The Identity Crisis: Darling, It's Pivotal Time

Have you ever been in the midst of a spiritual download and confused about how to explain it but then out the boondocks, here comes God bringing you the full download like it’s NOBODY’S business? No? Okay, well, recently I had this happen to me. proceed with caution…

In his piece The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis stated an insightful statement that resonates well with me due to the truth he exposes about the core feeling of every person who has been touched by pain. He said:

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
— C.S. Lewis

Today, I standby what C.S. Lewis said. In fact, I want to challenge us to rephrase how we look at a particular issue because of the truth that has been stated.

Excerpt from my personal journal:

September 15, 2019

Dear God,

It's taken me some time, but I've noticed that we have a severe epidemic in our society. No, it's our entire world. This plague has taken such a hold of us, and we're yearning to get rid of it so badly, yet we refuse to acknowledge its existence. What is this epidemic? I call it the identity crisis.

I began noticing the level of pain we are all feeling as a society when I started wondering how is it that we are in a world where more people are connected (digitally) than ever before in history yet the amount of loneliness most of us harbor is too immense to almost comprehend.

Here we are, posting pictures of ourselves smiling with beautiful backgrounds of the earth, yet our depression rates are increasing? How is it that we are now in a time where we have more control over our access to one another yet feel more isolated than ever? Why is it that we live in a world where we see more people smiling and showing a life that is filled with so much happiness yet depression, loneliness, lack of self-worth, and value are increasing, divorce rates are higher than before, and suicide has become one of the leading causes of death among young people. I know it sounds ironic because I'm a blogger, and social media is a component to my business, but I'm not a fan of the thing, and I couldn't agree more with Selena Gomez when she said that social media is toxic for our generation.

Now I believe that just like everything that you create, God, is good; social media is not completely wicked. You create amazing things with its purpose to glorifying you, and I stand by that belief. However, just as everything that has been formed into existence is to praise you, Lord, we can also use it to cause more harm than good.

I believe that we live in a world that we are all spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically empty. We are thirsty and trust me the thirst is real here cause it's a drought, and we're too busy being distracted by the mirage that this isn't an issue. We would rather spend time editing and picking through pictures of us showcasing how happy we are and posting it for the world to praise us than focusing on the hurt and pain that our brothers and sisters around the world are facing.

I've got an issue with that. I have a case against the identity crisis. Why does it exist? What do we do when we recognize it? Similar to any disease, how do we protect ourselves from it? How do we eradicate it?

I wrote the paragraphs above before T.D. Jakes' sermon, and I cannot tell you guys how timely His speech is!

God doesn’t work for you. God isn’t on your payroll.
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

Indeed, I have noticed that people, especially among us believers, have forgotten who we really are. It's almost as if the desire to have what society identifies as a successful person is all we're prioritizing. In reaching for those said qualities, we are losing ourselves because we're not testing these fascinations with the will of God for our lives and his Word. Our desire to be worldly successful, loved, and valued is pulling us further away from God than we want to admit. Think about it:

  • Why is everyone rushing to get married🤷🏾‍♀️? I mean some want to and have prayed about (I'm not here to judge anyone's marriage), but as an individual, I had to ask myself: why do I want to get married? Do I even want to be married this young? Why do I desire to have a life partner that I'm in a union with under God if God hasn't said so? What's the rush?

  • Why are we all striving to become entrepreneurs🤷🏾‍♀️? Is it really the calling that God has for all of us? Is it the will of God for you to start a business or are we craving what others have and being played by our desire to be deemed successful? Is everyone supposed to create their own businesses? When did God say that? Doesn't this all seem to be a hurting world's desire for individual approval instead of really getting out he and and feet dirty by reaching out to our brothers and sisters around the world who are in need of the basic necessities life such as clean water, education, clothes, love, compassion, and support? Are we asking ourselves, ”how am I glorifying God and obeying His will for my life in this business venture I'm pursuing?”

  • Why do so many people want to be in a relationship so much that we are leaving them more broken and not spending enough time healing and working on our inner peace🤷🏾‍♀️? Does everyone need to be in a relationship? Where does this desire come from? Are we seeking alignment prior to ’deciding’ what our assignments are?

  • Why do we want what others have🤷🏾‍♀️? I mean, isn't that what social media is doing, showing us the memoirs of these "successful people," and we are yearning for their lives. Isn't this desire to be in a relationship and successful by worldly standards, similar to coveting what others have like what the 10 Commandments have instructed us to not do? Isn't the world telling us that our follower counts, how many likes we receive, how picturesque our images are, if we have a blue verification sticker next to our username, and if we have a boyfriend or girlfriend to flood our feeds showing how happy we are with them, if we're associating well known people or visiting these gorgeous places for the purpose of seeming well versed in the cultures of the world then we are worth paying attention to? When did social media, our family, our friends, our lovers, the world, and the number of approvals we receive began determining who we are instead of us formulating our true value within ourselves and with God?

I've been wondering: why are we craving attention, outward meaning, worth, outside love, and acceptance so much? Do we recognize that in doing so, we are losing more of who we are, our authenticity, our joy, and our peace? (I know, I'm a deep thinker) It's all because of this identity crisis. We don't know who we are anymore as people. We are more focused on looking for validation and love from outside of us than turning inwardly and solidify our worth, value, and purpose from the one who made us.

Bishop Jakes hit the nail on the head on this one when he said that we don't know who we are. We want things that we don't even know if they are in alignment with the will of God for our lives. And when things flop in our face, when we begin to truly taste that emptiness that we've brought upon ourselves. Then we blame God or one another for where we are in life. It seems as if we're trying to use just about every piece in puzzle box to fight a space that only God can.

Whenever God puts you in an uncomfortable situation, He’s sifting you. What matters, what doesn’t matter. What’s real, what’s not real.
— T.D. Jakes

Truly conviction isn't always fun but needed. We live in a society where we're afraid to face ourselves, and due to that fear, we look for fulfillment in our relationships (friends, family, and lovers), our careers, our status', our possessions, and the world. In fact, we feel so devalued by our own actions, the pain we've experienced in life, and skewed perception of what love is, unresolved pain, and it's causing this identity crisis to escalate. We are in a state of emergency cause this identity crisis is truly spiritual amnesia, and we need to recognize it before it's too late.

Now I'm not saying that there is only one reason why depression, loneliness, and suicide are so potent in our world because we don't know who we are. Instead, I'm adding to the many reasons. I'm challenging us to rephrase what could be the underlying reason why there's so much pain in many of our brothers and sisters.

He’s beating [me] like wheat, in the winepress, away from the crowds, trying to get me down to my core values. Trying to fix me in my roots, trying to get me together where it matters. Not in my image. He’s not tinting my picture for Instagram, enhancing my accessories, [and] accentuating my positives. He’s beating my hind in because he is beating the wheat in the winepress.
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

Are you missing the voice of the Lord because you're too busy trying to be someone you're not? Are you pursuing the things that the society deems as successful, or are you seeking the will of God for your life because you know your identity is found in the Lord and that your purpose is what God has predestined for your life? Are you pursuing what God has directed for you to do because you have an intimate personal relationship with him? Or do you have one foot in you practicing Christianity while the other foot is in what the world is following?

When you don't know who you are, whos' you are, you will allow everything and anything to identify you. It's easier to find value in what others say you are, who you're in a relationships, how many degrees you've got, what kind of job you have, how many possessions you've got, and how influential you are then it is to dig so deep within your soul that all you're left with is your spirit and the Spirit of the Lord. It's easier to look outwardly for identification than it is to look inwardly. It's like paying for those fit teas on Instagram or some random new diet instead of going to the gym and putting in the hard work and taking care of your body daily.

And I have to decide in this struggle which one of these entities is going to win in this fight: what I grew up around or what I was created to be. One of them is going to determine what the trajectory of my future looks like.
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

However, similar to a dog chasing its tail only to realize that what it has been tracking is its own tail, so are we when we look everywhere else but God for identification. This is why we have an identity crisis.

Similar to Gideon, you could think that you're one thing, but God's got a different position set up for you. We seem to want to tell God who we are and what we want, but forget that God made us and who he really is.

I did it because I didn’t know I was me. [...] It is possible to not know who you really are because your feelings don’t always validate your reality. [...]You cannot define yourself by how you feel. Your feelings cannot be trusted. Your feelings will lie to you. Your feelings will deceive you. Your feelings will have you in the winepress. [...] You cannot trust how you feel because your feelings are a conglomerate of your experiences. They are built of your history, not your destiny. They are your response to what happened, not what’s about to happen.
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

See, it's almost like getting shocked by an electric charge when you realize that nothing, absolutely nothing outside of you, will ever bring you more value, worth, and joy than what God has already placed within you. It's almost as if you've finally woke up from your spiritual amnesia. When you recognize who you are, who's child you are, and the fact that God has a designed a life for you that is beyond your comprehension, you begin to understand that you are more powerful than you could've ever imagined. You recognize that the road that you've been walking on, the desire to have what the world claims as successful, is no longer pleasing to you. In fact, it almost seems minuscule in comparison to all that God has for you.

Sometimes, life doesn’t make sense.
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

Remember when I told y'all about how I don't believe that it's my time? Remember when I stated that I've resolved to be courted instead of date? You know how many posts I've been sharing about exposing myself, my experiences, and the lessons I've had to learn despite how others may get upset about me sharing the truth? These were all because I came out of that spiritual coma. The amnesia has worn off. That's how God helped me beat depression, self-doubt, codependency, abuse, perfectionism, and the need to please others instead of listening to God.

I’m not praising God because of religion. I’m not praising God because I’m black. I’m praising God because I have an expectation.
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

When you realize that who you are is solely found in God, then no relationship, job, car, house, or status is ever going to please you the way the world wants it to. When I recognized who I am, who I really am, I began questioning my pursuit for certain things. I started asking myself questions like:

  • Do I really want to get married? What does marriage mean to God? Is that what he wants for me?

  • Does God want me to be in a relationship, or is the life of singleness what he has predestined for me?

  • Am I supposed to pursue careers relating to my degree? Do they even align with the will of God for my life?

  • Does God want me to share every lesson I go through with y'all, or does he want me to share only ones pertaining to his will?

In fact, it has gotten to the point where, unless God tells me to step left, your girl is staying put. Unless God tells me to make a right turn, I'm staying where I am with him.

When you gain the awareness of who you are and tap into your true identity, no person or thing can change your mind. And I believe that as children, we had an awareness of our uniqueness that's why it's easier for us to do what is right without the fear of upsetting others or what others may think of us. It's when we lose our sense of identity in Christ that we begin to ask others to identify us.

Isn't that sad🤦🏾‍♀️? It's a bunch of lost people telling other lost people who they are. It's the blind leading the blind. The broken leading the broken. It is the disoriented leading the lost. Now that's painful to witness nevertheless be in. To be so lost in who you are and unable to process anything because you've refused to look inwardly with God and instead have allowed others to dictate how valuable, worthy, kind, resilient, and great you are? The world judges harshly based on its own standards, and it doesn't judge based on the heart, only God does.

So how do we recognize this loss of self? How do we protect ourselves? The answers for both is actually one answer: God. Specifically, by diving deeper into our intimate personal relationship with the Lord, Christ, and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

When I went through the things that I did, I was lost, hurting, broken, depressed, abused, and more things that I will not share. Ultimately, I was defeated spiritually, psychologically, and even my physical being couldn't hide it. When my heart felt like it was shattering and darkness seemed to be encompassing me, I ran. I ran fast, and I wasn't looking back. Where, what, and who was I running to? I ran to God.

Somehow ( I definitely know it's the Holy Spirit), I knew that the only way to heal and release myself from the darkness I had allowed myself to be a part of🤦🏾‍♀️, I would have to go to the man that knows me better than any person: Jesus. I knew that when I didn't know me, I didn't know where my life was going, why I was so emotionally and psychologically hurting, Jesus would know, and he would make sense of it all.

When my grandmother went to be with the Lord, that day, it was as if I had finally woken up from my spiritual coma. Her voice telling me that all she wanted for me was to live a life filled with joy and happiness, was a wake-up call. God used her voice and her departure to bring me back to him and transform me into a woman I didn’t know I could be. Now that's a dope parting gift (thanks, Grandma, you slay for eternity)! The Lord helped me realize all that was in my life that was not from him, where I was heading, the pain that I didn't even know I was facing, and who I've always been in Christ.

I was blessed for that wake-up call and encourage everyone to revisit their inner child. The purity that you had at the age where everything was possible, and pain hadn't touched your soul, that is the core of who are. That purity and the lessons you've gained through every experience (both the painful ones and happier ones) are meant to catapult you into your destiny. You and I may just miss God just like the Pharisees did if we allow our logic, worldly desires, and pain to guide us. Don't miss out on who God has called you to be and forget your identity in him because you're too focused on everything else but Him because that's not the painful story you want to be a part of.

So who identifies you? Are you what your degrees, friends, family, job, possessions, and society tell say you are? Or are you an eternal being with power and love beyond comprehension that has been handcrafted by the most talented artist to ever exist? You decided on which one you want to claim, and I'll let you in on something🙋🏾‍♀️:

one of them will only make you an imitation and puppet for the world whereas the other one will liberate you from all pain and bondage (even the ones you brought upon yourself) bringing you joy that surpasses all understanding.

'Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.” And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”'

- Judges 6:11-18 (NKJV)

'“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”'

- Jeremiah 1:5

'For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.'

- Romans 8:28-30

'having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, '

- Ephesians 1:9

Until next time...

-🌿 Abigail