Have you ever played one of those “mixer, getting-to-know-you” games at a retreat, fellowship, or even a baby shower where you are supposed to share two things about yourself? One of the factoids is to be something no one present is likely to know about you. The other is a “lie.” Then, the participants guess which is the truth and which is the lie. I remember telling the women at a retreat my two “factoids.”
Play with me a moment...which do you think is true and which do you think is the lie?
When I taught sixth grade, I had a parent/teacher conference with Tom Hanks.
Because of my passion and love for the environment and animals of all kinds, I am a vegetarian.
Now, if you know me for five minutes in person, you may have a bit of an idea which of these is definitely the lie. It doesn’t take much time in hanging around me before you figure it out. In fact, when I *was* a sixth-grade teacher at a private school, my job was to teach environmental concerns. I remember one of the parents on a field trip finding it fascinating that I was NOT a vegetarian. The truth is, I have never met a vegetable I liked (I don’t count corn as a vegetable) and I call salsa my version of a salad...provided there is a chip or two thrown in!
So, needless to say the first factoid is my truth. I didhave a parent teacher conference with Tom Hanks. Had cell phones been invented, I am sure I would have used it as a selfie photo op! It was right after he had been in his first big hit movie, “Big.” In one of the scenes, he appears like a 12 year old boy and as 12 year old boys may be prone to do, he entered the room in the movie in his underwear. As I sat across from him at this parent-teacher conference, predominant on my mind was “This is embarrassing...I have seen this man in his underwear!”
To be honest, Tom Hanks was very down-to-earth and I felt at ease with him pretty quickly.
I share this story about the factoids and the retreat to illustrate something. From this story, you could glean the following:
· I was a 6thgrade teacher at a private school
· I love animals
· I enjoy eating meat
· I have met Tom Hanks
From there, you could possibly make other inferences...but do these descriptions really tell you who I am?
Most of us, when speaking about ourselves or someone else, we say things like:
“She IS a full-time, stay-at-home mom.”
“She IS a teacher.”
“He IS a father of five kids.”
“He IS an avid golfer.”
These describe us, yes, but what is our identity?
Jesus died so that our identity would be rooted firmly in His accomplishments, not our own. He went to the cross. It IS accomplished. With the suffering that He chose to bear for us, he saw that my identity was fundamentally changed from sinner to saint. We are now children of the Father. We are His Beloved, His Bride. We are Redeemed. These “I am” statements can’t be disputed by my mess-ups, circumstances, or when others treat me badly.
When Michael married me, I became Michael’s wife. As wonderful as that is, it isn’t who I am most fundamentally.
I was a homeschool teacher.
I was the wife of Bob.
I was a horsewoman.
I was a competitive tennis player.
All of these identities changed due to nothing I can control: my kids grew up and went to college; Bob wanted a divorce; I could no longer keep the horses; a health crisis caused a change in my ability to be competitive any longer.
One thing that will never change is Who Jesus says I am. I am HIS. He paid an exorbitant price to make it so. It is done, finished, completed for all eternity. What a relief! My performance, abilities, gifts, and talents don’t make it more or less so. It is all because of HIM. As we go forward Consciously Creating our lives, let us remind ourselves often that more than “the divorced woman,” more than the “empty-nester,” more than any of the other things that I could say “I am...” who I am is firmly sealed in the Great I Am, my God and King, and His sacrifice for me.
For further prayer, study and consideration:
What are some “hats” you have worn in your life? Office manager? Mom? Sister? Gardener? Grandma? Artist? Athlete? (Etc.)
What are some circumstances that can affect these labels the way that my labels were affected? It can be due to your own struggles or things that happen to you outside of your control.
Look up the following verses in your preferred bible translation and jot down what each verse tells you about who you are in Christ: Mathew 5:13, 14; Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 19; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10
Say each of the above labels out loud using this form: “In Christ, I am.......”
Lord, please cause us to be intentional to remind ourselves again and again the great gift you have given us in your sacrifice for us on the cross. You have changed us fundamentally from what we were in our flesh to your glory bearers for all eternity. Thank you for all you attribute to us and that nothing can change that...ever. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Deep Dive with us in September!
Michael and I will take a group of men and women deeper in to “Consciously Created Living” during the month of September. This is a workshop style Facebook group where, for four weeks, we roll up our sleeves and apply what we have talked about in blog posts and LIVEcasts during August. We hope you will join us! If you are interested in receiving more information about our Deep Dive Consciously Created Living September Workshop, click here to let us know you are interested.