Life on Purpose: Identity Check

Written by: Emily Pelley

What defines who you are? What role, what responsibility, what title, defines your identity? We often play many roles in life- wife, mother, daughter, employee, friend, etc- all of which carry with them different expectations and benefits.

As a new mom, I feel like my sense of identity has been tranformed. For so long, my life was about myself and what I could do, but now…I find myself consumed with someone else’s well-being. Is she happy? Is she healthy? Am I being a good mom? I’ve realized that a big part of who I am now is defined by my little girl.

So what does this mean for my identity? I’m still the same person as I was before I became a mom, with the same past, but now suddenly I feel the enormity of my responsibilities to this little life. And it has pushed me to try to better understand…what makes me…me?

Is it my abilities? Is it what I do? Or who I love?

All of these things make up our story, but I think we need to be careful in what we point to as our identity. Because as followers of Jesus, we have adopted the identity Jesus gave us when He died on the cross for each of us.

In several places, the Bible talks about who we are as followers of Jesus:

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 1 John 4:15

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17

And we are also reminded that this identity is not just a label but a source of strength:

With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.     2 Chronicles 32:8

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

You are a daughter of God- a “co-heir” with Christ. Before any other responsibility or identity you carry today, this is who you are. To live our life on purpose, we need to be confident in this identity; it needs to be at our core. If we can keep this as the centre of who we are, all our other roles will benefit from it. For myself, being a mom is so very important to me. Which is why I must, first, see myself as a follower of Christ. A close relationship with Jesus will empower me to love and serve my daughter, and fulfill all the other responsibilities I have in life. The strength God promises us will spread and reach into our families, our friendships, our responsibilities. What would it look like if we allowed our beautiful God to power our lives instead of relying on our own strength or resolve? We would live lives at peace- godliness with contentment (1 Tim 6:6).

Friend, discover who you are, believe who you are, and walk in who you are- the redeemed and loved child of God. Because nothing can change that.

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.  Romans 8:38-39