Straight Outta Summer #2

Straight OuttaI said I would write about identity. I had words to share. And God used them differently than I thought. I had the opportunity to share those words with the Christian community on William & Mary’s campus at Intervarsity. I shared about my struggle with identity and what God has been doing in my life over last semester and the summer. He’s taught me things about who I am and where my worth lies. He’s been speaking truth into my life through the words of authors, artists, and friends. I had words planned out for this “part 2.” Yet as I’ve gotten caught up in the busyness of school, those words have become just typed key phrases and scribbled notes on a never ending to do list.

I’m not going to write those words. Maybe later they’ll come back in the form of a well-organized blog post. Not now.

So, identity. I am a child of God.

Fear not. For I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.”

~ Isaiah 43:1

Tonight I stood in a huge auditorium that felt like a homey living room and worshipped with hundreds of Christians that felt like family. And I saw my identity declared over and over again.

Forgiven. Redeemed. Blameless. No longer a slave. Free. Loved. Embraced. Child of God.

And words came to me. Words that expressed where I go from here—with the knowledge that I am known by name to a redeemer and savior and creator. So I’ll share those instead.

I want to wake up every morning and clothe myself in love. Choosing to love those who can offer me nothing or who might reject me. Choosing to care about people who may only be passing through my life and may leave me with a broken heart. I will clothe myself in love that people may know that they are special and worthy and enough. I will clothe myself in peace knowing that my God is for me. He has overcome. My future is secure. I have someone fighting for me and by my side. I am not alone. I will claim peace over my life that I may be a safe presence and a genuine soul. I will clothe myself in grace knowing that I am desperately in need of it but have also been given an abundance. I will choose to see humanity all around me—the people who pass me as God’s fingerprints and His workmanship—worthy, claimed, and deserving of respect. I will clothe myself in strength knowing that my foundation is solid. I will not be shaken. I will take risks. I will choose to trust instead of fear. I will persevere.

I will place “Jesus” as a banner over my soul. Because more than anything, when people look at me, I want them to see my Jesus.

Because if I am a child of the most high God, then why should I fear? Why should I worry about my future job opportunities or that exam tomorrow morning? Why should I be afraid of being uncomfortable or outside the lines? Why should I doubt my worth? And why should I doubt others’ value?

Because if the Gospel is real, then when will I stop caring about classes and grades, and start caring about the people sitting next to me in class or the people I pass in the hallway?

If the Gospel is real and I am a child of God, then I will hang everything on the line. Because the structures and systems that I am apart of don’t matter in the long haul. Only this relationship matters. Only the people around me matter. So I will risk it. I will give everything. I will love recklessly and unconditionally. I will wonder at the world around me. I will extend grace. I will trust deeply. And I will embrace the rough spots and the loneliness and the darkness knowing that my God meets me there. He pursued me. And He loves me. He extends grace. He provides safety. He risked it for me.

And He is leading me from glory to glory.

So I will wake

And spend my days

Loving the One who has raised me up

From death to life

From wrong to right

You’re making all things beautiful”

~ “Mercy,” Amanda Cook

This is my declaration of my identity. Phebe.

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