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Identity Crisis

For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. -1 Samuel 12:22

The Lord was pleased to make you his own.

For years I have struggled with my identity in Christ.

2 Corinthian 5:17 says that “the old is gone and the new has come.” Apparently, I must have skipped over that verse. After I gave my heart to Jesus at age sixteen, I have oftentimes continued to live in defeat, with my old identity still hanging around like an unwelcomed guest.

I believe my struggle with rejection throughout my life is a big reason I struggle with identity. I believe they are directly connected to each other. Most people would not guess that I struggle with rejection, because I can hide it pretty well behind a smile and a laugh. I don’t think I’m being fake, I just don’t show people that part of me. It’s buried too deep. Only those closest to me know how deep and chronic my struggle is.

Some days, in my bathroom with the door closed, the ache in my heart feels like a giant cavern that cannot get filled. It’s an unsettled feeling, restless even. And it is very distracting. It interferes with my daily life.

Can anyone else relate to these feelings?

Hurtful comments that you can’t get out of your mind by a family member, a friend’s “constructive” criticism, the voices of mean kids when you were growing up that trample your self-worth and left permanent scars, shifting friendships due to changes in life circumstances, infertility, or any heartache, that makes you feel like a failure as a woman, insensitive people who crush your spirit by their words without even realizing it…

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that at times we struggle with rejection. After all, Jesus did too. Jesus handled rejection by spending a lot of time with His Father. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. -Isaiah 53:3

Rejection (or even perceived rejection) often leaves us with feelings of mistrust, bitterness, anxiety, discontentment, guilt, and self-condemnation.

As Lysa TerKeurst would say; “Do not let your insecurity rise above your identity.” I have failed miserably at this over the years. I can so quickly forget Whose I am in the those awful moments of insecurity.

So how do we overcome rejection? How do we get those negative feelings to “exit the building?” How do we get free to see clearly our true identity, which is in Jesus Christ alone?

This is where it gets good. I’m so excited and thankful to tell you the answer I have discovered.

The cure for feelings of rejection (and core identity issues) is this: “applying large doses of God’s love to your wounded heart daily and by allowing Him to renew your mind until the rejected thinks like the accepted.” –Beth Moore, “Praying God’s Word,” And when you feel fully accepted and loved, then you are able to understand and clearly see your identity in Christ.

Jesus Christ will never reject you. He will never decide he no longer wants you. He thinks you are worth loving…and worth keeping.

“His holy genes are now part of my inheritance from Him. I must simply stand and be who He says I am. True freedom will only bloom in your life when you put on the truth of who God says you are.” – Dennis Jernigan, This Is My Destiny (emphasis mine)

How do we “put on” truth? How do we embrace our true identities?

So, I decided to try “putting on the truth of who God says I am” this past week. Every morning I got up and “soaked” in God’s Word, focusing on verses that speak of His love for me. I also put my armor on (Ephesians 6) every morning, which I think is key to victory in any area.

Like every situation, focused time in prayer, God’s Word, and spending time in His Presence is the way to find truth, and to set our hearts free.

I’m not sure why I felt surprised by the results.

The ache that has been a miserable companion to me was gone this week. Gone. Jesus put the balm of His love and unconditional acceptance on my aching and weary soul. I feel new life beginning in the deepest places of my heart. I am so grateful. Jesus really is the “one who fills everything in every way.” – Ephesians 1:23

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. – Ephesians 2:19 I am a member of God’s household. When God talks about his family, he’s talking about me. I love the way that sounds.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I life up my soul. – Psalm 143:8

The grasp of our identity in Christ is directly affected by how much we believe God truly loves us.

The fear or feeling of being unloved can be our biggest source of insecurity, even if we don’t realize the root cause. What a man desires is unfailing love... - Proverbs 19:22

“Searching for perfect, unfailing love in anyone else is not only fruitless, it is miserably disappointing and destructive. I am convinced our hearts are not healthy until they have been satisfied by the only completely healthy love that exists; the love of God, Himself.”-Beth Moore, “Praying God’s Word.”

Do you believe that God loves you? Do you believe He can bring you deep soul-satisfaction? Do you live with the assurance that you are God’s daughter and your identity as child of God is a priceless treasure to both embrace and enjoy? I can finally say “yes!” to that question, praise the Lord.

One of my favorite Scriptures that I learned in a study called, “Breaking Free,” by Beth Moore is this:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live." – Isaiah 55:1-3 (emphasis mine)

If we want our souls to live, we must spend time with the Giver, and Satisfier, of life.

So why do we struggle so much to believe God loves us, and that He is the only thing that can fill those huge gaps in our souls? Sometimes I think we get His voice confused with all the other voices we hear on this earth.

We can’t hear God’s voice if we never stop to listen for it. And how will we recognize His voice if we never practice listening for it?

What more could He have done for us to show us how much He loves us? He gave His Son to receive the punishment that we deserved. He died so we could live forever.

We are healed because of His wounds (Isaiah 53:5).

When our identity is based on anything but Jesus, it will be bondage. When we seek satisfaction in anything or anyone other than God, we will remain in chains. …and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. – Colossians 2:10

In our small group, an assignment we had was to write an “identity statement.” I thought this would be a good way to end today. I really struggles with the assignment. I couldn’t find the right words. But as God often does, he helped me through it by having a friend in my group share her statement, which I believe was made for me too. Here is her statement:

“Because of Christ’s sacrifice, I am adopted as God’s child and receive all the benefits of daughter and co-heir. Therefore God is pleased with me and I can have security in my identity, and confidence to obey Him.”

Thanks Emily, for letting me share your wise words!

I am His daughter and co-heir. I can rest in the full assurance and security of God’s love for me. He will always love me, just as I am.

He fills the cracks and caverns in me. He is never overwhelmed by the depth of my need.

When I fully receive the Father’s love for me, it directly affects how I am able to love others in my life. Over the last year, I am experiencing a freedom to express love I have never known. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.

Lord, help me to put on the truth of my identity in you every morning. May I put off the feelings of rejection I often carry, by your power, and put on your armor. Guard me with your armor and help me to always remember my “Sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesian 6:17). Thank you for taking my ache away with your love. My soul is satisfied in you once again, and I am so grateful. Amen.

Do you have your armor on? Do you have your Sword out? That is my prayer for you this week.

I’m so excited to share what I have discovered about God’s love for us next week. I hope you will join me! He is so faithful to us.

Thankful for you today,

– Tammy

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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