Over the years, I have carried out many different roles. Some are lifetime roles, like being a wife, a mom, a sister and a daughter. Others have been short-term roles depending upon jobs I’ve had, or seasons in my life of trying different things. If we aren’t careful, it’s very easy to confuse any one of these roles with being our identity. While all of these roles we carry out are a huge part of who we are, and are done with a personal touch unique to only ourselves, not one of these roles define our identity. Why is it so important to understand the difference? Because throughout our lives, these roles change. The temporary roles have their seasons and we phase out of them completely and move into other roles. Some of our prominent roles transition to become more like background roles as we age and our life seasons change. If our identity is tied into any of these roles, we could find ourselves in an identity crisis when things change. When this happens we may try to continue in a role that has ended it’s season, we may feel a sense of loss and worthlessness or a feeling of being displaced, or we may panic and try to pick up a role we weren’t meant to do. If we don’t know that our roles are not our identity, we may get stuck for long periods of time before we figure out what we’re supposed to do next. The good news is that even if we get stuck in one of these places, we don’t have to stay stuck! Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, -plans to give you a hope and a future”. What great news!
Unfortunately, some people are a little further back than even this though, because they never knew who they were in the first place. They have just been going along doing what someone else has told them to do, or copying what they believe they’re supposed to be doing. There is great news for that too. Jeremiah 5:1 says “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb”. I couldn’t help but notice that it says “I formed you”. This means that no matter what circumstances led to your conception, God himself formed you. This is wonderful news for those who have felt insignificant, unplanned or unwanted because of the circumstances they were born into. Psalm 139:1 says that we were fearfully and wonderfully made. I find it incredible that God made so many people, yet not one of us is a copy or replica of anyone else. You are the only one that God made like you, with your personality, abilities and heart. Knowing who we are is critical in a world where there is so much opportunity and temptation to compare ourselves to others. I challenge you to talk to God about your identity and your purpose. God has awesome plans for you and you are the only one he will use to complete those plans!