Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
We can still wonder what it means to be true, to be ourselves, to be nothing else but whom God has made us to be. It’s an answer some of us struggled to find when we were younger. And there was a cost.
But we still feel that struggle, sometimes, don’t we? Even if we are no longer teenagers? Even if we have lived some more life now and have a little bit more wisdom and aren’t experiencing hormonal craziness (at least not the teenager-level-kind)? What’s the cost now to not knowing our identity in Christ?
Even now I find myself turning to that internal struggle. It’s almost tangible–the cost of striving. We are meant to be only one thing, only one person, only one personality, only one heart.
My eight-year-old daughter’s website, a little blog that she hasn’t updated in months now, reminds me what I want to pursue with my whole heart: being truly me.
To be truly ourselves means to know Jesus. To be truly ourselves means to know him not just as a one-dimensional character. To be truly ourselves means to know Jesus so that his voice in our hearts is as real as the sound of our neighbor as she chats with us when getting the mail. It is to know him so that his face is one we’ve memorized: we know the jaw structure, we know the feel of his skin, we know the hue of his eyes when he looks into ours.
He wants to be with you and do things with you that only you, being truly you, like to do.
Being truly you, with Jesus, means being free and being known and being love walking around.
I remember, weeks after our first son was born, and my friend Anne telling me her own little boy was her heart walking around; his existence was the physical representation of the love in her heart, the love she was capable of bearing for another person. I inhale quietly when she says it; it remains one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.
Is this us, with Jesus? Is this us, with God? Does he look at us and say there is my girl, my daughter, my heart walking around?
In Ajith Fernando’s book Reclaiming Love, he shares how it is our identity in Christ that makes it possible for us to experience the love of God. And it is the love of God that allows us to live in our true identity, and be free, and be joy-filled, and be bearers of and recipients of love.
Here is what I cling to: Who I am does not change who God is; yet my knowing who I am, in God, changes me. It changes me from a false identity to a true one, from a life of slavery to one of freedom. Knowing who I am, in God, is the only path to being whom I am made to be.
But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance (Galatians 4:4-7, MSG).
My actions, my choices, my personality, my desires . . . any of these things does not change the character of God. But me being truly me, truly myself, means I am experiencing God. For I cannot experience God without being the person He has created me to be.
Are we this free?
Can we see Jesus’ face, his eyes, saying yes?
Let’s stop striving. Let’s start looking for Jesus and spending time with Him and consider being only this one thing in our lives: True, the person God has intended us to be, in the first place.
This post first appeared at GatherMinistries.com