Perfectly Loved in Imperfection
I have been thinking a lot about identity lately. It is something God constantly brings up in my life. Not because I have it all figure out, but because for the longest time I struggled to understand my identity in Christ.
Growing up in church I learned early on about being a child of God, that my identity lies in Him and that I am unconditionally loved by Him. The older I got the harder it became to wrap my mind around this truth and my childlike faith slowly began to fade. I saw my imperfect self and didn’t understand how a perfect God could ever love or call me His. I thought it was all about being perfect and trying to please Him with my good works and if I was just good enough, then He could actually love me. But soon enough I realized that I could never read my bible enough, pray enough or live my life good enough. I felt like a failure and overtime I became frustrated with myself and with God. In this place of frustration and desperation I finally God enough room to speak to me. I discovered that there was nothing that I could do to make God love me more or love me less. I am a daughter of the most high King. I am loved (1 John 4:10). I am accepted (Romans 8:1). I am forgiven(Psalm 103:12). I am chosen (2 Thessalonians 2:13). I am redeemed (Ephesians 1:7). There is no greater freedom in my life than to rest in the knowledge that my identity lies in Christ. I don’t have to be perfect or strive for it, all I have to do is to accept it.
I would be lying if I say that I have it all figured out. To be honest my identity is still one of the things I struggle most with in my life. I still catch myself stuck in a religious mindset. I also realized that often in my relationships with other people I try to please them or work hard make them like me. I struggle with loving myself for who I am. But I am thankful for a loving God who never gets tired of reminding me of who I am.
Over the years, I learned a few things that help me when I struggle with my identity:
- Dive into the word: you can’t find anyone better than God himself to tell you who you are. One of my favorite books in the bible is Ephesians. In the first two chapters, you find so many verses about who you are. I encourage you to read it.
- Act in the opposite spirit: whenever I catch myself struggling with who I am, thinking that I am not good enough or not worthy of love I try to act in the opposite spirit and proclaim truth over myself. Memorizing bible verses and speaking them over myself is something that really helps.
- Talk about it: Have people in your life that you trust and that you can talk to when you are having a hard day. Be vulnerable and let them pray for you.
“ Define yourself as being radically loved by God. This is your true self, every other identity is an illusion.” Brennan Manning