When You Wonder Who You Are


Less than one percent. That was it. I couldn’t understand it, but facts never lie.

From the time I was a little girl, I was saturated with the understanding that my Grandparents migrated from Norway. My parents owned the leather trunk my ancestors brought over, made krumkake, dangled red flags with indigo blue and white lined crosses, to prove it. I could even recite a Norwegian prayer, the same one my Norwegian Grandmother prayed on holidays.

About a year ago, my whole identity shifted. For a present I was given Ancestry.com’s dna test; a plastic container you spit in, send in, then a few weeks later receive a link giving you your entire genetic history, based on your DNA.

I scanned the list for “Norwegian”. What I found was, “< 1%”….basically nothing. How could that be?
In scripture I wonder if the disciples had the same identity crisis I did. Before Jesus, their identity centered around who they had always sailed the seas, conversed, and ate with.

But then, Jesus came and revealed a whole new identity apart from everything they knew. 

They walked in faith and obedience, while hearing Jesus teach, witnessing His miraculous power and healing.

photo-1485766410122-1b403edb53dbStill, when Jesus was taken and crucified, the disciples seemed to shrink back in question, returning to salty water drying out their skin, the stench of fish, like those gathered in the days before Jesus instructed them, “Come follow me”. (John 21:3)

And I wonder, was resting in their old identity easier than embracing their new? Was living their lives balancing on the wooden planks of the boat, more comfortable and less controversial than rising to their new, God-given identities?

As I opened up the map of my DNA that day, I not only was taken back, but discovered something I had never known before. I was….

(Please join me for the rest of this article, as I am writing over here today)

Each month, I have the honor of contributing at a site filled with women on mission with one commission only….making Jesus known. Would love for you to stop by, here, say, “hi”, and if you have time, leave a comment.

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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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