(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
Finding Who You Really Are
By April Bautista Garcia
The concept of finding ourselves has become a theme in today’s culture. People have written books, made movies, created songs, and even printed t-shirts with the hopes of finding who we are. The icons of today have no problem telling us that our meaning can be found in partying, sharing life experiences with multiple people, or taking a wanderlust journey to connect with the world around us. Our parents and educators tend to tell us that our identity and purpose will be found in what we know and what career path we chose. But how can we know?
So many people and things are willing to tell us the method to find ourselves; however, no one has the ability to tell us who we truly are. Most that make these suggestions, especially cultural icons, tend to be just as broken and empty as we are. They too end up confused and empty, searching for the answer to the same question: Who am I and why do I matter?
I understand this tug-of-war self-discovery. I was bullied in Junior High and some of High School. I was ridiculed for my clothing, my appearances, my personality, and my family’s lack of money. That pain left me empty and frustrated. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be accepted. I constantly questioned who I was and why my life mattered. It left me broken and ashamed. For years I tried fixing myself, hoping that I could become a person who mattered. Yet, no matter what I did, I always came up short. I was never satisfied with who I was or what I did.
I know that I am not alone in this struggle. The issue of self-identity is something that every person struggles with at some point in their life. However, we can have hope! We are not alone in this battle. There is one person who understands this dilemma: your Creator. Scripture tells us in Psalms 139:13-14, that “you [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb and that…I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” This verse reminds us that God has given each of an identity; He took the time to perfectly knit each one of us together. It also tells us that we are special, intricate, and made with a purpose. He cares and loves us.
God cared so deeply about our identities that He chose to create us in His image (Genesis 1:26). He chose to give a piece of himself to every single human being to remind them of who they truly are. He then took it one step further by giving His Son, Jesus, so we could become a part of His great plan. The book of 1 John tells us, “what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Instead of looking to culture or the world to understand who you are, I suggest turning to the person who gave you your identity first. When we start understanding who we are in Jesus, we can begin to understand why we matter.