There are many times in life when I have felt like a chameleon. I’ve changed my colors to match my settings more times than I can count. Then, in the midst of my disguise, I realize that I don’t want to blend in - I want to stand out, but in my misplaced identity I’ve forgotten how.
My early twenties were filled with times of trying to change who I was to fit where I was. My identity was determined by who I was hanging out with at the time, where I was working and how I wanted to be perceived by those that surrounded me. I put a lot of focus on myself without really knowing who I was. It was a dark and confusing time in my life.
I think the thing that grieves me the most about this time of struggle is that I was a believer. I fully knew and understood who the Lord is and who I am called to be as His follower - and yet, the call to fit in and to be admired by others won out over my King. I had traded my understanding of my beautiful, God-given identity for a cheaper, man-made version.
1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellences of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.” God has called us, adopted and claimed us as His (Eph. 2:5) and we are to live out our days proclaiming His glory because we carry His name.
When we misplace our identity, it causes us to do things that are not glorifying to God. We forget that we are His heirs and that we bear His image. We put our focus on ourselves and our surroundings instead of heavenly things. This is a sign of mistrust in our Creator. Our sin here is in placing the focus on ourselves rather than using our lives and all of who we are to proclaim the excellences of the Lord.
In Ephesians 2:19-22, the Word says: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Our identity as believers is rooted in Christ, our cornerstone and foundation. We belong to a family of faith and represent our Father daily - we naturally stand out from the rest of the world because of this. We are the Lord’s dwelling place and can rest in being identified as His own.
My search for identity was ultimately rooted in a desire to be loved. My misplaced identity caused me to search for love in the wrong places - to conform to this world rather than my Creator. Reading God’s Word reminds and informs me that I have a loving Father who gave an incredible gift, His Son, to make me His own. Even when I was confused about my true identity, ultimately it has been rooted in God all along.