Sunday, January 1, 2012

Identity

It is very popular online to choose a word or a theme for the new year.

I think that I will join in.  :)

My word for 2012 - the word that the Lord seems to be impressing upon my heart as personally important, is IDENTITY.

The forties are proving to be an interesting decade.  I like them.  (I certainly like them better than the alternative.)  Of course there are things I don't like about being over forty years of age, but mostly, it is a satisfying stage of life.  I'm sure you've heard it before, but it truly does feel as if you begin to fit into your own self.  You start to define what is really "you," as opposed to what you've picked up from others.  You begin to drop burdens that weren't yours to carry all long; but to pick up others that were.  Your responsibilities fit.

To that end, "Identity."

I have struggled throughout my life to know who I am.  I've pulled my security and station from family (husband and children, brothers and sisters, parents) or from church, or theology, or shakily enough, from friends.

This is natural, I think, particularly for a stay-at-home mother.  It is wrong, though, and I've likely been one of the most insecure people you've ever met - and that is because I was drawing my security from the wrong source.

We are each supposed to be who we were fully meant to be through Christ.  We are to identify with Him, first.

I am not a wife first, I am a Christian.
I am not a mother first, I am a Christian.
I am not an American first, I am a Christian.
I am not a daughter or sister first, I am a Christian.

If I am a Christ-follower first, and I find my confidence and security in my relationship with God through the gift of Jesus Christ, then I will not label myself nor become discouraged and defeated with myself when I struggle or fail in any of my human relationships.  I will realize that my worth does not come from these relationships (as precious as they are....) but that thru Christ I have the promise of renewal and redemption and forgiveness and hope that I can begin again and the Holy Spirit lives in me to help me in my weaknesses.

When I seek to find and establish my identity in Christ, my relationships will naturally be blessed by the overflow.  I will be a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, sister, and citizen. 

But Christ is first - over everything.

If you pray for me in 2012, this is a good place to begin - that I might know Him better and find my IDENTITY in Him.  Is there a word or a way that I might pray for you? 


10 comments:

  1. Such good words here, Holly! Identity is such a good word/concept to choose!

    I've mulled it over some...prayed on it some...not sure I'll pick one or not...am I too late? :)

    Thinking on, praying on:
    Redeemed, or
    Transformed, or
    Renew, or
    Consecrated

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  2. It's surely not too late, Kari! :) I have never really chosen before, I don't think.

    Yours are all good words. Which one is impressed upon you the most, would you say?

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  3. That was our word for 2011! Know who you are and know whose you are. I would say that most of the world is in an identity crisis, and once we realise those two things, who and whose, we become who we were created to be.

    I don't have a word for 2012 yet...still listening and pondering...


    Val xx

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  4. Really, Val? That is so interesting! Thanks for telling me! :)

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  5. I love this, Holly. Beautiful, as always. And thank you for the powerful reminder of who we are, essentially.

    My word for 2012 is "release". I wrote a blog post about it, but haven't put it up yet. Maybe I'm releasing my thoughts of being a blogger... finally. :) Anyway, I'd appreciate your prayers for it.

    Love to you in 2012...

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  6. None of the above, in the end!

    Two words this year:

    "My Portion"

    As in -

    "...but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Ps 73:26)

    and

    ""The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."" (Lamentations 3:24)

    I love the many layers of meaning of "portion" in scripture - from it speaking to an inheritance, heritage, and reward to my part or even to my daily allotment of food...

    He has me laid low these days - stripping me of anything and everything I could possibly place my trust in outside of Him. I've been crying out to Him day and night that He is all I have... "[He is] my refuge and my portion in the land of the living." (Ps 142:5) Period. Nothing else can provide. Nothing else can satisfy.

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  7. Our church even had a whole series of teachings on identity last year, Holly. SO good and so timely for our world. We're going on a date night tonight, and will talk about this year, but a word we're thinking about is alignment, which I think follows on well from identity.

    When we operate from an understanding of our identity in Jesus, the fullness within us, we look at the world and life with a different mindset. Being correctly aligned seems a natural follow-on. We will seek to be correctly aligned in all areas of our life.

    Val xx

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  8. My theme for last year was Surrender. Surrender to God by surrendering to my husband even when it means walking by faith and not by sight.....there are some things that I cannot understand but I know God is at work. I am learning a lot about motives, grace, and faith. It is very humbling!

    I have not decided on a theme for this year yet. To be honest, I seem to be struggling with the identity thing and trying to achieve so many things at once. I am not sure what the next step is - I feel like so many changes have been taking place in my life and I don't know what God has for me next. At the moment, I think I need to just "be still" and know that He is God.

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  9. I love how you wrote this Holly! While I've never done the "theme" thing, I like the idea, but mostly I love how you wrote about our identity as Christians.

    Recently my husband responded to a commenter on his blog who stated that she was sure Tim Tebow wouldn't like being identified as a Christian before being simply known as "Tim." My husband tried to explain to her that as Christians, our identity is such that there simply is no [insert name here] without Christ, and that he was fairly confident Tebow would agree. Sadly, the young lady got offended for some reason.

    So, I love how you expressed this thought, that we are who we are first of all in Christ. Without Him, we simply aren't. Bravo!

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  10. So much easier said than done. Even when we know the truth it is hard not to second guess everything. Especially when life gets difficult. Even when I can put my focus where it should be I wonder if I am who He wants me to be.

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