I never thought that in my mid-thirties I would have an identity crisis. You know, those times where the “who am I?” question leads you down roads of irrational thoughts of identity and awkwardness? Ok, maybe it’s just me here. Or maybe I’m not alone.
I always tell my sweet 20-something friends that this 20’s decade is weird, transitional, that they would get things figured out and not to fear the thirties. Which is true. But, I’m noticing a trend that it’s really not an age thing in regards to the identity crisis. It’s somewhat seasonal -- where life has you -- and the crisis of sorts can come anytime we are knocked off our norm and our routine and forced to evaluate what we are all about.
As I puttered around my house on Saturday, hoping that someone would come and love this house as we have for 10 years now, the thoughts of transition and starting over threatened to throw me in this thing I call “figuring out what I’m all about.” Honestly, what started it was the thought of how I would go about making new friends.
Would they get me?
They don’t even know me?
They don’t know what I’m about. Am I even sure what I’m about?
I’m tempted to write off these questions as silly and self-centered. They are a bit. That’s OK, I’m going to roll with it. In fact, I did roll with it. I talked to God about it and we decided that I must stop fretting.
When we live entangled in the presence of God, that essence of who we are naturally bubbles to the surface. Entangled. That’s a new word in which I’m associating with abiding -- as in John 15 abiding. No, not trying to override the word so prevalent in Scripture. I’m reverent to the word, abide. The word entangled takes the image to a rich level where I see myself, my thoughts, my heart, even my family, caught up in seeking after Jesus. We are so entangled that every thought, every word spoken, every activity serves as worship and in obedience to God Himself. We entangle ourselves in Jesus that if we were to ever unravel our self … that very self would lose all meaning, hope, purpose, passion. Life entangled … might be a new book in the works …
I TALKED TO GOD ABOUT IT AND WE DECIDED THAT I MUST STOP FRETTING.
Yes, who we are bubbles up as the fruit (which harvests from abiding in Christ) makes our personal quirks taste sweet, our God-given gifts more juicy, our qualities and characteristics more colorful. No identity crisis sustains when we allow God Himself to override the question of “who am I?” with:
"I AM the Great I AM." (Exodus 3:14)
Let’s negate the questions we ponder about self and entangle our identity in the One who is worthy of our focus -- not self focus.
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." (John 15:4)
In this entangled relationship with Jesus, are we wiling to allow some sifting and shifting? His Spirit highlights the unfruitfulness -- those areas in need of repentance. This makes me squeamish. Might I daily remember that God looks past those ugly parts of my heart (where repentance is mandatory!) as He draws out goodness instead.
For when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us and thus draws OUT every good and beautiful quality so that we point back to HIS ultimate goodness and beauty and majesty and power and mercy and … and … and … That is the true identity crisis: when we resist this drawing out. We resist who God formed us to be.
So really, it is not about “finding ourselves” (in whatever decade of life we find ourselves in). It’s about finding the open arms of Jesus and resting in who He IS. The Great I Am. The act of finding won’t take long for He is ever present regardless of our acknowledgement.
Oh, let our heart cry out that we need everything of Who He is to live comfortable in our own skin.
No identity crises necessary.