Who am I?

So many of us have the same story.

“When I was a little girl I had my dolls. Every day I tenderly woke them up, played with them, put them down for naps, fed them, and then at night, rocked and sang them to sleep. I was born to be a mother. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. It’s what I was created to do.”

And this is what has come with us into our marriages and walked with us daily, if not hourly. With every month that passes, with another negative pregnancy test, with yet another loss, or with the death of a child that we desired so very much everything for which we were created is shaken to the very core. That which we were so sure that we were created to do is snatched from us, and we have absolutely no power to control the situation. To say that an identity crisis is underway is an understatement. Everything we had hoped to build our personality upon has crumbled to dust.  We find ourselves seeking to find out exactly who we are.

It is important to note that desiring to be a mother, in itself, is not wrong. When examined, there seem to be two major types of desire: God-given and self-driven.  God-given is what we are born with – what God places into us.  Every woman is given a unique helping of this desire.  This desire was given in the beginning of time as seen in Genesis.

 So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Genesis 1:6-7

The self-driven desire however, is what comes through the process of becoming a mother – the waiting, longing, trying, losing, and praying.  It is also what we often base our self-worth and life purpose on. We frequently make it our “everything,” but as we shall see in a moment, while God has given the desire for motherhood, it is not to be the final determination of who we are or our even the statement of our life’s purpose.

Our problem, as emotional beings, is that we often confuse the idea of desire with the truth about our identity.  We base our identity upon our success in fulfilling desires, instead of simply upon what God says about us.

The enemy steals our identity, by deceiving us into believing that it is only based upon a role that we may fill, such as being a mother. We often waste years of our lives to this identity crisis, wondering who we are or fighting to become something, when all along our true identity has been solid and unwavering, because we have been living the very life that God has created for us to live.

Ultimately, our identity comes from God and not from our success or lack thereof, such as an inability to be a mother or have the number of children that we desire to have. This is a hard truth to grasp – a painful truth, as well, for it demands that we actually surrender our desires to the Lord’s will for our life. To say that if He desires a different plan, we will submit to that and will dwell within His plan, rather than what we instinctually desire is a process that is difficult and painful in the undertaking. Battles must be wrestled through before the peace of surrender will encompass; however, the greater the battle, the greater the victory.

In order to surrender to God’s call, we must make the foundation of our identity be who we are Christ and the promises we have in Him.  This is a topic unlimited in scope, as there is so much we can claim in Him.

I. Our Identity in Christ:

A. We are His creation.

Divinely and purposefully created. We are no accident, and our purpose in life was not a random thing that we just happened to fall into.  Our desires and the roles we would fill were not a surprise to God. Rather, life is breathed into our being by the very breath of God, because He has something very specific for us to fulfill in His plan – His earthly plan and His heavenly plan.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:14-16

B.  We are God’s child and joint heirs with Christ

God is a king. If we have accepted the gift of His Son as our redemption from sin, the Bible promises that we are His child. This makes us royalty, something we usually gloss over and do not take the time to soak in and comprehend.

Because of Jesus, we have an infinite worth and value, simply because we have now become one of the King’s adopted children. We are joint beneficiaries with Christ! We are entitled to the same inheritance as Jesus! Such a wonder!

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Galatians 3:26

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17

C. We are created because of and for His glory

It’s not about us. It never has been. It never will be. When we try to base our identity on our hopes and dreams —and the lack thereof, we make it about us.  We were created to fulfill God’s purpose and we were created to bring God glory.  While our heart cries out to have that purpose and His glory be found in motherhood, we must soberly realize that this for God alone to determine.

We are His masterpiece. He is the potter, we are the clay. The Potter can form the vessel to His desires. The vessel does not form itself, nor does it have a say in how it is crafted.

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever! Amen.Romans 11:35-56

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Romans 9:20-21

D. We are redeemed women

We have been ransomed with the precious blood of Christ. Our sin is redeemed and so is our pain and grief.

You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. I Corinthians 6:20

 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. I Peter 1:18-19

After our identity is fully established Christ, we can look at what our roles are within that rock-solid identity.  We are all created for a unique purpose.  We need to concentrate on what God has called us to do in the NOW, not what we hope He will call us to do at some point in our future.

“It is easy, as a woman, to feel that God is not fair in His expectations of us…until, we understand what we were created for.  If you try to use a hammer to remove a screw, you will certainly destroy the furniture you are working on.  Either, you need to use a screwdriver to remove a screw, or you need to use the hammer to drive down nails elsewhere.  Only then, will you see a beautiful and useful piece of furniture, fit for the use it was intended for.  I needed to remember what kind of ‘tool’ God created me to be, and then, work at the job I was designed to master.” 

– taken from Joy Comes with the Mourning by Holly M. Besser 2011©

II. Our Role as a Child of Christ:

We need to be willing to give up our own desires and allow God’s will to be completed in us, no matter what that might look like. We are bought with a price. We are not our own.  That means our desires are not even ours to cling to.

You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.I Corinthians 6:20

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. I Peter 1:18-19

God commands us to:

  • Love Him first and foremost

This means loving Him above all, even our own heart’s longings and desires.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5

  • Practice self-denial

Denying our own emotions and longings for the sake of His kingdom and His glory.

This denial does not mean to pretend they do not exist and try not to feel them. Rather it is a surrender of giving them up into His hands, trusting Him to do with them what He will, for the purposes of His glory.

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Mark 8:34

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:7-16

For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:25-31

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. II Peter 1:3-10

  • Be Thankful

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

III. Our role as wives and mothers:

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:10-31

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5

There are verses that pertain to other roles that we carry out as well.  God addresses how we should treat our parents as daughters, our bosses as employees, and our acquaintances as friends.

If you will first establish who you are in Christ, the roles that you are called to perform and desire to live out, will not be as likely to consume you. They will not be the foundation of your identity but rather, the fulfillment of God’s glorious purposes for your life.   May we be willing to accept the truth of what God has called us to be today, and live in that role with victory, always desiring to bring glory to our Saviour.

Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC. Holly M Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2012. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp012p10-18-12

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