God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
Who are you? Who who who who?
I think about this a lot, about identity. How important it is to know who we are and then to keep ourselves living in places and situations where our identities are continually nurtured. Time spent in other places can leave us confused about who we are and leave us feeling at loose ends. Unmoored. Unanchored. Drifting.
Our parents and family are the ones charged with that first introduction to teaching us who we are. This is why children born into stressful homes struggle almost from birth with self confidence. No one told them who they were, and they spend their lives trying to figure it out. This is of such dire importance because who we are gives us a sense of birth right. We know we have a right to this life, we know how we should be treated and we know when we are being lied to. We know how to trust because we heard the whispers at bedtime and in the mornings, "You are my precious son/daughter. I love you. You are wanted here. You are one of us. You belong." It's that sense of belonging to something bigger and stronger than we are on our own that compels us "home." It makes us long for the old days with grandparents now in heaven and draws us back together for holiday dinners. It's what, in this modern age, has us texting and emailing and posting pictures. Look, it's us! It's me, it's who I am!
When people ask me why I left my position as a nurse manager, the answer is simple. It wasn't the right role for me any longer. It wasn't who I was. I did the work I was intended to do, I learned the lessons and then God declared..."You are no longer a nurse manager." And then, it wasn't right any longer.
God's fingerprint on us is the true definition of who we are. And the devil can do immeasurable damage by simply distracting us from the sacred calling of simply being God's creation. We all have a childhood memory of that moment when we realized some kid didn't like us. Or a teacher was unkind. Or we looked down and saw rags that just that morning were simply clothes. When the innocent assumption of being treasured was ripped away and we felt exposed and foolish. When the gentle whispers of love were drowned out by the hateful hiss of the enemy, "You aren't wanted here. You don't belong. You aren't good enough."
"You are nobody."
And our identities, before we truly understood them, became blurry.
All spiritual insight aside, who are you? Are you an introvert (hand in the air!) or an extrovert? Are you hilariously funny if sometimes a tad inappropriate (hand in the air again!) Are you more often serious and thoughtful? Do you snort and cry when you laugh? Do you pay attention to the tiniest details, with slow and careful deliberation? Are you a big-picture person? Are you disorganized, never able to put your hands on the item you need? Do you love to cook? Hate to bake? Are you cowboy boots and jeans or high heals and sparkles? Old movies or sci fi? Junk food or sprouts?
Who are you? And by the way, that previous paragraph was one long trick question. Every single answer is a spiritual insight. Everything about you was intentionally woven into your DNA, all of it and more than could ever be covered in a simple blog.
Satan had an identity. Then he threw it away and tried to recreate himself. All that was beautiful and good in him suffocated under the mask of pride until ugliness was all that was left. And peace was gone. Being the supreme counterfeiter, he wishes to be a creator like God. But all he can really do is confuse and distract us so that we, too, forget who we are. Confusion, anxiety, depression and hopelessness are the traits he passes on. We look in the mirror and no longer see something intentional and good, we see a fake, an imitator. But that's not what we were created for, that's not who we are...
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
It's amazing when you think about God's point of view, because it's one of adoption-not entitlement. Nobody got there be simply being born. God looked at us, one by one and said, "I choose you." "And you." "And you." And you, in the corner thinking no one sees you? I choose you." And we, his adopted, give him pleasure! The snorting laugher, the disorganized one who can't find her car keys, the book worm and the introvert and that girl who spends way too much time on Pinterest? Every single one of us, all of the details that make us who we are, give him pleasure. If we'd only surrender to the adoption process, we'd get a new identity.
It's the miraculous revelation of who we are.