When You Don’t Know Who You Are

There it lay, a face. Staring back at me from the asphalt, burning under the hot afternoon heavens. And I wondered why this lamented card used to identify us; was left, abandoned, distant from the one who owned it.

20150621_184814I pick it up, read it.  Realizing with it there is the power to drive, buy things, thinking with confidence, others know who we are.

But, is it all a lie?  Does a face, a driver’s license stating height/weight, really define who we are?

I imagine if mine was lost. How would I feel; destitute, looking, searching for someone to testify who I was?

And why do people define us by the outline of our face, the color of our skin, our height and width?

Aren’t we more than some image, a plastic card, a square emblem trying to describe us in text letters of black and white?

And why is it, as humans we are always trying to categorize, define, compartmentalize other people, when aren’t each of us like snowflakes, all original and individual?

And aren’t we more than the pictures we post on Facebook or Pinterest?

I flip it in my hand. Google the name in hopes to find a number to call, wanting to return this identity back into the hands of the one it came from.

But, what other man or woman can ever really label us?  Isn’t it God who tells us our description? The unseen of our souls more tangible than passing physical representations?

And in a day of Jenners, Rachel Dolezal’s, our identity can get lost or misconfigured and it can be almost popular to spit in the face of our maker, let the clay demand of the Potter…“make me into something different”.

People reeling and transforming in hopes to belong, feel loved, trying to find their place in a world lost in an identity crisis…

When God calls us loved, treasured, beloved, beautiful.

The week was grueling and it feels like I have lost my footing. I cry out, gasp for air, remind my Father of what He says in scripture, “A bruised reed won’t be broken”.

Yet, as a result of churches falling, Christians’ being imprisoned, families splitting, lives turning upside-down by sin…we canIMG_20150621_185844 all too often question our identity in Him, doubt our worth, squash our purpose and minimize even our own significance…

Feel left, like a rectangle card on the asphalt, wondering where our identity has gone…

Longing to feel known and loved.  Desperate for God to find us…tell us who we are.

It wasn’t even a week ago. My husband and I find an iphone, left on the bench at the park. I turn it over, look for a number it might belong to.

I pray, then pick a number on the phone almost randomly. It’s the phone owner’s daughter, and she points us in the direction of her mother, the hospital.

And I wonder if our phones can sometimes be our recovery, our salvation, our foundation, and even our very own identity.  I wonder if these “findings” this week is a reminder that my connection must be more than in some electronic, some card that has my address, my age and my name on it.

And friends, why is it so easy to forget whose we are, where our home and our identity comes from?  Why have we gotten ourselves so tangled up in this world that somehow we thought our faces, our cell phone’s have the power to tell us what our life is worth?

He knew us, even while we were yet sinners. He looked upon, loved, and saved us.  While we were riddled in sin, buried deep in our own trespasses, He made a plan and an escape….for us.

Yet, too often don’t we live with our name imprinted on a card, or a phone, or some media site…thinking “this” is my identity…when in fact, it’s actually not?

And why is it we can crawl up inside our own thinking, get caught it a type of spiritual amnesia, forgetting that from earth our Spiri20150621_184618ts didn’t originate?  Our souls will go on, when breathes, and faces, and i-phones are obliterated?

He made us friends, from the very fabric of His being, He created, molded us, breathed life into our beings.

And maybe it should be, not this world or their systems, not our so-called friends or any media rankings telling us who we are…

Maybe we should turn our faces towards the one who called us out of darkness, chose and delivered us, knew us even before the foundations of this world. 

He knows the hairs on our heads, our futures, our silent thoughts, our doubts, our questions…and yet, He loves us anyway.

And weren’t we originally formed in His image, made to declare His praises, set free to point to His fame, resonating for generations?

I pick up an envelope, mail a quick note and the “identity” of the woman, found upon the asphalt.

And even now if she is reading this, I want to thank her….

Thank her for the reminder that I have been found, for pointing me to the real place I belong, for anchoring my identity not in some phone or state i.d. but by the revelation that Christ is in me…

And that my worth is found in Him, and Him only…not some piece of paper.

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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. She speaks, writes, & passionately advocates for the orphan domestically & internationally with her husband of twenty-five years.
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  1. Jen, it’s crucial to have our identity firmly found in Christ, our heart completely confident of His love for us, in order to face the times in which we are living. When you can’t even take for granted that fellow believers will even agree on the basic foundations, keeping ourselves rooted in Christ is key to not being shaken.

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