rebelling against low expectations

What Defines You?

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I’m sure you’ve all experienced being labeled something.

The world labels people by what they do and what they look like, instead of who they really are. For me, I struggle with defining myself by my disability.

It’s hard being visually impaired sometimes. Some of the simplest tasks can be so frustrating. There are also a lot of different awkward social situations that can happen. For example, if someone walks away from me, I don’t know where they went. I can’t scan a crowd and I can’t tell if someone is waving to me.

In the midst of all these things, it can be very easy for me to drown in the lie that all I am is my lack of vision. But I’m learning that my identity is not found in my disability.

How God Defines You

I remember one day I was praying about how insecure I felt about my visual impairment. I was going on and on, and out of nowhere I heard the Holy Spirit say so gently, “But you’re my daughter.” My disability is temporary, and therefore no longer defines me. What defines me is that I am an eternal child of God.

He was redirecting my focus from defining myself as visually impaired to defining myself as his daughter.

1 John 3:1 says “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

This idea of having our identity only as sons and daughters of God has become a huge passion of mine.

It’s so easy to get caught up in what others say about you and what the culture labels you. But God is the one that created you, and therefore he is the only one who has the authority to tell you who you really are. It’s so critical that you speak the truth of God’s word over yourself because the most important voice you hear must be a voice of truth.

I sometimes take the time to speak out loud over myself who God says I am so that when the lies of the enemy come, I can overpower them with the truth from God’s word.

We are in a spiritual battle against Satan and the powers of darkness. The enemy is afraid of you and so he wants to try to diminish your worth in Christ and distract you from knowing your true identity. He knows that when you realize who you are as a son or daughter of the King, you will be unstoppable and will walk in all that you were made for.

When you begin to see yourself the way God sees you, you’ll also begin to see other people the way God sees them. Because I lack physical vision, I have Christ’s vision for myself and others because I know how important it is for us to live out our identity as God’s children. Because I know that I am God’s daughter, I know that I can also be a light to the world.

Radiate God’s Light

Matthew 5:14-16 says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

This verse shows us that we are called to reflect God’s light and heart to the world. It’s important to point out that Jesus specifically says to “let your light shine.” We make the decision to live in a way that honors and glorifies God or not. Our actions can either point others toward his heart or away from it. It’s important to also notice that he emphasizes the city being on top of the hill and the light being on its stand.

We are called to radiate his glory and love to the world. We weren’t meant to hide in the shadows. Jesus gives us the power and the grace to live the abundant life he died to give us. He gives us a life where we not only walk in our identity as his children but most importantly, have an intimate relationship with him.

I would encourage you to take some set apart time every day where you get rid of all distractions and just be alone with the Lord. Spend time in his word so that you can know who you are in Christ and share that with others if you seek to build his kingdom. God made you for the very purpose of knowing him intimately. This is his heart for you and the reason why Jesus died on the cross.

I’ve been asked, “If God loves you, why did he allow this to happen to you?”

My response to that is this: people assume that being able to see is what would bring me satisfaction and joy. But they’re wrong. What brings me satisfaction and joy is seeing and knowing Jesus Christ as my Savior. What brings me joy is seeing and knowing that God truly has a magnificent plan for my life.

None of the things we can obtain on our own will ever truly satisfy. Not all the riches, not all the fame—only knowing our Creator satisfies.


About the author

Marisa D'Amore

Marisa D'Amore is a high school senior that loves the Lord, writing and sharing God's word through public speaking. She was born fourteen weeks premature and spent six months in the NICU. She developed a disease called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which caused her to be visually impaired. She is a fluent Braille reader/writer and has participated in a variety of activities and sports including dance, swim, gymnastics, track, choir and marching band.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →

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