IDENTITY – Fridays With Beth Biggers


Beth E

Beth

Identity

by

Beth Biggers

It was a brisk fall day, a few years ago. My youth pastor and dear friend of our family had asked me to share my testimony with our group of junior high and high school girls. The theme of that week’s Fall Retreat had been “Identity.”

I was supposed to share the story of me and Jesus with an emphasis on who I am in Christ. No. Sweat.

At least, that’s what I thought at the time. Not a problem. I got this. Who knows my story better than me?

Who knows my story better than me?

I look back on my pages of notes, my bright red face, and my slight rambling with no small amount of shame and regret. I told those girls the facts. Who I am, who I was, who knowing Christ had made me.

I told those girls the facts of my chronology, my personal history, my memories. I told them the facts of my theology and what the Bible, the Church, and the Holy Spirit agreed on as my identity. I told them The Facts. What I did not tell them was The Truth.

Here is The Truth:

When I scrape it down, remove all the layers of theology and doctrine and memory and head knowledge, there is a little being, a little girl, inside of me. She’s huddling in a shelter made of facts. But when you take that shelter away, you find The Truth. She has no idea who she is. Even after knowing Jesus for almost half of her life. Even after knowing the Bible forwards and sort of almost backwards. Even after countless hours of therapy and a husband who loves and understands. Even after years between her and abuse. Even after two children for whom she is responsible, at least in part, for teaching them who they are. She has no idea.

All it takes is a word. All it takes is the sight of a certain book, the look in the eye of a loved one, the well-placed sigh of exasperation, the mention of one thing or another and my well-built house of cards and facts comes tumbling down. I’m an animal backed into a corner, naked and exposed and acting out those feelings of desperation in anger and in fear.

See, the truth is, even though I am a grown woman, in complete possession of my faculties and blessed with the knowledge that I am elect, holy, and beloved, I have crises of identity on the regular. What should be my New Core Belief is sabotaged by the Enemy and my battle against insecurity becomes a daily struggle. What I know to be true is not what I walk out practically more often than not. Because I know it to be true, but maybe if I am honest, I don’t all the way believe it to be true.

Can I just say, this sucks?

It sucks.

It sucks that I approach the Throne of Grace cowering as one unwanted and unsummoned, a freshly kicked dog rather than a Bride, daughter, friend, and co-heir.

It sucks that I feel the need to apologize, compulsively, for my very presence. Not just with my family and friends, but with the Lord. “I’m real sorry, Jesus. I know you got no bargain when you got me…”

It sucks that I can preemptively taste a collective disappointment and pity from those from whom I would seek approval, Jesus not being least among them.

It sucks.

But see, the thing about it is, Jesus wants me to come to Him. Even if it’s in the wrong way, believing the wrong things about myself and Him and my place. He actually wants me to come and to cry and to lament and to spill my guts and grossness out all over His shiny new rug.

Because who knows my story better than me?

Who knows better than me why I am the way I am?

Who knows better than me who I really am, what I really should be?

He’s not surprised.

He’s not surprised that I have to come back, over and over and over again for a refresher course on Who You Say I Am.

He’s not surprised.

His blood actually had to be spilled to cover me up because I continually find my way back to the puddle of my own blood and just….kick around there for a while.

He’s not surprised.

He’s not surprised because He knows, better than anyone in the whole of time and reality and existence the depth of depravity that our enemy possesses. He is not surprised that my enemy likes to pick on little kids and pregnant women.

He’s not surprised.

And He is no quitter.

If I was to go back in time to that Fall day and tell those girls The Truth, it would be that my identity is still a mystery to me. So I go back. I go back day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment to that cross and that throne room, to those nail scarred hands. And I am surprised. I am surprised because Whatever, Whoever I am, whatever word or title is appropriate to place under the heading of “Beth’s Identity,” I find that God is not at all surprised or appalled by my constant need for attention, for affirmation, for reminder. He is gentle. He speaks grace and value and love over me. He tells me “Live!” He beckons and welcomes me back again and again and again and as many times as I need and more times than I know I need.

And that is The Truth.

Beth photo

Meet Beth Biggers

Beth Biggers has been following Jesus for 11 years, married to Brandon for 7, and a mom for 5.  Her sons Luke and Liam provide her with adventure, laughs, and content for her blog at http://www.bethbiggers.com where she writes about family, faith, and urban homesteading.”

Beth will be writing with us on Fridays about Faith.  She would like to connect with you!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beth.biggers   Instagram: the_real_beth   Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/bethbiggers/   Twitter: @biggersbeth

Blog Post Links By Beth Biggers:

http://www.therealbeth.blogspot.com/2015/05/finding-life.html

http://www.therealbeth.blogspot.com/2015/04/build-wall.html

http://www.therealbeth.blogspot.com/2015/03/doing-math-of-doubt.html

Equipping Godly Women

5 thoughts on “IDENTITY – Fridays With Beth Biggers

  1. The verse you chose for your testimony caught my eye because it reminds me of a book that I read last year. If you have found that verse from Ezekiel to be meaningful in your life, you should read Lila by Marilynne Robinson. Her main character wrestles with that verse and own background, her coming to God, etc. It’s a work of fiction, so obviously there are limits, but I have found Marilynne Robinson’s writing to be so profoundly spiritual, and her characters actually rank among my favorite “theologians.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this. I feel like you captured into words my everyday reality. It feel despicable but loved, ugly but beautiful, lost but found. Thankfully He is still teaching me as long as I keep throwing myself at His feet. One of the most raw, honest and genuine posts I have read in a long time. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Liz – I agree that our writer Beth is very genuine. i love her honesty. Thanks Liz for coming over today. Love having you here and it was great meeting you on our MOPS MOM Writers Facebook page.

      Like

    • Liz,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad this resonated with you. I strive to be as open and honest as I can, in writing and in life…I am free under grace and I believe when we are honest, it frees others to be so as well.

      -Beth

      Like

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