Thursday, July 7, 2016

Identity Part 1

My Value comes from God- 2 Corinthians 3:5

I didn't want to rush on this subject matter, it is something that we all struggle with daily. It is something that comes to mind on a regular basis and something that can affect us deeply with time. 

What is our identity? is it defined by society or by time? Is it defined by our culture or family? It is defined by social or economical status?  Our current marital status or lack of? By what we do or what our passion is? Who actually has a say in our identity? Do we have a say in our identity?

Long before I decided to walk (or crawl) with Jesus, I had a huge issue, I didn't know who I was. I always went along with how people described me, I let myself be identified by my surroundings and those who "knew me." But they only knew as much as I would tell them, therefore, my identity was a fraction of who I was overall. 

The dictionary states identity as "the distinguished character or personality of an individual, the condition of being one self"

Being one self is a conundrum on its own, looking into who we are and who we are meant to be can be a lifelong challenge when we don't know our our identity on our own by our own words and not from our public.  

How I use to see myself

I use to see myself as an ugly person. Not worthy of peoples time or effort. Why I saw myself this way was because I took in what others said about me:

-Not tall enough
-Not Mexican enough
-Not American enough
-Not thin enough
-Not pretty enough
-Not athletic enough
-Not smart enough
-Not professional enough
-Not cultured enough
-Not experienced enough
-Not talented enough
-Not Christian enough

The list just continued on what I lacked. There was always something that I seemed to lack that I did not have "enough" of. After so many years of trying to fulfill everyone's expectations and labels, I found myself at an identity crisis. I didn't know if I was Mexican- American or just Mexican. I didn't know if I liked purple or blue, I didn't know what style of music I liked or what my own style was. Trying to fulfill others needs and expectations of who I was and what they wanted me to be was tearing me apart inside, it was like wearing a mask daily. I as trying to be a good daughter, role model for my siblings, great student, grateful granddaughter, loyal friend, romantic woman, and professional career woman all in one. Eventually, someone is bound to feel disappointed on who we are versus who we want to be, but the disappointment shouldn't be for myself and especially not for God. 

Multiple hats on one head...

Part of our make as a person is having multiple roles to play. When we are born, we are just seen as a baby. After a couple of hours, we are someone's child, grandchild, niece or nephew and the list goes on with newly acquired labels. However, instead of taking each label as a blessing and part of our identity, at times we tend to limit our character, abilities, purpose, to one label or a couple of labels we want to apply in our life. I know that for the longest time in my family I was described as the first born or the chubby short one. Wearing these labels was a challenge for me because my sister got the labels of the pretty one and the thin one. It really took a huge toll on my confidence when the label placed on me was something I didn't want to represent but had been forced for the comfort of others. 

Accept one another ,then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God - Romans 15:7

Our identity is not bound by where we came from and who we know, it is bound and designed by God himself.  Part of our identity is our experiences and our background, while another part is not yet developed because we have not yet experienced what will help us develop our identity.

We tend to identify according to the worldly social standards because it makes the world comfortable to put us in a box. Yet for many of us, the box is too small or too limited to who we are and what we are really about. Truthfully I tell you this, as Christians we were never meant to fit in a box, we were meant to break the box and redefine the word identity in this world. 

I got to the point where I refused to wear labels that tie me to limited identity, I am more than what meets the eye and others are more than how they are defined. Through time our labels will continue to change, some labels are temporary and only last for a season of our life. Other labels last a bit longer but only because we allow these labels to have the longevity.  

Our identity continues to grow as long as we continue to grow as people, the moment we decide to stop growing we get stuck in a rut of who we are and what we are here for, or in general what our purpose is. 

And this has been my Aha Moment... 

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