Something about feeling like my family has left me to be a family on their own halfway across the country has triggered a bit of an identity crisis in me.
I’m working at the church I (mostly) grew up in, but as the girl that was comfortable sitting squarely in the role of daughter of my parents, being here without them is weirdly disorienting.
I’m used to my identity being in relation to them.
I am “Deb’s daughter.”
I am an Air Force brat.
I’m still both of those things, but they feel farther away than they ever have been.
I know I am other things and I always have been, but the centrality of those identities is only just now starting to change.
Or rather, it first changed six years ago, when a terribly insecure, intelligent, desperate little girl became a child of God.
But my identity as my parent’s daughter was still pretty important.
And then it changed a little when I went off to college. Suddenly those identities were a little more a part of my past than they were going to be a part of my future.
And then, last summer, I surrendered myself more fully to my Lord than I ever had before, and those identities began to pale in comparison to the one that gave me freedom and Life.
But only now am I starting to wonder- who am I? The only thing I know for sure is that I am a child of God. And it is my greatest hope and prayer for that identity to always be central, primary, and all-encompassing in my life.
But as a college student with only one year hanging over her head before real-life adulthood seems to sink in, I’m starting to wonder – what else? What else am I? In what special ways has my Father made me? What secondary identities do I have – the ones that will make me a little different from everyone else, but that will never be more important than the one that makes me one child of many?
So I started today to try and answer that question. Who am I?
I am a child of God.
I am still “Deb’s daughter” – strong and smart and equally willing to have a good laugh or a long cry. Afraid of few things, but trusting my God to come through for even those. Creative and kind and always checking for earrings before walking out the door. Taught to be a good friend, a lover of people, and a listening ear.
I am still an Air Force brat – strengthened by countless First Days at Schools, new friends, and brown cardboard boxes. Taught by my father to be assertive, confident, a leader. Shown what speaking the truth in love means, even when I disagreed.
I am an older sister – the teacher, tormenter, and best friend. Fiercely protective with a soft spot for her tears. Forgetfully setting expectations and unexpectedly teaching lessons.
I am a student. Of History and His Story. Of books and essays and articles that always come secondary to the Word my Father gave me. Of His Life. Of His Love. Of His Heart.
I am a lover of words. Spoken, written, the ones that carved mountains and filled oceans and breathed Life.
I am a friend desperate to learn how to listen and keep my mouth shut.
I am a girl attempting to unlearn the lessons of a world intent on instilling in me a sense of inferiority and doubt.
I am a child learning how to turn down the offers of those selling cheap substitutes, drugs that will numb my insecurity and fear.
I am a follower of Jesus, learning to desire nothing but to glorify Him.
And often failing.
But I am also a child of Mercy, constantly drinking in His grace, never to go thirsty again.
I am a heart desperately searching for His.
I am a child of God.