As we recently celebrated my oldest daughter’s 14th Birthday, I reflected on my teenage years and the challenges I faced, and the journey towards realizing who I am and who God created me to be.
It is so important to instill in our children their true identity—guide them to discover their true identity. Help them understand that their identity does not depend on what they have done or will do. Instead, their identity is who God says they are.
From my personal experience, I can assure you that if we do not get this right, everything in our Christian walk will be unstable and a struggle. We must instill these fundamental truths in our children’s lives. We must teach them to see themselves as God sees them— and it begins with us uncovering and understanding our true identity.
Growing up, especially in my early teenage years, I struggled a lot with my self-esteem and lack of confidence. I always silently compared myself to other girls and thought, If only I would have a nice straight tooth that the other girl had or a nice tall, slim body like she had, or I would just have a good sense of humor and make everybody laugh. You get my point. The list would go on and on. As a young teenager, I was so shy and lacked confidence that in my conversations with adults and especially teachers, I could not look into their eyes. I would look sideways.
There was a prison that I had built in my mind by imagination about myself. I thought that I was “an ugly duck” compared to others. I also thought that everyone perceives me the same way.
I got desperate to get out of that prison when I approached 14, 15 years old. I knew deep down that it was not the real me. I grew up in church. And I knew that only God could help me. I started crying out to God to free me from this false image and perception of myself. I got so hungry for God, not religion. I did not want to know about Him—I wanted to know Him personally. It started as 5 min prayers, and then it got longer as I told Him to reveal Himself to me and set me free to be the person He created me to be—Free.
I started studying scriptures about who I am in Christ. And I found out that I am a new creation that old things have passed away (2 Cor. 5:17). I discovered that my Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally (Eph 2:4), I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and in Christ, there is no blemish in me (Song of Solomon 4:7). I learned that I have been chosen before the creation of the world to be one with Christ and that nothing that comes against me in life can separate me from this divine union (Romans 8:38-39). I discovered that I am the righteousness of Christ and because of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, I have a right standing with God (2chor. 5:21) —the blood of Jesus has washed or cleansed me from every shame, low self-esteem, guilt, shyness, jealousy. Knowing who I am in Christ and what Christ has done for me, I do not have to compare myself with other girls— I am His unique masterpiece, and He created me purposely and beautifully for Himself.
As I meditated upon these scriptural truths, I saw how that new creature—the real me, made in the image of God started emerging. It took about a year, and I turned from the cocoon to a butterfly. Everyone, including my parents, saw the visible difference and transformation. I became a new person—All shame and shyness were gone. I fell in love with Jesus. He became so real to me. Through Jesus, I found myself—my true identity. I started seeing myself as my Heavenly Father sees me. What a wonderful and liberated life. I experienced so much joy and freedom as I embraced my spiritual inheritance—and this experience continues.
My discoveries are valid for you and your children as well. We are who God says we are in Jesus Christ!
Pause and say this prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your unconditional love towards me. Thank you that you reveal to me personally who I am in Christ. Thanks for this personal revelation that is flooding over me even as I read this post. I am tired of the struggle and comparison game. Thank you for setting me free from every lie of the enemy that I have perceived as truth. I declare that I AM chosen, I AM loved, I AM accepted, and I no longer need to pretend to be someone I am not. I AM free. I AM free in Christ. Amen.