In Search of an Identity

It’s sobering seeing that the last time I blogged was March. That was nearly 5 months ago for those of you doing the quick math. If you had been following along with my blog for any period of time, I apologize for my sudden and prolonged disappearance. I needed a little time away. While not writing at all is not the best course of action, I know it’s afforded me a little perspective on myself and how I can better communicate about this self.

When my parents separated, a large part of my identity fell through the cracks of that schism. In my ignoring the tremendous confusion, pain, and anger, I was listless, hollow. That is, until I started going to counseling and found some identity in being the older brother to my sister.

So, I’m an oldest child. Well, no. You see, I wore this mask for a few years—uncomfortable as it was —but that was until my blindness was revealed when I was informed that I was actually more of a middle child, especially around my family. But it can’t be.

It was. I’ve fought it. But it’s no less true than the moment I first heard this eldest child identity challenged.

However, I’ve spent much of the past several months ignoring this new piece to my identity puzzle. Subsequently, I’ve seen it create distance in my marriage and relationships. I’ve seen it tugging mightily at my seams.

Only the other morning did it hit me that much of my writing, myself in relationship, my music is about expressing myself, feeling heard, being understood. Forcing the audience to see me. But to see me as I want to be perceived.

Even the most beautiful of hollow people are little more than artwork heaped on a bonfire of self-loathing. Self-loathing. Now there’s a horrible term.

Even the most beautiful of hollow people are little more than artwork heaped on a bonfire of self-loathing.

But that’s the thing of it. This person—who I’ve been made—is a piece of God’s handiwork, complete with his signature and everything. By rejecting who He has made me, by treating simple characteristics and treating them as my whole identity and rejecting all of this, I pridefully place myself in a position just as high as God, if not higher in the role of critic.

Who am I? I cannot judge God’s workmanship. Not in my wildest dreams could I ever be so self-important.

How I act doesn’t reflect me. And this is the crux of truly being Christian: taking God at His word and living a life reflecting who God has revealed Himself to be.

“God has made me in His image. And He Is.” — Amy

If I truly believed this, lived these words, I would no longer need to be heard. I am not; God is. You see, I no longer need to be important.

I no longer need to be important.

I am understood and heard. Sure, I need to continue to improve how I communicate (just ask my wife), but my words, my art, don’t need to bash you over the head with the message. I am free to express myself in a way that allows the audience freely to accept or reject that message without real consequence to me. It’s not personal.

My worth doesn’t come from my failing attempts and being understood and liked by people. Yes, that will always be nice, but it doesn’t have to dictate my sense of self like it has.

I am free. I am free to create, to communicate, to simply be without fear of rejection by my peers and other passersby.

I am free.

I’m free because I am understood—most importantly, I am loved—by the only One who matters most. And I’m learning that’s not my wife (you’re off the hook, honey).

So, while I go and apologize to that beautiful woman, perhaps you can ask yourself a similar question: do I act as though I am as important or more important than God by judging who He’s made me and rejecting that person? Could it be true that, in practice, I loathe myself? Even a little?

Think about it.