Have you ever wondered who you really are, beneath the makeup, clothes and all the external trappings? There was a time in my life, two actually, that stand out in my memory as periods of time when I wondered who I really was. One was when all of my children had left the nest and I wondered if I was still a mother, just without children to care for, guide and admonish. Of course, I was and I am still a mom but my loneliness without my children there was tangible. I had to convince myself that I would always be a mom, just from a distance. The second time was when I retired from teaching. My identity was wrapped around my ability to teach, a career that I pursued for almost four decades before retiring. Then, it was time to retire and I questioned myself about what I am without teaching. This question, God has answered lovingly over the last six years since retirement. I am His child and I still have the gift of teaching, but I use it in different ways now.
This morning in my devotional, I read this Scripture about Jesus.
Jesus was in the temple and reading from the book of Isaiah. It boggles my mind that Jesus was born knowing exactly who He was and the destiny that He would fulfill. He accepted Himself just as He was and went about doing what He was called to do. Wouldn’t our lives be simpler if we did likewise? Just ask God what He wants us to do with our lives that He has gifted us and then fulfill His will for us here on earth? Jesus knew His Father intimately and knew exactly what He was going to do to complete His work on earth. He had no identity crisis and no one, not even the scoffers, could move Him from His path or convince Him that He wasn’t exactly who He said He was.
Jesus’s confidence in God inspires me to seek God more and to find out the next step for my life. My identity has not changed but my role that I play in life has, due to circumstances like aging. But that does not limit God from using me, so my new identity may be as a grandmother who lovingly tells her grandchildren about the Lord and all of His marvelous works. It may also be as a Sunday school helper, again working with children. My identity, and yours, is only limited by our own vision of how we see ourselves fulfilling God’s purpose. I’m still the same person I was fifty years ago when I started teaching. I’m also the same person I was forty plus years ago when I gave birth for the first time. There is no book I can pick up and read what the next step in my life is, but all of the wisdom of God is available to me through His word and through my prayer life, talking to God and waiting for Him to tell me the next step.
God wants to take us from where we are to where He wants us to be, no matter what stage of life we are in. There is no such thing as an identity crisis for those who are children of the living God. He has a plan and He will carry it out. We just have to listen instead of being captured by the latest psychobabble of the current generation.