Author, Professor, Coach, Mentor, Mother, Daughter, Aunt, Sister, Friend, etc....All of these titles have been tacked onto my name. Most of you would think, “oh she has it all together” or “wow what a blessing it is to be all of those things” Well, can I let you in on a little secret? All of these things can be overwhelming. Trying to be all of these titles effectively is taxing, and honestly if I am not careful I will lose me. I will forget who I am when these titles are removed from my name. These titles are like pieces of clothing that make people perceive me to be a person that I am not. When I take off these articles of “clothing” I am just a woman. A woman who struggle to pay her bills on time. A woman who is seeking God diligently. A woman who is recovering from broken relationships. A woman who is questioning her purpose in life. A woman who is not confident in her own skin. A woman who is insecure because of her flaws. A woman who is trying to find her voice. A woman who is deserving of equal pay. A woman is of color. A woman who is..... The list can go on, but can you relate? I am externally trying to satisfy everyone, but internally I am struggling to satisfy me, myself and I. You know I am not the first woman that has gone through this “Identity Crisis” and I won’t be the last.
Have you ever heard of Eve? No...not the rapper/talk show host. Eve from the Bible! The woman that we have developed a love and hate relationship with. Am I the only one that has said, “When I get to heaven the FIRST person I am going to talk to is Eve!”? Ma’am you had one job.... one responsibility and you just had to do what you thought was best for you! Isn’t funny how we have these words to say to Eve, but God is saying this same thing to us right now! When we struggle with discovering who we are without the titles we can make haste decisions, and think they are the best decisions in the moment. We seldom think about how our current decision will affect our future. Our decisions are sometimes a reflection of how we view ourselves. We are desiring something that is self-gratifying or self-satisfying. We make decisions in hopes of receiving something in return, something that will make us feel good about ourselves. Once again, we unconsciously use external gesture to appease the internalized unmet desires or needs as a woman. Since I have made this comment, do you agree? Have you experienced this once in your life? Eve desired to be more than what God created her to be. She was not satisfied with who she was and never did she take the time to inquire with The One who created her. It amazes me when I think about how God created woman to be the helpmeet/helpmate. As women we have a natural desire to help and sometimes we decide to help ourselves. I know I am guilty of this. In my mind I am thinking, “God is my provider”, but my actions say, “let me help you God...Look at me! I’m helping you.” And God is probably shaking His head at us. We are so used to helping we don’t know when to stop. We have a tendency to cross boundaries like Eve. She could eat from any tree except one. Just like God created boundaries with Adam and Eve he has created boundaries for us. God said that we are created in His image and likeness, yet His thoughts are not our thoughts and ways are not our ways. Our identity (latin root-quality of being identical) should reflect God’s. But if we don’t know who God is how can we know who we are?
I know who I am as a mother, professor, coach, etc., but when I am stripped from the titles who I am? I don’t know who I am naked and bare faced. I eventually had to stop disguising myself with titles and look at the woman in the mirror. Flaws and all, and ask myself, “Who are you?” “What is your purpose in life?” “What do you like to do?” My nakedness forced me to see my internal struggles and insecurities that were never addressed. I noticed the hole was growing out of control because I was filling the void with the wrong people, places, and things. Like Eve, I acquired a taste for the right thing (identity), but in the wrong way (disobedience). I had to get to a point to where I could not allow my insecurities create my identity. I wanted my desires fulfilled but were my motives pure? Not knowing the “why” behind who you are can be dangerous. You will let people tell you who you are. I can remember when I was younger I hid behind titles like: straight A student, athlete, dancer.... but when time removed those titles I added more which limited my time of self- discovery. Plus, I didn’t want to be left alone because I was afraid to face the person I had become. My eyes opened when God stripped me of who I thought I was. Who do you think you are? Are you who God says you are?
In order to answer these questions truthfully I had to be as naked as I felt. I had to be honest and real about who I was becoming and who I was portraying. These are two different things. I was becoming the opposite of who God created me to be, and portraying who I wanted people to believe was me. I had to spend time with God. Reading and meditating on His Word. Once I started doing this my circle/environment changed, my desires changed, my reason for living changed. My diet changed! I no longer acquired the taste of the forbidden fruit, but for the fruit of the spirit. When I changed what I was digesting internally my external began to shift. Like any change in diet it was hard and still can be a challenge because I know it may taste good but it is not good for my mind, body and spirit. Discovering your identity in Christ takes discipline, obedience, and dependence on God. I encourage you to surround yourself with women who are like minded, who are chasing after God’s heart, who will hold you accountable when you are tempted to do the opposite of what God is telling you to do.
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