That’s a question that I often found myself asking throughout my high school years, and even now- in my last year of high school- I can’t answer that question with certainty.
One thing that many of us young people struggle with is finding our identities. Remember when you were in 1st grade, and you said “I’m going to grow up and become an astronaut!”? When you get older, your ideas, personality and perception change and develop. When you enter high school, you get thrust into a whirlwind of emotions and confusion, and all aspects of your life change. You go through victories and disappointments, ups and downs, and your faith, morals, values and willpower get tested.
Sometimes we’re insecure. Sometimes we associate ourselves with the wrong people. Sometimes we get into the wrong relationships. Or make the wrong decisions. Or don’t understand why we feel a certain way about certain things.
All these things impact our ideas about who we are. Our insecurities and confusion lead us to try validate ourselves and fit in wherever we possibly can. We even end up developing awful habits that can affect us for a lifetime- all because we don’t know who we are.
My struggles with my identity also influenced my faith. There were times when I felt good about myself, and confident of my position as a child of God. And in times where I was more lost and looking for answers in the world, my faith would hit an all-time low. I recently discovered that the main problem with my faith was a lack of consistency. But how could I consistently grow in the Lord and have a relationship with Him if I didn’t even know who I was?
I finally found, acknowledged and accepted my identity in Christ, and that’s when I really began to gain confidence in myself . 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light”
One has to come to the decision that they are who God says they are. You have to reach a point where you say, “Lord, I’ve tried to find my own identity, and I’ve tried to gain confidence and feel better about myself out there, but I’m getting nowhere. I’ve chosen to follow you, and that also means that I’ll live the life you want me to. My identity will be in Christ, and I choose to be a person who lives according to Your Word and Your principles. I’m not living just to fulfill my own carnal desires, I’m looking for something deeper.”
And that’s when you truly gain confidence. I’m so much more confident now because I know who I am in the Lord. I am chosen by the Lord. I am royalty, I am part of the Holy nation and the peculiar people, I am God’s very own possession. I am created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14), my name is inscribed in His palm (Isaiah 49:16), I am a child of the Most High God (Psalms 82:6). I am unshakeable in the Lord. I am not meant to be understood by everyone, because I’m not of this earth. I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phillipians 4:13)
Once I truly understood and realised who I am, I could actually move forward in my relationship with Christ, and develop character as a person. It’s still an ongoing process that I take step-by-step, but it’s a fulfilling one. Now I have a solid reason behind the habits I have, the conversations I have and the people I speak to; I don’t want to do anything to compromise my identity and relationship with God. I’ve found peace in my new identity.
I’m a child of God.
And that’s the standard I’ll always try to keep myself up to.