The Truth About Identity

I’m reading a book called “Afraid of All the Things.” As it was written by a woman who spent her childhood convinced her appendix was rupturing and singing Celine Dion songs into a mirror as she wept, it’s not likely I could identify more if I tried. Ask Kristen, who turned to me just this morning and yelled rudely “STOP GOOGLING IF YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS ARE GOING TO KILL YOU. THEY AREN’T.” before adding in a more calm manner but with no small touch of cruelty: “Besides. You probably have a bug in your brain right now. Melinda. Are you now Googling ‘Is it possible there is a bug in my brain?'“ I was. (You’ll be relieved to know if one gets in there it’s not likely to live long but there’s a whole forum of people who are convinced they have bugs eating through their brain even as I sit here and I will definitely be thinking of each of them by name as I attempt to sleep tonight.)

Possibly because I identified with her so greatly, Scarlet Hiltibidal found it easy to write herself right inside my head, (LIKE A BUG) which is probably why it was so profoundly resounding when this particular phrase echoed through my brain:

“You probably don’t tend to think of yourself as brave or courageous. But you can wear that identity, because it’s your truest one. Your truest identity is that you’re God’s chosen, rescued, on the way to glorious child. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit and He has all the power.”

In that moment something I had heard hundreds of times became incredibly clear to me. I realized:

My truest identity is that I am a child of God.

It makes a lot of sense. I would like to think my truest identity is: Dancing around the house, worshiping around the throne, toilet scrubbing, adventure finding, tender hearted, gumbo making, lovingly correcting, pom pom encouraging, card writing, present buying, incredibly insightful, always forgiving, super sympathetic, book reading, book writing, party throwing, thoughtful journaling, self sacrificing, talented, anointed, interceding, “Let me hold your baby while I make us some soup and you tell me all about it” Melinda.

Yet, if I am all that, if that is my identity, then I am also forced to acknowledge my identity as: Too depressed to get out of bed, deadline pushing, snap judgment making, hiding in my closet, willfully sinning, easily angered, tantrum throwing, self indulgent, self seeking, self serving “Nobody talk to me I have enough problems of my own, your problems are NOT EVEN PROBLEMS” Melinda. Those things are a part of me too.

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I can’t make Melinda the mentor my identity without Melinda the malicious getting some screen time. I’m both, and there’s a fine line between #queen and #diva. (My sister will tell you. She’ll tell you too much actually. Don’t ask her.)

That’s why my truest identity has to be in Him. Because I’m His kid when it’s 5:00 AM and staff parking is somehow full and it’s raining and my bags are soaked and the drink I just purchased introduces itself to the concrete and I am cussing words like “SANDWICHES” and God only knows what I’m actually saying in my heart and it turns out God is the only one that really knows me anyway. I am not a condition of my own identity. My true identity is in Christ. Only He can make me who I need to be, but as I fumble and fall and fail through that process I’m reminded:

I haven’t gotten where I’m going yet, and might not yet be who I want to be, but I’m already His regardless.

That’s who I really am.

Always and ever, already His.