Friday, April 10, 2009

Who I Am, By Definition

I have noticed increasingly on many blogs and facebook that everyone (including myself and some of you) is eager to define themselves. I see blog profiles that list labels of oneself that look a little like this:

I'm an AP, cloth diapering, baby-wearing, breastfeeding mama to seven children.


I'm a homeschooling, SAHM who cleans her own house and cooks only organic food.


I'm a Christian working woman who thinks my husband is a joke and my kids are angels.

Okay, well, I'm being a tad facetious. I'm telling you upfront so you don't misunderstand my sarcasm.

On Facebook or Myspace, it is never uncommon to see that everyone is taking a quiz to define themselves:

  • What kind of mother are you?

  • What kind of wife are you?

  • What should your parents have named you?

  • Right-brained or left-brained?

  • What movie best describes you?

  • Which "Friends" character are you?

and so on and so on.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm including myself in this because I have both taken these quizzes and gone on labelling frenzies of my own.

It is concerning to me that so many of us are searching for some kind of explanation of ourselves. We're searching for the pieces to our broken identities and lamely defining ourselves by films, television characters, and arbitrary traits that some 12 year old made into an application on Facebook.

What is the problem?

As Rafiki said to Simba, concerning his kingship, in "The Lion King", "You don't even KNOW who you are!"

We don't know who we are.


Because we've been lied to, and we believe it. We don't see ourselves as people of value. We see ourselves as empty, meaningless, fleshy blobs instead of what we truly are. Something in us desires to be defined. To KNOW who we are and why we're different from others and why we're the same--not a weirdo. We're complex beings that have a skewed perspective of ourselves.

It's no secret that Satan is a liar. He's been doing it since he lied to a 1/3 of the angels in heaven. He most desperately doesn't want us to know who we are because if we figure it out and actually believe it, then we're going to be more likely to trust in Jesus. We're going to be more likely to walk in victory over sin. We're going to be less likely to struggle with feelings of guilt and shame. We'll be less likely to demean others and perpetuate the process of lying to people about who they are. We'll be less likely to remain silent about our faith.

So, if Satan's a liar, what is the truth? Who are we? You think you know the answer? I'll bet you know the answer, but you don't believe it. You may believe it in your mind, but not in your heart. You don't believe it or you wouldn't be so eager to define yourself.

I'll tell you who you are:

  • You are created by God FOR God. He created you in His good pleasure. When He made you, He said, "I did a good job on this one!" He takes great pleasure in His creation--even though sin taints and corrupts it. He still loves it and takes pleasure in it because it is the work of HIS hands.

  • You are not what you do. For example, you may homeschool or unschool or publicly school or privately school your children, but that is not your identity! God doesn't look at you and see a homeschooler, etc. He sees a son or daughter. Period. Imagine the conversation in heaven when a mama decides to work outside the home:

"Well, Father, it appears that Penelope is now a working mother."

"Yes, Son, I see that. Let's be sure to get that written down next to her name in the Lamb's Book of Life. Wouldn't want to forget that..."

  • You cannot be defined by someone else. They are themselves, and you are yourself. You may share common attributes, but yes, YOU are unique. No one has the combined experiences and talents and ideas and giftings and desires that you have. You are a masterpiece. Don't let others place a definition on who you are. Only look to the One who made you. He knows EXACTLY who you are. You are not "Ross", "Phoebe" or "Chandler". They're not real, you know!

  • As much as we try to be different, we really yearn for sameness. We want to belong. We want to be in a group or subculture to be with people who are like us. "Birds of a feather, flock together". This is a natural response after the Fall. This, however, was not the Father's intent. His original plan was for unique, beautiful creations to be in unity with everyone, including Himself, all deferring to one another, serving one another in a bond of peace and mutual respect. This was His vision in the beginning, and this is His vision NOW for His body--not that we remain as fragmented pieces of a puzzle, set apart by traditions and doctrines. But, rather, that we come together to form the most beautiful picture of all--a healthy Body of Christ. You, my friend, are a part of the Body no matter how frustrated you may get with her various denominations, they are a part, and so are you.

  • You are the Bride of Christ. Bought with a price. Holy and beloved. Built as a temple for the Holy Spirit. Cleansed and renewed. Beautiful in her chamber. Clothed in grace and mercy. Redeemed from the foundations of the earth. Worthy. Don't listen to the Enemy who says you aren't good enough. Jesus says you are accepted, loved, treasured and cherished.

We all wear many hats in this life. I've worn a few myself: daughter, friend, student, employee, singer, teacher, wife, mother, member, blogger...but all of these hats are not WHO I am. I am a daughter of the MOST HIGH GOD, and I am HIS. He is where I find my identity. I am a child of God who operates as a wife to Dave and a mother to Sam, Maryn, and Lucy.

Who are you? Really.


  1. I find this post SO true! I had a super hard time creating a new blog because I didn't know what to call it. (Ended up calling it what I call my kids!) And I didn't know what to write in the "About me" section. I even wrote about the "hats" I wear, just like you wrote about. Why is it so hard for mommy, in particular, to find their true identity? It seems harder to find the more kids you have as well, I believe. I greatly appreciate your post and your reminder about how we truly are!

    By the way, I'm officially over at now! So glad to have a friend over here! :)

  2. Amen and Amen again- AWESOME!!

  3. Great post girl. I don't actually know Christy but one of my friends Enid is going to be writing for that blog occasionally and she told me about it this week. :)

  4. you nailed it. I mean really nailed it! Wait to go and thanks for bringing the truth in love. you are precious!!


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