From the moment my father passed away in 2012 I have embarked on a journey of discovery and identity recovery. I wasn’t aware five years ago that I had entered this path, but now looking back I see that each and every moment along the way has brought me to the place of peace that I find myself now.
I know that within the Body of Christ it is common to hear, “Identity? Why do you struggle? Your identity is in Christ! See it, speak it, believe it.”
And I completely understand what they are saying, they mean that we look at the promises that God spoke to us and the rights He purchased for us through Christ’s death. They mean that we should embrace those and receive those validations as our truth when we look at ourselves. All very true. But have you ever noticed how crazy it would be to look at someone in the middle of a fight with stage 3 cancer and say, “But! By His stripes you are healed! Walk healed!!!!!!!”
Sometimes we confuse walking in the manifested reality of what God has promised us for the fact that we might just be very good at shoving the tough stuff away in an emotional drawer. Simply because we look picture perfect on the outside doesn’t mean that we have actually allowed God into the dark places of our emotions to work His healing and bring us the revelation that produces peace that lasts.
This is where I found myself in 2012. I had always been open to the Lord to fix me and adjust my thinking, to call me on the carpet where I was out of step and to lead me daily. Yet, what about when He didn’t want to “fix” me. What about when He simple wanted to love me? Now that is where the emotions would breach the dam, where He had entered my forgotten places. Where He actually wanted to be. Within me. Loving me from the inside out.
This is the “identity again” place He revealed to me. His view of our identity and value is found in Isaiah 53:5. One version says, “He endured the breaking that made us WHOLE.” Think of how much God was willing to do to keep connection with me… and with you. And in the process He makes us whole, restores our identity while bringing us peace within ourselves.
Have you ever had a fallout with a close friend or family member and they chose to walk away from the relationship? That type of hurt goes deep, the rejection alters our view of ourselves. And if we reach out to close the gap, to heal the wound and they don’t want to reconnect with us the rejection can actually cause us to question our worth.
If those relationships have cost you a lot of understanding, moments you chose to forgive their attitudes and mistakes without having that forgiveness returned, the injustice and inequality of it all rises up in your mind. The enemy attacks your emotions and rains down rejection on you. You mind asks again and again, “Why aren’t people willing to do the ‘hard’ stuff in relationships for me?”
When I was crying out to God one afternoon about being willing to do “whatever it takes” to maintain my friendships He showed me just how far He had been willing to go for me. Think about it, sin separates us from God. It completely keeps God on one side, longing for connection with us. So Christ took to the cross to remove that divide, He did the ultimate tough stuff to maintain connection. And He did it when I never wanted connection, when I was rejecting Him and demanding my own way.
Here all these years I have been wanting people to do the grand gesture, to go the distance for me and God has been there saying, “I have went the distance and am not leaving you… ever.”
Wow! Now that is being valued. That is a place to set your identity – to be loved in such a way.
Once we absorb the intensity that God has about maintaining a connection with us we will sit in awe of how valuable we truly are.
So often others that we care for aren’t willing or able to do the hard stuff to work things out with us. We begin to wonder why we aren’t valuable enough for people to do what we are willing to do for others. Our value diminishes with each rejection. We begin to wear a price tag that has been so marked down it can hardly be read. But God is saying, “Simply because others don’t have enough currency in their love tank to spend on a relationship with you, it doesn’t mean you should mark down your worth. Before the foundation of the world I saw your worth. Before you were ever born I saw your worth. Through every heartache and loss I saw your worth. Never did the beauty of the priceless jewel I designed diminish. You are worth every pain, rejection and lash through the cross for a connection with you. I would do it again if needed because you will never ever lose your value to me.”