Do you ever get that feeling that you are just wandering? Lacking direction, searching for identity, I found myself lost.
In his book “Who Do You Think You Are?” Mark Driscoll lists the areas we often mistakenly look for identity, “Items, Duties, Others, Longings, and Sufferings.” I put my identity in so many things before. I pursued success financially to prove that I was worth something. I cared way too much about what people thought of me. People pleasing became second nature to me. I was obsessed with pursuing romantic relationships. I also let my longings define me. When life was good, I felt stable. But when a bad day came along, I was crushed. Suffering also became my identity. My depression started to take over and my outlook on life degraded.
This was no way to live. The highs were great, but the valleys were very low. Ultimately, my life became unstable. I couldn’t have explained who I was if someone asked. I had a new answer every time.
Two things changed this for me. I started meeting with my pastor on a regular basis. We talked about life and what I wanted to do with my life. We talked about ministry opportunities and way that I could use my story to reach other people. I have always been passionate about helping others. A year ago, I got the opportunity to speak in front of the whole church, sharing my story with a couple thousand people.
I also read the book “Who Do You Think You Are?” by Mark Driscoll which helped me actually consciously change my identity. During the process of stepping into ministry, my identity had already begun to shift. This book however, helped me practice some purposeful shifts in my thinking.
So… Who am I?
I am a servant. I am gifted. I am loved.
Servant: I have a mission, help others. I’m here to reach people who feel separated and hurt.
Gifted: Being gay, I have familiarity with what it is like to be hurt by christians. I understand the feeling of being hated.
Loved: I know now that I heard wrong growing up. I am actually loved by Christ.
My identity is not in me, it is in Christ. I am here to reflect Him.
What you do does not define who you are. Rather, who you are determines what you do.
Moment of honesty, it is not always easy to remember who I am. I get caught up in the swift flow of life. I loose track of the lessons I’ve learned and I care too much what other people think of me. So this is a reminder for myself. It is time to hit the reset button. This is who I am. Now I am going to live like it.