There will be times when life transitions come in unexpected way. It could be sickness, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or any other myriad of issues that come our way. Keeping our identity firmly grounded in Christ will help to keep our foundation sure. Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” When losses come, Christ still remains. Things change, but He never does. Looking to Him as our source of joy, identity and hope will keep peace in our hearts.
My identity crisis came in the form of a divorce and loss of full time ministry. I was married for over 22 years and loved the years of evangelizing and pastoring a church we planted. I remember thinking after my husband resigned the church that I would need to change my Facebook and Twitter intro to reflect the fact that I was no longer a Pastor’s wife. So, I changed it to “Wife and Mom”. Then a few months later my husband made the decision to walk away from our marriage. I was handed divorce papers one day. What was I? Who was I? All I knew was ministry, marriage and child rearing. I had now lost two huge portions of my identity.
Thankfully I had spent many years building a strong walk with God that ultimately would see me through the trauma and pain of loss and rejection. I was now “Follower of Jesus and mom of two beautiful children”. Thankfully the baby (church plant) we birthed and pastored for 17 years loved my children and I through the time of difficult transitions. I showed up for services even when it would have been easier to just stay in bed and pull the covers over my head and not face the world. I performed my ministries in the church even on days when my heart was feeling the sting of gut wrenching betrayal and agony of my soul. I made it a point to take my teen daughter to every youth event, camp meeting and to fellowship regularly with people of God.
As I faithfully kept walking, God started healing me. Good days became more frequent than bad ones. Tears began to subside. God was there, in the mundane task of living day to day. He loved me through His people, through His Word and in personal times of devotion. God placed in me a strength and resilience that only comes through faithfully surviving tragedy by getting up, showing up and not giving up!
Whatever life brings, you have full assurance that first and foremost you are God’s child and when it’s all said and done, that’s all the identity you really need.
Article written by: Faith Jones