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Hello, My Name Is...

I’ve had a bit of an identity crisis recently. This past December I had a double jaw surgery, and as a result my face got rearranged. This was expected. It was as a teenager I first learned I needed a surgery to fix what braces couldn’t. I’d seen others’ stories and pictures, trying to envision what I would be like on the other side of surgery. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind being prettier as a result (what woman wouldn’t?).

I went through with the surgery with high hopes for not just a better bite, but a better me. And then I looked cautiously into a mirror in my hospital room that day, and was not impressed at all. It didn’t feel like an improvement; it didn’t look like ME.

Over the next weeks I looked in that mirror a thousand times, trying to adjust my perception of myself to what was really there. My face swelled up and back down again, and I struggled to adjust to the “new me”. It was just that I had spent my entire life with that other face and was comfortable with it. That was me, this was not.

Or was it me? Does my face define who I am?
I have struggled these days to remember that who I am on the outside is not my identity.

And I look back to last year, when I went through a time when I was seeking my identity, not as much through my appearance, but through other external factors. For months I felt dissatisfaction that I couldn’t place. I considered at length things like my strengths, weaknesses and roles. I took surveys on giftings and personality.

Something wasn’t right in my soul, and I sought God at length as to what that was. I began to despair of coming to the root of my dissatisfaction.

Then one morning in the shower, praying again, a thought came, “your job is not your identity”. I began to consider what that meant and why I would think that. God revealed to me that my heart had been trying to fit my identity into what I do. I had begun to look outside of God for who I was.

That morning a song from the Christian pop charts began to play in my head; a song that I had barely paid attention to before. But the message was particularly relevant that day, so I looked up the song on YouTube when I got out of the shower. Here are some of the words:

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

What love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King*

That day I sang over and over to myself, ‘My name is Child of the One True King’. That’s all I need. Christ in his love died so that I could be a child of God. That’s who I am. Talk about freeing! Nothing else matters except who I am in Christ.

What I do at work or church does not define me.
My role as a wife or friend does not define me.
That I’m not a mother does not define me.
My skills or gifts, or lack thereof, do not define me.
My failures do not define me, nor do my successes.
And then now; the shape of my face does in no way define who I am.

It’s not always easy to remember these things. The only way I can stay steady is to go back to the truth again. To saturate my mind with truths found only in scripture.
       o I am God’s handiwork (Eph 2:10)
       o I am God’s friend (John 15:5)
       o I am a new creation in him (2 Cor 5:17)
       o I am a child of God (Gal 3:26)

Lately I’ve started to get used to what I will see when I look in the mirror. Sometimes I’m okay with it and sometimes I’m not. But it doesn’t really matter. Because I know that who I am, who I REALLY am, has nothing to do with my face and everything to do with who I belong to.

Lois Martin

*Matthew West. From the album Into The Light. © 2012 Songs of Southside Independent Music Publishing / External Combustion Music / Songs for Delaney (ASCAP)

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Dawn Cole wrote:
Thank you. This was very relevant to me today!

Wed, March 12, 2014 @ 2:07 PM

2. Valerie Whaley wrote:
Very relevant to me today, too!!!

Thu, March 13, 2014 @ 3:02 PM

3. Joni Nedderman wrote:
Lois, I loved reading your message. It was so precious to hear your heart speaking such beautiful words of faith. You are beautiful inside and out and you always were. You are truly a Daughter of the Most High King. And I'm so glad to call you my sister in Him.

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 6:55 PM

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