Instant and Eternal
Ever since adoption became a part of our family’s story I’ve dug into education, trauma and experiences surrounding identity in the adoptee community. By no means do I hold claim to understanding the experience, but I desire to enter my daughters story from a place of comprehending where she may struggle in her identity.
As much as I desire her identity to be established and secured as my daughter, and I continue to pray and trust that she feels valued and loved, I have no control over her emotions or experiences. She has to work out who she is with my patience, support and created space. As a loving parent I am committed to working it out by her side without expectation or pretense.
In my imperfect humanity and my flawed love for my child – I still desire to clumsily walk beside her.
The same is true of our perfect God. He does not expect you to have your identity worked out as you enter into relationship with Him – or even 30 years in. He isn’t clumsy in His dedication to walk alongside of us. He is committed to the long haul of us establishing our identity in Him.
God’s infinite love for me changes my identity the moment I choose to claim it. But God does not place the expectation on me to have it worked out – thank God! My identity in Christ has been a 30 year process called sanctification that is worked out as I slowly understand more of the depth of His love and the freedom it offers.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul is talking to the church at Ephesus and he is laying out the gospel for them. As he lays it out, he offers a prayer to the people of the church and the prayer includes, “revelation of the knowledge of Him,” “knowing the hope” that He has called them to, having the “eyes of their hearts enlightened” to understand who Jesus is (Ephesians 1: 3-23). Paul desires the people at Ephesus to have their identity fully established in Christ, established as children of God in the fullness of knowing Him.
Identity formation is defined as a, “complex process in which humans develop a clear and unique view of themselves.” We have so much grace in this process as we see others embrace this complex process, but often times we do not extend as much grace on ourselves as we work it out with Christ. Claiming identity as a child of God comes first and that changes our identity instantly and eternally. But the formation of this identity is a process – a complex process – and God will walk with you as you work it out with His steady hand.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17