July 17, 2018
"God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children - this was his pleasure and purpose." Ephesians 1:5 (GNT)
I arrived at my doctor's appointment, walked up to the front desk to check-in and sat down to update the standard forms.
Address correct? Check. Age correct? Check. Medical history accurate? Check. Marital status? Stare at the wall.
Two little words stumped me completely.
As I sat there in a cold waiting room filled with other patients filling out their forms with ease, tears began to well up in my eyes as it had only been a few short months since my husband of 25 years had walked out of my life. I'd been thrust into a life of total confusion, chaos and pain, and now had no clue how to answer this seemingly simple question.
Was I single? No. Was I married? No, at least not in the normal sense of the word. Was I divorced? No. Was I widowed? No, although it felt like it. I was none of the options. So ... who was I?
A new moan of emptiness echoed in the caverns of my soul. As I held the incomplete forms in hand, I was faced with the reality that I didn't know who I was anymore. Insecurities and heartache had wreaked havoc on my self-confidence. The old me was gone, and this new me was now merely existing, trying to survive each day.
This new me was so broken she hadn't even considered some of the shattered pieces yet. This new me was now unexpectedly having a full-blown identity crisis in a doctor's office because she didn't fit into any normal societal "box."
I remember thinking, "Who am I now?" and "Where do I belong?" Not just on this medical form, but in society, friendships, church and life in general? Who am I if I'm no longer a "wife"?
As I drove home in silence after my appointment, I stared blankly at the road ahead, still struggling with this question of my identity. Suddenly the silence was broken when I heard a gentle, yet life-changing, whisper in my spirit:
"The end of your marriage is not the end of you."
It was a startling thought that I believe could have only come from God, as He was the only One who knew my uncertain state. The only One who knew the depth of my struggle, and therefore the only One who could offer the exact reassurance I so desperately needed to hear.
Sweet words serving as a holy reminder my identity is not determined by a role, a title or a box to check on a form.
I was still me, just a new version of me in a new phase of life. Still a woman God created in His image, whom God had a plan and a purpose for, despite life's disappointments. A woman who still had value, even if someone else couldn't see it. A woman who was still a mother, daughter, sister, friend, Jesus-girl, writer, speaker, tennis player, coffee fanatic, beach-lover and more.
A woman who was a beloved daughter of the King.
I was reminded by God that although my worldly role/title had changed, my identity in Christ was secure and remained the same, which is the truth Paul shared with the church in Ephesus.
In today's key verse, Paul explains the new identity given to someone in Christ. Ephesians 1:5 says, "God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children - this was his pleasure and purpose." Paul wanted believers to know they would always be chosen, adopted, loved unconditionally and accepted by God and that it pleased Him to call them His own.
If we as believers don't fully embrace our identity as children of God, we become vulnerable to allowing circumstances, changes in titles and roles, life transitions and other people determine our identity and self-worth instead. What we do or don't achieve, what our title or role is or isn't, and what others think about us does not define who we are. Only God does. He is the source of our identity.
Despite having felt for months that my marriage ending signified the end of me, I realized I was still the same me God created me to be. I was His. And that was enough.
Lord, help me always remember my identity is found in You alone, and I am Yours, no matter how my life changes. Help me see and love myself as You do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 8:16, "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (NKJV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Have I allowed a situation or person to make me question my identity? How might my joy and happiness return if I fully embraced my identity in Christ rather than letting titles, roles or accomplishments determine my worth?
Join the conversation, and let us know how today's devotion resonated with you!
© 2018 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.