I have discovered there is a difference between stolen identity and lost
identity. If your home has been broken into, your wallet or purse taken, or your computer with all your personal information hacked, you know what it is to have your identity stolen.
There is another type of identity. This identity is all the unique, personal characteristics and circumstances that make you be you. The you that others recognize you by. It is also the particular way you see yourself as being.
I don’t recall the exact day or moment in our travels that the process of “losing my identity” began. Maybe it was the morning we overslept and needed to quickly check out of our RV park. Our perfected routine of getting ready to hit the road wasn’t happening. A sudden cloud burst of rain was accompanied with the insistent demands of Stella dog to go immediately outside. Out we went….without any thought of how I looked in my plastic purple rain coat, PJ’s, Larry’s gloves and my western boots. An amazing revelation came
later. . . Stella’s need overshadowed my need to look a certain way before going out! Wow!
It turned out this was not a singular incident. The key elements of no makeup, mis-matched clothing, hair curlers , etc all going public was nearly more than I could stand. Yes, we were on the road; no one had ever seen us before nor would probably never see us again. Yet, I found it hard to believe no one seemed to notice or care about how I looked. I wondered why it mattered so much to me.
The fullness of this scenario hit as we settled into our new location. It was much more than outer appearance. No one here acknowledged my being “Pastor BB”. There was no history here of community events we’ve hosted. There was no familiar greetings at the post
office or grocery store. We were the visitors who sat in the back row at the Sunday service. No matter where we went, no one seemed to notice how I looked or recognized me for “who I am”. I have no title, position or employees. Now that everything familiar has been stripped away, am I still me or did some part of me get left in Iowa or somewhere along the road?
Suddenly, my thoughts shifted, bringing a new understanding for the One, the Darling of
heaven, the One heaven held so dear, the Word of God, who willingly “lost, ie gave up” His identity. “…..Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery
to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a
bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as
a man.” Philippians 2:5
The Word became flesh!
It was not on earth as it was in heaven. Rather than desired and esteemed, He
was despised and rejected by men. He was a Man of sorrow, acquainted with grief.
He was oppressed, afflicted, wounded, bruised, carried our sin and poured out
His soul unto death. He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of
death, even the death of the cross.
Now, here it comes……”Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. . . .”
Our love for God is to birth in us the same willingness to submit to God’s will without
compromise. It was certainly not my idea to leave Iowa, our church, or walk away from so
many precious friends and relationships. They sang a song in church here last Sunday. . . one of the lines was “I give up my right to own my past”. I felt like I gave up a lot. I’m not who I was nor who I have yet to become. Out of obedience, I laid everything down to be raised up to a new place of freedom! Christ is still in me and has greater things for me.
New Year’s Eve is a great time to let go of the disappointments, heart aches, and hurts of the old year and step “empty” into the new year. Be encouraged to move out of your comfort zones, lose your identity, and allow God to do a new work in your life!
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