What To Do When Your Identity Feels Uncertain
It’s something that evolves throughout one’s life. Some days I stand in my identity as freely and confidently as I breathe. Other times, it feels like I’m running through sand — slowly sinking with each step.
Life moves in an ebb and flow. In some chapters, my identity is solid. My family, job, and friendships are thriving, and it’s easy for my faith in God to expand. But these sacred moments in life are almost always followed by a foggy darkness.
I’m walking through the haze right now and trying to find my way through.
Months ago we began our second adoption process. Everyone approaches an adoption process differently, but for me, when we are matched with a child/children, my mama heart connects. The protector, fixer, and loyal-caregiver jumps out of my skin and wants to attach itself to those I love. The kids we are pursuing may not have my last name, but while we are in the process, they have my devotion. Each month we wait, my identity of “mother” is rattled. How can I be a great mom if my family is not yet united? And what will “family” look like a year from now?
Around this same time, my job has shifted. I felt God leading me to close a few doors while He opened up new. I began to internally question my identity as a professional writer/editor when I was no longer writing or editing on a regular basis. Who am I to claim a title that I chose to walk away from for a season?
My identity feels uncertain.
But what does that say about my relationship with God? If change can rattle me THIS much, do I trust my Savior with the direction of my life?
No. I don’t.
And I don’t like that answer, but it’s true. As a result, I’ve been diving into God’s Word. The Bible is sometimes my only connection to the Creator, and the verse that keeps showing up is the following:
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” –Exodus 9:16
Megan GIlmore, founder and executive director of Lark’s Song, spoke at a women’s conference I attended this past weekend. She said that everyone’s purpose is the same. We are to bring glory to God, but our callings are the means by which we fulfill that purpose. Everyone’s calling is different, and we aren’t given the same calling for our entire lives. This means that during seasons where my identity feels uncertain, I remind myself that by honoring God’s purpose, despite what my life looks like, God’s power can be proclaimed.
I may be in a season of waiting and flailing about, but God can still be glorified. Even when I’m bitter, and even when I’m lost in the fog, God’s strong hand leads me, and I will follow.
“The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD on me.” –Ezekiel 3:14
Praise God for leading my doubting, “thinks-I-know-better” heart. My identity may not feel secure at this moment, but I’m in pursuit of His call.
During times when your identity seems unclear, how do you respond? Tell us in the comments!