Identity Crisis

Be you! Love who you are! Be-YOU-tiful! Stay true to yourself!

We hear these kinds of mantras all the time and yet do we really know who we are? Do we really embrace our true identities? Or do we hide our true identities out of fear of what others may think of us?

To be honest, I have been suffering from an identity crisis lately. It all began when I decided to start writing. I was worried about what people would think of me and about the mistakes from my past being made known. So, I decided to hide behind a pen name.

Now, there is nothing wrong with having a pen name. Many authors use one to keep their personal lives separate from their writing lives. But the reason I was using a pen name was out of fear. And that is not the best reason.

Thanks to social media I found out that my adored childhood name “Cici” that I was using as a pen name means “boobie” in Hungarian. Now, I don’t really plan on being world renowned in my writing. And I highly doubt anything I write will ever be translated into Hungarian. But can you imagine if someday it did, and a poor Hungarian reader was looking at my book appalled that I am a Christian writer with a name that means that! Oh dear!

I immediately realized I needed a new name. I spent hours tossing and turning that night trying to think of a new name. I looked up several names to see their meaning. I looked up words like “beloved”, “adored”, and “grace” in other languages to see if I could use that as a unique name.

Do you know what I didn’t do?

I didn’t pray about it.

Isn’t that the way it goes though? Prayer is the first thing we should do and yet it is often the last thing we think of. We get so caught up in trying to find the answers ourselves. Or trying to figure out a way to fix things. Or we just race ahead and attempt to figure it all out on our own. When what we really should do is spend some time with the One who already knows the answers.   

When I finally took time to pray in the morning, I felt like God was asking me why I was trying to hide?

I realized that I was hiding from the bitter shame of my broken past and from all the mistakes I have made. And I was also hiding from my fear. Fear that the skeletons in my closet will be released. Fear of what people will think of me when they see I am far from perfect. Fear that the world will see my scars and look away in disgust.

And yet, do you know what authors I love to read the most?

The ones who are real. The ones who are brutally honest about their mistakes and failings. And I love to read what they write because I feel that I can connect with them. We have something in common. We are all messes made beautiful in the shadow of the cross.

I find other people’s scars to be inspiring. They show me that there is hope for change. That God can still love and rescue us no matter how badly we mess up. That you can overcome whatever life has thrown your way. That there is life after tragedy. People with scars are living proof that God can take broken pieces and make masterpieces.

So, if I feel that way about others, maybe I should learn to view my own scars that way?

Maybe God is calling me to just be myself so that people will see my broken past, my embarrassing mistakes, my scars, my imperfections, my failures, and my shortcomings. And by showing these to the world maybe they will realize that if God can love and work through an awful sinner like me, then there is hope for everybody!  

And perhaps someone will see my scars and call me ugly. Perhaps they will bash me or reject me. And that will hurt. But God calls me to follow Him. Not to worry about what others think. Not to compare myself to others. To simply follow Him wherever he leads.

So, in the end, I have decided to just be me. The world may accept me or reject me. But that is none of my concern.

Jesus has accepted me. Jesus loves me. And that is enough.

No more identity crisis. This is me.

And I am done hiding.   

“I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me.”

“This Is Me” Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman Ensemble

Have you ever hidden who you were out of fear? Is God calling you out of the shadows today? He loves you just as you are, scars and all.

Ignore what the world says. Let God’s words drown them out.  

He says you are beautiful. You are forgiven. Loved. Adored. Treasured. Worth dying for.

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9 thoughts on “Identity Crisis

  1. I also can relate to this, especially with my upcoming memoir release. Terrifying! Yet it is exactly this fear and this fire I feel I must walk through…I see it as my Soul assignment. So thanks for showing up, and sharing your struggle about doing so…may your authenticity assist you and others!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I can definitely relate with this fear of exposion! When I started to blog about my life I told God I would do this cause He was asking me to but, I would not show this to anyone I knew lol.
    Now I am more confortable with this Idea of people reading my history! Cause I Know it will help someone! As I heard once ‘testimony is the spirit of prophecy!’

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a beautiful, vulnerable post, Collene!

    I heard someone say years ago that once we expose our weakness, shame, and fears—bringing them out into the light, Satan no longer has the power to use them against us. Though there are holes that can be poked in to that advice, I have also found from personal experience how much it has helped me to talk about the things the world deems shameful. Most times, my fears are bigger than reality.

    Also– you are so right, the writers I am most drawn to are those I can relate to. If the writing is always squeaky clean, I eventually tap out. I need to know that there is a real person on the other side of the words; that in a weird way, you see me and meet me on a similar level.

    There is an art to how we share our pasts. The nitty gritty details are not as important as what you learned and who you discovered Christ to be in those dark places. You can allude to categories of sin—shame, for example–and then write about the process you have been on as you have worked through to the other side of it. Just thinking out loud here. Obviously, I am still in process—but as a reader of your words, your heart—I am rooting for you! And I love that I get a front row seat into seeing where this new conviction takes you.

    I’m rambling a bit here, but I think it’s because I have found myself in your exact shoes. I know there is freedom on the other side of that shame. I also know that we were not made to hide behind a bush (Oh no! I’m gonna let it shine… Do you know that childhood Sunday school song? Ha! The things that pop into my mind! My goodness!)

    Praying that you continue on this beautiful path! 🙂

    Karyn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I loved that song as a kid because we got to tell “NO!”. Lol. You bring up some great points! I love your insights and encouragement Karyn. You make me think and make me laugh! You are very wise! Thank you so much for sharing!

      Like

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