How I Built My Identity on Shaky Grounds

And what I've been doing about it...

It may have been a 30 or 40 feet walk to that church altar that early Sunday morning. In time, it would become my shortest walk making one of the biggest decisions of my life. I was somewhere around five years old. My mother wasn’t as convinced. Presenting me with questions hoping they might sink in and I would wait till I was a little older to make such a big decision.

Surprisingly and so unfitting to my character ;), I resisted her advice.

Thinking I knew full well what I was getting myself into, I marched down the aisle layered in a faded burgundy carpet to announce my decision to give my life to Jesus. Oh, the brave and innocent faith of a little child.

That faith and innocence didn’t last long…

I don’t know about you, but I totally lost myself somewhere between too many years spent chasing boys, looking for adventure in all the wrong places and seeking the approval of someone who should have never mattered. My grandma would have called this chasing foolishness. Ultimately, in the middle of all this, I lost more of myself than I gained.

Regardless of what is lost, the journey through life has a way of waking us up to those pieces within us that were compromised and sold at a very high price. Packing our precious little hearts full of shame, guilt, and resentment. It takes just a few conversations with my teenage daughter, and I become quickly reminded of what I gave up while attempting to grow up.

What about you, friend?

Have you too fought to regain footing in a world that leaves you starving for the truth of who you are? Maybe your journey started out difficult from the very onset of life. Harder than most. Leaving you with a small foundation, and little identity to begin with. Maybe you had a dream childhood but got out in this cold, relentless world and entered the insanity of seeking acceptance, unconditional love, and undivided attention.

Whatever your story and however you got to that sold-out corner of lost identity, it may have left you searching for an answer to possibly one of the biggest unanswered questions throughout humanity:

“Who am I?”

I am not an expert on who you are. But I can assure you, life has taken a toll on making sure I worked overtime to find out who I Am. Growing out of those awkward teen years to launch into a brief marriage with a man as lost as I was, to single motherhood, divorce and the drowning in between. I had to fight for every bit of who I Am today.

But that little girl in me? The one that gave her life to Jesus before she had a glimpse of the kind of pain her journey would deliver. She continues to need a sweet reminder.

Because this world has a vicious voice that when leaned into echoes words into our fragile spirit that inevitably leaves us empty, afflicted and broken.

Where does that leave us? Where do we go to be repaired? Who feeds us the truth? Where do you buy yours?

Oh dear, my God, please don’t let me tell you all the money I have spent feeding my desperate soul. The good Lord knows I have stock in at least six companies ranging from retails stores to local liquor stores. And nothing quenched my appetite like the God I allowed into my heart at the tender age of five.

So how do we rebuild our identity when it has been lost, stolen or sold?

We begin to rebuild in truth. 

Last week a beautiful woman, Michele Cushatt, released a book titled I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You are Because of Who He Is. Providing a fresh perspective on an old conversation and some answers to that timeless question, “Who Am I?”

The book, fueled from her grueling journey of pain and the pursuit to gain a firm grip on who she is in a world that is too loud, a life that is too messy, and a heart that longs for certainty. This read is packed with pages of honest and vulnerable stories of Michele’s personal walk while digging deep into the word of God, hand delivering a truth that will taste very sweet to your soul.

I strongly urge you to pick up this book, if for no other reason than to spend some time sitting with the idea that, in the author’s words, “you were never meant to build an identity; we were meant to receive it.”

Begin your journey today of unpacking the lies you have bought through the years and re-write a new script. I promise, if you are seeking the truth, you won’t be disappointed.

And that little girl inside you? The one that got lost in time? She deserves it!