When I began to recover from my surgery, my middle daughter wrote a story about me. In the story she used words like scary, yuck, and weird. Those words were all describing how she felt about me, specifically my looks. I used her feelings to teach her, what seemed obvious, but didn’t come easily. I may look different, weird, yucky or scary but who I am has not changed. I said this over and over. The person you know and love has not changed. I am still here. I look different. I act differently, but I am the same.
I am fortunate that I never built my identity around my body. I have walked away from enough jobs to not have an identity in my occupation. I have learned my identity cannot be in anything within my control. Everything can be lost. Everything can be taken away. Everything can be left behind.
The problem with identity is that we create it for ourselves. We have a thought, agree with that thought and begin to act upon the thought. The thought grows into a philosophy and the philosophy becomes a way of life. In difficult times, my thoughts are: Why am I here? Where are my friends? Will my family still love me? Will this last forever? And on and on my mind reels. My answers to these questions can shape my philosophy about hardship and therefore, my identity.
If I am ever vigilant, my identity will remain secure in what God has declared about my life. I am chosen. I have a family. I have a purpose. I am forgiven. I am blessed (Eph 1:4-10). And this is just the beginning of who I am, the beginning of my true identity.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation, fill your heart with truth. Do not align yourself with fear that comes with each new season. Let the moments pass and the fear to pass with it. Align yourself with truth and this truth will free you from fears, new and old.