rebelling against low expectations

The Truth About Identity

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“Who am I?” I ask and look around feeling lost, purposeless, and out of place. “I mean, who am I really?”

I’m the pastor’s daughter.

I’m an artist.

I’m a writer.

I’m a homeschool graduate.

You can fill those things in with anything you want. I’m so and so’s girlfriend. I’m the captain of the football team. I’m the one with good grades. I’m so and so’s best friend. The list could go on and on and on.

But who would I be, who would you be, if those things just went away?

Has that ever happened to you before? Have you ever lost your identity? The boyfriend or girlfriend that defined you suddenly left you. Your grades dropped. You lost a job. You’re injured. A friend suddenly isn’t your friend anymore. Who are you then?

I know I’ve had to find new ways to define myself before… but what if we didn’t? What if who we are doesn’t change with whose friend we are or what we do?

I’m going to share with you something I’ve known in my head for a long time, but I’ve only just begun to know in my heart. You’re not what you do. You’re not defined by others. Only one thing defines you, and it never changes.

In Christ

What do you think of as one of the greatest mysteries of our faith? I usually think of the Trinity. That unexplainable existence that God resides in as three persons but one God. The Son is in the Father, the Father is in the Son, both are in the Spirit and the Spirit is in them. It’s in this great mystery that our identity resides.

During Jesus’ final days on earth with His disciples, He had many conversations with them about what life would be like once He left earth to return to the Father. On one such occasion, in John 14:16-20, He said this:

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” [emphases added]

Later in John 17:20-23, in the midst of praying for His disciples right before He was arrested, Jesus said to the Father, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.”

Take note of what Jesus said: “Just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us,” and “You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.” We’re one with the Son, just like the Father. We’re loved by the Father, just like the Son.

The saying that our identity is in Christ isn’t just pretty or comforting. It’s unconventionally real and, when you really think about it, mind boggling.

The saying that our identity is in Christ isn’t just pretty or comforting. It’s unconventionally real and, when you really think about it, mind boggling. Click To Tweet

Who You Are

Others may call you weird. You may call yourself stupid. They may say you’re a screw up. You may think yourself unlovable. But this isn’t who you are. You’re not labels. Christ has made you new and when God looks at you, He sees the perfection and beauty of His Son.

Your mess-ups don’t matter. The mirror doesn’t matter. Your struggles don’t blemish you. The haters don’t make you. But if you forget sometimes, if you’re drowning in the pressure, the disappointment, and grief, you’re not alone.

I won’t dare to count the number of times I’ve forgotten who I really am. When I lost a friend. When I made a mistake. When life just seemed to be going on around me and I had no impact on it at all. It’s then that I curl up on my bed, put my earbuds in, and cry. I cry to God as this song flows into my ears:

“When I lose my way And I forget my name; Remind me who I am. In the mirror all I see Is who I don’t wanna be; Remind me who I am. In the loneliest places, When I can’t remember what grace is: Tell me, once again Who I am to You, who I am to You. Tell me, lest I forget Who I am to You, that I belong to You. When my heart is like a stone And I’m running far from home; Remind me who I am. When I can’t receive Your love, Afraid I’ll never be enough; Remind me who I am. If I’m Your beloved, can You help me believe it. Tell me, once again Who I am to You, who I am to You. Tell me, lest I forget Who I am to You, that I belong to You.” (Remind Me Who I Am, by Jason Gray)

Your identity doesn’t change just because you forget, or you don’t think you deserve it anymore. Your identity is grounded in how much your Father loves you, and He will never stop loving you.

Your identity doesn’t change just because you forget, or you don’t think you deserve it anymore. Your identity is grounded in how much your Father loves you, and He will never stop loving you. Click To Tweet

No matter how lost or purposeless we feel, our identity never changes. Your opinion of yourself doesn’t define you. The opinion others have of you doesn’t define you. Only your Father defines you. His opinion of you never changes. He will always love you, always treasure you, and always call you His.

My identity, your identity, is in Christ’s identity because we are one. This is who you are. You are the child of the Father. You are Christ’s bride. And that never changes, no matter what happens.


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About the author

Abbi Langille

is a young writer and editor here on the Reb from Nova Scotia, Canada. She enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction, taking every spare moment to jot down an idea on her laptop or a handy scrap of paper. She has an addiction to story, whether that means getting lost in someone else’s or creating her own. She has a passion for shedding the light of hope in the darkest nights of those struggling with anxiety, depression, and grief. Abbi is currently studying at Kingswood University in order to acquire a Bachelor's degree in Theology, so that she can make theology available to young people through her writing.

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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 →