Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? Why is the difference between who I am and who I want to be so great? These questions ache inside of me, sometimes they whisper, and sometimes they scream. The days that they scream, I am anxious. I worry. I doubt. Simple decisions seem overwhelming. I react to life from this place of uncertainty, instead of respond from a place of peace and strength.
Growing up presented constant crossroads when it came to understanding my identity. I remember being 12 and wanting to play barbies with my little sister, but somehow I knew that wasn’t ‘cool’ anymore. I didn’t know if I was a child or a teenager. Then as a teenager, the struggle was intense. Who am I? A question that I had been given answers to my whole life, but somehow I needed to know for myself. I ached to discover myself. I had dreams of traveling the world because I thought that would surely help me find myself. I would cry myself to sleep some times trying to figure out “who am I?” “Who should I be?” There are seasons in my life that these questions seemed magnified. It was usually when a new label was placed on my life. Teenager, Adult, Wife, Employee. Well, motherhood has definitely raised this question more than once, not just for me, but for my children as well. I want them to have a clear sense of their identity. But I know it’s not something I can just give them.
To start to understand our true identity, we must start at the very beginning. We must start from a place of grace.
Be loved. I am loved.
This is the truth that we know and proclaim quite freely, but when we are really honest with ourselves, we have doubts. We wonder if we need to earn it, we wonder if we can lose it, and most of all we wonder if this unconditional, all-powerful God could really love little me–with all my weaknesses, failures, and insecurities. We must continually be reminded of this truth in our everyday lives, and see how it applies to every thing in our lives.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
What to Share with Your Child about their Identity:
We are God’s children, created in His image and wonderfully made. He loves us unconditionally. Even when we make mistakes or bad choices, He loves us. We don’t have to ‘do’ anything to earn His love, because He gives it to us freely. He wants us to be loved, and to love others. God is love, so when we believe that He loves us, it helps us to understand who we are and who God is. When we are feeling inadequate or worried about what other people are thinking, we need to remember that what matters most is what God thinks about us. Here are just a few identity truths that help us understand our identity:
I am loved. 1 John 3:1
I am chosen. Ephesians 1:4
I am wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I am beautiful. Ephesians 2:10
I am strong. Phil. 4:13
Ideas for Discussion:
1. When you are walking around and step in mud, does your foot get muddy or does it become mud?
Just because we fail, doesn’t make us a failure. Just because a friend says something mean about us, doesn’t make it true. Just because we feel unloved or unaccepted, doesn’t mean that we are unloved or unaccepted. Sometimes we have to wash the mud off to understand what is really true. If we focus on the mud, then all we see is that we are muddy.
2. This would be a great time to ask your child to think of some ways that they may have ‘gotten muddy’ this can include–what are some things you worry about? What are some things you feel insecure about? Can you remember anything that someone said about you that made you feel sad?
Ideas for Activity:
1. Create a treasure box and place identity truths inside. When your child seems to be struggling with doubt or insecurity, have them open up this box and read the truth. Remind them that we should hide these truths in our heart and hold them there safely.
2. Have your child draw a self-portrait and describe what they see. Have the child write out on the portrait identity truths.
3. Give your child a blank canvas and let them create freely. When they get to a place of loving it and wanting to show it to you, ask them to tell you about their masterpiece. Affirm their effort, creativity, and originality. Explain that just like they created a masterpiece, we are God’s masterpiece. He knows us, loves us, and has made us each to be unique.
3 Truths to Share with Your Child about their Identity:
1. We should look to the Bible to understand difficult questions about who we are.
2. We are God’s children, loved and wonderfully made.
3. We are God’s ‘Beloved’, so we should be loved (receive His love) and love others in return.
Lord, help us to understand who we are in You. We know that we are your children, but help us to know what that means. Let us love others, just as you have loved us. Help us to quiet the voices of doubt that tell us we can’t do it, or we aren’t good enough. Let us believe with all our hearts that we are loved and cherished. Let Your love change our doubts to belief and our worries to faith. Help us to walk in love always.
We will never be able to fully understand these truths while we are living life on this earth, but we must cultivate a consistent journey to understanding the depths of His love for us and what that means in our lives. He calls us to follow Him, and He is love. Beloved, we must journey together in understanding how He loves well, and how we must love well.
How do you find you struggle with your identity? How have you seen your children struggle?
For links to all posts in this series, go here >> 31 Days of Family Faith-Building.
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