One of the first things I ask people when I get to know them is “what character of The Office do you identify with?” It says a lot about them, if we’re being honest. I always said I was Pam (because I wanted a love like her a Jim), but people started to tell me that I was more of a Kelly. Kelly? No, absolutely not. Wait, yes. You’re right. So now when I have this conversation, I declare that I’m Kelly, and I proudly have that as my identity in The Office.
This is a silly example (but also super serious, I don’t take this question lightly), but identity is something we take value in. There are lots of routes I could take while talking about identity – self-confidence, self-image, etc. But I want to take that route that’s close to my heart right now, and it might be close to yours.
I have taken on a few identities: single, broken, and weak.
I’m the twenty-three year old who isn’t in a relationship, and has only really seen broken love when it comes to relationships. I’ve been in a toxic relationship, have been greatly mistreated by someone recently, and I’ve just felt devastation. I’ve put my identity in this.
Maybe you’re with me right now. “Yes Carrie, I get that.” Or maybe your identity is found in hurt you’ve experienced from your parents, or a family member, or a friend, or whoever.
Let me start with this: Your identity is not found in your pain.
Read that again, and another time. This isn’t who you are. Your identity is not found in what has happened to you, or even what will happen to you. Your identity is found in the never ending and crazy love the Lord has for you.
I recently began going to counseling, and I sat across from her and told her stories of things I’ve been through, things I’ve never shared before, and I said, “This is all I know, so I feel like it’s just who I am.”
She replied with, “Let me stop you there.”
Do you see how dangerous this thinking is? How it completely distorts how we view ourselves and what we deserve?
Sweet friend, it’s time to change our identity.
How? What do we do to strip off the identities we’ve placed on ourselves and put on the one we get to rejoice in? We ground ourselves in truth. We learn what the Lord says of us, and we declare, “This is who I am. Not what this person says, not what the media says, and not what I say. My identity is found in Jesus.” And from that, we begin to see ourselves differently. We have armor to defend ourselves with, we have ammo when the enemy wants to toss lies at you. We know who we are.
I clung to the identity I gave myself for a long time, and as I start to discover what the Lord says about me, I’ve viewed myself in a new way. Loved. Cherished. Free. Brave. I am no longer a girl who has been tossed to the side and hurt, but greatly loved by the God who made me. And let me preface with this: this is not an overnight thing. It is a process. This will take discipline, prayer, and accountability.
I didn’t see change until I told someone about the way I felt. Share with a family member, friend, or mentor how you’re feeling with your identity. Let them love you and cover you in prayer. Allow them to walk with you through this time.
Lysa TerKeurst writes, “We must tie our identities to our unchanging, unflinching, unyielding, undeniably good, and unquestionably living God.” Not to ourselves or the people around us. Him alone. When our identity is found in the One who made us and loves us, the opinions from others wipe away, become nothing, and lose value. Your identity is found in the empty grave, and not the pain you’ve experienced in life.
This is your identity: Loved. Chosen. Free. Forgiven. Friend. Daughter. Beautiful. Known. Heard. Seen. New.
But let’s begin the process today. Wherever you are, whether in your room, at school, at work, at a coffee shop, let’s change the way we see ourselves. Tear off the old identity. That’s not who you are anymore. Claim these – this is the truth.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9
Written By: Carrie
Imagine something with me for just a minute… You and I are at a quaint little coffee shop. It might be your most-frequented stop, and you’re introducing me to your favorite cup of coffee. Or perhaps we’re checking out a new-to-us spot. The choice is yours; it’s up to you. But the coffee’s on me. What are you sipping on? I probably have an Americano with pumpkin spice and steamed almond milk in hand. (Because as I write this, that’s what I’m actually sipping on.) We’re sitting in our cozy little spot, and rather than spend much time on small talk, we decide to get down to what really counts. I want to know the real you. So I ask you to tell me who you truly are. I want to know what makes your heart skip a beat; what makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
Go ahead and take a minute wherever you are right now, and think about that. Jot down a few words that come to mind, or make a mental list.
If you’re anything like me it might feel a little awkward to describe yourself. It makes me think of one of those icebreaker games. Just bear with me.
Are you funny? Sarcastic? Athletic? A friend or daughter? Girlfriend, fiancé, or wife? Musical? Are you short or tall? Quiet or outgoing? Creative, academic, or both?
There’s an almost endless amount of words and qualities you could choose from, and none of them are wrong. (Unless it’s a gift you totally don’t have, like if I said I was a singer. If you know me well—real, real well—you’ve heard my voice and you’re laughing right now.) However, the way you think about some of these words could be wrong.
If you’re an athlete, rock on girl. I played one season of church league basketball in the third grade and cried on my way to the first practice because I was so not excited about it. If you’re someone who loves the practice and competition, I can totally respect that. However, no matter how impressive a player you are, that trait is not the most important thing about you. The same goes for any of the other characteristics I listed above.
Being smart, athletic, or artistic are important things. They help make you who you are. God gave you these abilities and talents, and they influence the way we worship God and interact with the people around us.
This brings up my two main points here:
Think back to those words you would’ve told me about yourself in the coffee shop earlier. Your gifts and talents are incredible, and I hope and pray that you work on refining those and fulfilling your God-given potential in all of those areas. However, I pray that you never forget who you really are. I pray that you remember who God says you are, and find your worth and value in that. Your gifts and talents may disappear at any moment, so if that is where you base your worth, you will shatter and have to pick up the pieces and create yourself again. However, if you find your definition of self in God’s Word, you will stand firm no matter what you face. You can always be confident in who you are because of Whose you are.
Written By: Emily
Who are you?? That is a question I ask myself all the time because who I am seems to change all the time! I currently am a wife, a mom, a step-mom, a daughter, an aunt, a travel agent, a teacher and a kindergarten room mom. Just 5 years ago I was a wife, step-mom, soccer mom, aunt, daughter, granddaughter and teacher. Five years before that, I was single and a social worker. Five years before that, I was a college student, a bible study leader, a fiancé, a roommate and a friend. You get the picture! Life changes, seasons change and who you are and the role you play changes. You may feel confident, you may feel totally insignificant, you may be comfortable or totally unhappy, you may feel uncertain or in completely over your head. Life is a roller coaster and changes are around every corner!
However, there is one thing in the midst of it all that is constant. And that one thing is who you are in Christ! Sweet girl, this is why I became a part of the Worth More Team. I have struggled all of my life trying to get the knowledge in my head of who I am in Christ to connect with my heart. I want so badly for you to know that Christ made you in his image. You are so perfect and so loved! God created you in His image. As you go through life, as seasons change good or bad, remember that the one constant is that you are a child of the King and He loves you no matter what!
Psalm 139:13-16 MSG
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Written By: Heather
Driving down the road the other day, I was struggling. I was having one of those days where I had an attitude problem. My attitude was mixed with frustration and annoyance. There was not anything that made me upset or caused me to have a bad attitude, I just woke up that way. Have you ever had one of those days? I think we all have been there. Recently, I‘ve had several of those days in a row. My attitude stunk and I was not sure what was making me so frustrated.
Then it dawned on me: I was struggling with my attitude towards myself. I started tracing the patterns of my thoughts and realized that they were all wrapped up in my faults. My attitude was negative because I was judging myself. I did not like the way I was not comprehending things I was trying to learn, I did not like that I was struggling with acne and felt ugly, and the list goes on. When it comes to our identity and the way we think about ourselves, we need to check our attitudes. Your attitude affects your identity. The way that you think about yourself is so powerful. It is important that you keep your attitude in check.
Philippians 2:5 "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus"
We need to set our thoughts on the things of Christ. Our thoughts shape our attitude and our attitude helps to shape our identity. So, it is vital that if we want to have a positive self-image and view of who God made us, we need to be in the word. We need to be grounded in truth and think like Christ. When we have Jesus in our life, we are given a new identity. The things from the past are gone and we are a new self.
Colossians 3:10 “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Girls, let's reign in our bad attitudes and not let it affect how we view ourselves. The truth is we are all beautiful! We are gorgeous daughters of God and we need to know that we are deeply loved. I challenge you if you are struggling with this to write down all the good qualities about yourself. Then after that look up scripture that reminds you of the truth of whose you are! Take the challenge and know you are beautiful!
Written By: Rebeccah
You’re meeting someone new, starting a new job, moving, stressed out, going through a breakup—what is the one thing everyone tells you? “Just be you! Do your best! There is no one out there that can be a better you than you!” What happens when that doesn’t feel like enough, though? What if that really isn’t enough? This happened to me recently.
I started my first “big girl” job this summer, something that we all will do eventually. It has been going really well, but of course it isn’t perfect. I found myself struggling to find my niche, where I belonged in the hierarchy of the professional world. It’s all so new and can be so scary to figure out how to carry myself as a professional. When talking to my mom about it, she so lovingly said, “It’s all okay, just be you! People love you!” As much as I knew she was right, I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed. I couldn’t shake the feeling that “being me” wasn’t enough this time.
Friends, this is where Satan gets us. If he can get us to doubt, he can get us to believe. If I had kept going with this train of thought, there could have been dire consequences. Let’s talk about the snowball effect—a snowball starts small and continues to get bigger as it spins; our thoughts do the same thing. It starts with “maybe I’m not good enough” and ends with a broken spirit, too afraid and disparaged to move forward. Friends, do not believe everything you think. Do you hear me? I am going to say it again. Do not believe everything you think. Thoughts flow in and out of our head all day every day, hold tight to the truth and refuse to latch on to the lies.
You are enough. You always have been enough and you always will be. Do you know how I know that? Before you were born, at your lowest point in life, at your best, God loved you so much that He sent His son to die for you. He knew you were worth it, and He knows you are worth it now. You were and are enough, there was never a shadow of a doubt regarding your worth.
There is a video on YouTube called, “Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt.” It is a spoken word by Joseph Solomon. Watch it. Watch it. In seven minutes, I was reduced to a puddle of tears as I realized just how much I doubt myself and worse, how much I doubt my God. Watch it. Joseph cries into the camera and in one of the most powerful moments exclaims, “Doubt your doubts, don’t doubt your God.” Friends, doubt your doubts. Next time you are doubting yourself, your purpose, your faith, doubt those doubts, do not doubt your God.
As I sat on my bed questioning if being myself was enough, if I was enough, I was wracked with guilt as I realized that doubting myself was doubting my God. When we don’t believe we are enough, we are saying God made a mistake somewhere along the line in creating us. Friends, He doesn’t make mistakes. He created you in His image, with His son’s blood covering you, making you completely capable to walk this Earth as an image-bearer of Himself. You are enough. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at what the scripture says. Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” What does that mean? An heir is someone who will inherit something. So, this verse is saying that we as children of God are inheriting His kingdom, just like Christ did as we are co-heirs or co-inheritors with Christ. How incredible is that?
Next time that you are doubting yourself or questioning if you are enough, I want you to take a pen and write that verse down: on your wrist, a post-it note, somewhere. You are a child of God and a co-heir with Christ, you re unrivaled. There is not a force on this Earth that can take you out of the game, because God is within you. You have always been and always will be enough.
Friends, I leave you with a challenge. I want you to go through scripture and make a list of what scripture says you are as a child of God. I will get you started with a few of my favorites: without rival, relentlessly pursued, redeemed, free, accepted—the list goes on and on. Next time you are questioning if you are enough, I want you to pull out this list and hold your head high. You are enough.
Written By: Adyson