I’ve never been a part of a 12 step program, but we all know the classic “Let’s introduce ourselves” moment.
“My name is Ami. I’m 33. And I’m a widow.”
I’ve now boiled down the sum of my existence into ten words that “define” me, and everyone turns to the next poor sap. It seems like such a sad reality.
Is this all that I am?
And of course, we’ve all been in similar situations any time a new person is added to a group.
Say your name, where you’re from, what you do, and one interesting fact about yourself. Or if we’re really getting creative, “What super power would you have?”
What do I say about myself?
- My name is Ami.
- I’m 33.
- I’m originally from Virginia.
- I’m a teacher, a developmental therapist, and a wannabe writer.
- I walked down the runway at the Miss America Pageant when I was a kid (a story for another day).
- I am a widow.
I don’t usually say the last one. But it’s often on my mind. And I never know what superpower I would choose. Maybe I’d have the power of instantaneous housework. Snap my fingers and it’s done. I digress.
It’s a little more defined picture, but still so limited. I’d much rather get down to the business of really knowing and being known.
WAIT A SEC. SOMETHING’S WRONG HERE.
The crevice widens, creating a gaping schism. The tectonic plates below the surface shift, altering the landscape until it’s something new entirely. As an earthquake creates a radical shift in topography, so do I sense a profound shift in my thinking.
The lame introductions are arrows landing far short of the target. None of those things define me. They’re all part of me, but are they really what make me me?
I’m not who I think I am. My thinking is fundamentally flawed.
What if I were to introduce myself this way?
“My name is Ami. I am a new creation in Christ. I’m adopted, redeemed, reconciled, and justified. I am being sanctified. And I happen also to be a widow, a teacher, a developmental therapist, and a writer. Someday I’ll also happen to be wife again and perhaps a mom, but those are all tangential. I am a new creation.”
Well, the average person sitting around the circle might look at me like I’m crazy, but I just flipped my identity on its head.
If I’m defined by my circumstances, profession, age or anything but Christ, I place my precious hopes and dreams in something fleeting, ever changing.
But in Christ, identity is constant, sure, and real.
If I define myself as wife, mom, teacher, or a myriad of other callings, what happens to my identity when they’re stripped away? What do I hang my hat on then?
I’ve walked that road. And it’s not pretty.
BUT IDENTIFYING MYSELF AS A NEW CREATION CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Identity in the cross of Christ supersedes whatever struggle I am going through. It frees me from fearing future suffering. For even if I were to walk through the death of a second husband, I would still be chosen, redeemed, beloved, cherished, biggest need already met, and lavished with grace. I would still be complete in Christ. I would still know that He is good. And I would still be me.
It reminds me that the power of sin has been broken. I am new.
I am bought with a price, and my life is not my own.
It transforms my responses to the paper cuts and the gaping wounds.
I’ve been given a new name and a new identity.
“The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married, for the Lord delights in you.” Isaiah 62:2-4
This is way God speaks of His own. What an incredible earthquake sized reality!
I am a new creation in Christ.
WHAT IF WE ALL THOUGHT THIS WAY? DANG. THAT’S LIFE CHANGING.
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- I don’t want to write about grief.
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- Not my Symphony
This post appeared first at intentionalbygrace.com