school class. Kelli Sweat still calls me that.
4) My red face. Now, my skin generally has a pink tint to it, but in this picture, I am completely and utterly embarassed. I remember walking into the DMV and thinking, “What the heck am I doing?”
Eh, it made for a good story. And when I got that speeding ticket about fifteen minutes after I accidentally hit a dog on a county road in the dark on my way home to Abilene from College Station, surely the officer got a good laugh.
Who am I?
Just last week, I purchased a 150 cc scooter. It’s beautiful- red, shiny, and retro. I have wanted a scooter ever since we rented one on our honeymoon in Cozumel but picking a scooter is a very delicate process. You see, the type of scooter you ride tells a story about who you are. Let’s see if you can match the scooter to the owner.
1) Someone who gets their nails done and wears make up
2) Someone who wears diapers
3) Someone who could beat me up and/or Batman’s newest sidekick
Do you see what I mean? It’s pretty crazy how color or body style can dicatate the personality or identity of the person riding it. Now, I just have to find an identifying helmet….
Who am I?
God has been showing me lately how people, including myself, find their identities in things that will fail them. Namely, when asked the question, “Who are you?”, what is your answer? People define themselves by a variety of different modes- jobs, family, relationships, money, possessions. How would you describe Brad Pitt to a tribe in Africa?
He’s a FAMOUS ACTOR who is MARRIED to ANGELINA JOLIE. He has a MILLION KIDS and he’s RICH and HANDSOME.
I don’t personally know Brad Pitt, but he could certainly find his identity in any one of the capitalized words above. The problem with all of these things is that they are fickle. As the current economy has shown, even seemingly stable jobs can quickly become unstable. Or you retire. Money comes and goes. Possessions could be lost in theft or fire.
Unknowingly, alot of us find our identities in relationships. It’s easy to become Beth, wife of Alex or Pamela, mother of Patsy. The problem with depending people is that they are so dang fallible. They WILL dissappoint you at some point. I’m not saying that we should lose faith in humanity or anything, but it’s important to remember that no one is perfect, even though they might seem to be initially. As people start families, they find themselves wrapped up in their families and their families alone. While families are certainly important, they are not exempt from the disappointment clause. Even kids grow up and leave.
Putting our identities in these things can leave us heartbroken and lost. Even when things are going well, it can leave us feeling unbalanced because all it takes is one bad move and it could all come crashing down around us.
Who am I?
I could say that I am a wife who works at a Women’s Shelter (so I’m a “good” person) who loves her family and friends and likes to ride around on a scooter. But all of those things could change in an instant. What would I be left with? My identity would be in shambles and I would be left wondering who I was.
There is one thing I know for certain. I am a daughter of God (John 1:12). God is the only thing that I can securely find my identity in. He is steadfast, powerful, and eternal. His love and mercy are unconditional and while He sometimes might not answer my prayers the way I like, He never disappoints me. God is good. All the time.
I am learning to be at peace, secure in my identity as a child of God, which also requires finding out WHO God is. How can you find your identity in something when you don’t know anything about it?
When we do this, when we realize that we have been made new, given a new life because of Christ, and we can have a relationship with the Creator, we can have peace that our new identity as children of God will never fail us. We can be free from trying to find the elusive “perfect” job or worrying about what will happen when we break up. Those kinds of worries will no longer make us feel unbalanced because we are standing on a Rock.
Choosing to find yourself in things of the world is like choosing to walk on a balance beam instead of a road. You can certainly do it for a little while, but the balance beam might get wobbly or you will get tired and eventually, you’ll fall off. You could walk on a road forever and it will never wobble.
If God is enough for you, you will find peace.
That’s who you are.
(PS- I’m going to repost this verse because it is fitting.
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning, great is [His] faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him.”