Identity is a powerful thing. I don’t even think that I know how to adequately describe what it is. However, I have learned over time and am continuing to learn what it isn’t. So for a little help I asked my good friend Google. She says identity is the fact of who or what a person is. That seems simple enough. And yet, many of us can’t quite articulate who we are when someone asks, “who are you?”
Well, I am a wife. A mom. A friend. A Christian, U.S. citizen, sister, daughter, of average intelligence and talent. Yet, all of those descriptions fall short of WHO I AM. So let me turn this on you.
What would you say if I asked, “Who are you?”
While you’re thinking about that let me share with you my story.
I realized that my own identity is a fragile thing when misplaced. And, I discovered just how fragile it was during a typical scroll through Facebook Town and InstaWorld.
For the last few months I have been praying about whether I should return to being a Bible study group leader. As of late, I am just now getting my feet underneath me as a new mom of three little ones, but even still, getting everyone fed, dressed, out the door, on time and still in a loving mood has proven to be a challenge. I sacrificed getting where we needed to be with having margins of time to discipline my children with grace and love.
Living life in a hurry proved to be no fun at all, and rather detrimental to my mental, emotional and spiritual sanity. So after much prayer, conversations with my husband, and counsel from friends and mentors, I decided to be content with a simple life right now. A life that consists of waking up to a cup of coffee and time spent reading the Bible, nursing my newborn and speaking to, not at, my children. A life that wasn’t in a hurry to get to where we needed to go. A life that would be defined as Christian woman, wife, and mom. I was at peace with this decision.
Until the other day.
One very positive thing about having three children is that it leaves very little time for social media. And when I did I have time, I often opted for one of my books instead. But the other day I felt particularly indulgent and undisciplined. So, instead of reading a book or doing something productive with the little free time I had, I chose to indulge in social media.
In no time at all, I was immersed in everyone’s highlight reels. Slowly but surely, with every scroll, other women’s children looked happier and more obedient than mine. Their husbands seemed more romantic, houses were bigger AND cleaner (What?! How does that happen?)! They were going on vacations and making six-figure incomes, cooking incredible meals, leading Bible studies and leadership seminars- all while being the perfect wife and mom.
Suddenly, who I was, who I am, didn’t seem so meaningful. And that’s when it hit me: I had a misplaced identity.
Who am I, really?
Who I am is not: Wife. Mom. Friend. Bible study leader, volunteer.
Those are callings. Divine callings that God has placed on my life. They are extremely important roles, some that will last my entire life and others that will last for certain seasons. Some that will be seen and others that will go virtually unnoticed. Yet as important as they are, those callings are not my identity.
And because I know what my identity is not, I am better able to tell you what my identity is.
So who is Gina Funderburg?
I am an adopted child in the family of God, once marred by sin, but grafted into His family through the sacrifice and righteousness of His son Jesus Christ. I live and breathe because of Him, and one day when I die, I will live forever with Him as an heir to an eternal inheritance.
That’s it. Nothing else to add. That is who I am.
All Other Labels are Temporary
The other labels may or may not impress, but they are temporary. They can be swept out from under me in a moments notice. My identity in Christ is the only thing that is secure and unwavering. When our identity, when who we define ourselves as, is resting securely in who Christ says we are then we will be content with whatever God calls us to. Whether called to much or little, fame or insignificance, responsibility or simplicity, leadership or service. Whatever we are called to we can do with humility and confidence in who we are and Whose we are.
(If you haven’t watched this Selah video called “Mom Crush” yet, you totally should. Apparently a few of us have this struggle.)
Gina Funderburg has a passion for encouraging others on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle by helping them understand basic and simple exercise and nutritional principles, as well as the value of community and accountability. As the mother of three young children, she believes that a healthy lifestyle journey should be a joy, not a burden as another task to make life more difficult. As a fellow woman, she has been wounded by the battle of body image and self-perception, and has discovered that the only respite from the war is found in the strong arms of her loving and gracious Savior, Jesus. Follow Gina’s blog at: Funderandlightening.blogspot.com or read Gina’s other posts here.