You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar

I struggle with my identity.

This shouldn’t be a shocking statement to anyone. I’ve shared my struggle multiple times — trying to figure out my favorite color, embracing who God has called me to be, my issues with my outer beauty. These are all major themes in my life and probably yours too if you’re truly honest.

It took several life-shattering events to get me to a place where I could finally admit I didn’t know who I was. Once I accepted the truth and became confident in who Christ says I am, it seemed relatively easy to settle in to the groove of my identity. Sure, there were (and are) struggles in relationships, community, work, family, etc, but I’ve never had to make a choice to believe my identity over my security.

Counselor Kevin and I talked about things in my life that are idols. The concept of an idol is something I’m familiar with. I know I put certain things up on a pedestal and worshipped them throughout my life. I know I continue to do that with specific things. But one of the amazing (andincrediblyfrustrating) things he told me was that when I let something tell me who I am, it becomes an idol.

In context of my conversation with Kevin I was referring to my desire to be pursued and found beautiful enough, which now I know, I’ll never be (praise Jesus!). He told me that putting stock in those desires means I’m letting them define me which means they are telling me who I am which means I’ve allowed them to take the place of Papa.

So guess what else I realized? And maybe this a duh moment for the rest of you. Out of the context of my beauty and in context of who Christ says I am, this same principal applies. Because I know who I am in Christ. I know who I was created to be. I know how I reflect His image. I know what fingerprints He pressed on me the day He made me. I know the palate of colors I am. I know these things. I’m confident in them. I’m accepting of them. I do my best to live out of them.

When I feel pressure to reflect a different image of Christ, I lose myself. I forget who I am. The scared insecure little girl tries to put together a fractured personality of who she thinks she is supposed to be. I think the pressure catches me off-guard at times. I don’t see it coming so I buckle under the weight of it. It takes the gentle and firm words of community to remind me who I am and the security of knowing that.

And because the pressure can sometimes come with a cost, it momentarily disorients me until I realize that if I give in to the pressure to lose my identity in Christ, I then tell whatever I could potentially lose that I value it more than how I have been made to reflect Jesus. Thus making what I stand to lose, my idol, my god, my security.

In the height of emotion around the pressure cooker – whatever that pressure cooker is at the moment – it all feels hopeless and overwhelming and frustrating. But the sobering reality of morning is that I have freedom and confidence to pay a price, walk away, and find truth in who God says I am.

Paying a price is never easy. The cost can have minimal or maximum impact on our lives. It is hard to pay the cost. But in the light of Jesus, and I don’t mean this in a trite way, but when we show up to the Cross and we ask who we are and we know, the cost seems so very very small. In fact, the thought of the cost of taking on a false identity seems more tragic than losing all my relationships and worldly possessions combined.

This weekend, a wise man pulled me outside, took my hands and told me that who I am is enough. To never settle. To never become less of who I am for someone else. To fight. So now I fight — I fight for my identity, I fight to remember who I am, I fight to stay true. I fight for myself.

Because once you know your favorite color, you never want to change it.

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

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