Could it be the symptoms you are manifesting actually reveal that you are going through a personal identity crisis? If so, this can be a really good thing…if you are open. For God is at work right now to restore what it means to really know who you are.
For most of us, our battles reveal an identity issue.
When we do not know who we really are and struggle to live confidently from that place, all kinds of emotional struggles can take place.
Many times, the emotions or unwanted behaviors that are popping up in our lives are actually a signal that we need to revisit our foundation. We need to get back to understanding who we really are.
Are You in an Identity Crisis?
The term, “identity crisis” was coined by psychologists who believed that living from your true identity is critically important to your life. Of course, the importance of identity security is nothing new, as the New Testament has been calling us to know who we are “in Christ” for centuries.
Everything God does in our life flows through the identity that He gave us. Yet for most, identity is not a secure issue. Most were not equipped in knowing who they really are.
A New Identity
As believers, we have been given a new identity. We call it “an identity in Christ.” The “in Christ” means that Jesus paid a price through His death and resurrection that give us the opportunity to join Him in connection to the Father. We become born again and through that experience, we are given a brand new identity.
But for too many, they are not experiencing the “in Christ” part. They are actually living “in crisis.”
So if you recognize the call to get solid in who you are, take heart. Because learning who you are is an incredible adventure, if you will allow it open up.
So Simple You Might Skip Past It
Identity in Christ is actually so simple, but it can be so easy to skip right past it without ever experiencing it.
Want to know who you really are?
When you become a believer in Christ, you are no longer just a son or daughter of your earthly father. You are a son or daughter of your Father in heaven.
Your identity is not being a business person, father, mother, friend, pastor, leader, teacher, boss, worker, husband or wife. Those are roles you may have. But they are not your identity.
Your identity is not your role, position or your achievements. It is not all those fabrications that you present to others. Nor is it even your impressive Christian service, your earnings or your portfolio.
Want to know what your supernatural, divine identity is?
Wait for it . . .
Your most powerful identity thumbprint is being a loved child of God.
It’s so powerful…yet so simple…that you could overlook this so easily.
In fact, a vast percentage of believers are not wired in to who they are as a loved child of God. They are lost in another identity.
Identity Crisis and Emotional Health
Living from that new identity is everything when it comes to emotional health.
When you struggle to know who you are and live out of that authentically, all sorts of problems will manifest in the long term.
For most of us, our trials and struggles reveal the need to revisit the subject of identity, asking, “Who am I really?”
An identity crisis occurs when the truth arises that you don’t know who you really are and you don’t really live out of that. The reality is that a large percentage of the body of Christ are not powerfully connected to who they are in their identity.
We live in a world where identity issues are a chronic problem. Many are manifesting symptoms that they are actually going through an identity “crisis.”
Here are some signs you are going through an identity crisis.
1. You find yourself emotionally “all over the place.”
I remember during the height of panic attacks and emotional struggles to keep my mind together, God directed my heart towards identity. I sensed a call within my heart, “You need to get to know who you really are.” It actually revealed that after many years of serving God, I had no idea who I was.
Whatever mental or emotional battles you find yourself facing, could it actually be an invitation to rebuild your identity?
Maybe you find when it comes to making decisions you are so double minded and all over the place emotionally. You feel a lack of stability day to day and find your emotions get the best of you and even overtake you.
Do you find that when you are communicating matters of the heart and you don’t make sense? It is a sign that identity needs nurturing.
If confusion and instability in your emotions is on the rise, it may be a sign that your identity needs to be discovered in a deeper and more personal way.
2. You’ve wrapped yourself around a role and you’re still empty.
This is the greatest problem facing our identity crisis. The modern world builds identities off of “what you do” and “what you accomplish.” It is the trap of performance based living.
In a society that develops its worth over how well we achieve and “succeed,” it can become so easy to wrap yourself around a role that gets affirmation.
This is a problem in two directions.
a.) The first problem is when the affirmation and validation in the role wears off or it disappoints you. Your work doesn’t pan out. The ministry doesn’t get off the ground. Your parenting role is in upheaval because your child is manifesting rebellion.
This is a call to revisit and get back to your core identity.
b.) The second problem that can occur is when you actually become “successful” in your role.
Yes, you heard me right. I said successful.
Finding achievement, numerical growth or financial gain are often markers we use for being successful in life. Yet these metrics can place you into personal hypnosis of deception. You think because your performance is bringing “results,” the life of your heart is fine. You don’t need any work on your identity.
Both traps can be challenging to help. When someone is so wrapped around a role in life, they cannot see they are actually disconnected from their identity.
3. You are Uncomfortable Outside a Role You Play
Place you in a prayer meeting and you can fill the role of a prayer leader. Put you in a business meeting and you know how to cast vision, motivate and run numbers. Place you in your parenting role and you know exactly what’s on the calendar and what events are coming up.
But what happens if you are taking outside of that role? Would you be able to function or would you feel lost? Do you only know how to connect to people who connect to your role?
Most people shine when they are in the role they fulfill. But it does not nurture the identity of being a loved child of God. The Father does not love you more because you performed well. He loves you. But you can only connect to that unconditional love by connecting to your identity as His child.
When you’ve been trained to find love, validation and worth in what you do, this can take some time to relearn.
When your roles in life have the greatest influence over your sense of love, value and worth, it is time to do some identity work.
4. Experiencing a Role Change Collapses You
I faced this head on in a number of seasons. One of the hardest times was when I first stepped out of an influential pastoral position to begin a new ministry journey. But the new ministry did not happen as quickly as I thought it would. Instead, I found myself working constructions, driving hours to work sites and doing what I never thought I’d be doing…hammering, cutting lumber and hauling large beams across the property.
This season was painful. My drives were spent crying or wondering what happened. Yet in the midst of the disappointment, I sensed a call to go deeper in my identity.
The reality is that I spent so many years being a pastor, I had no idea what it was like to not be in that role.
So this season of pain was actually a gift for me and I am grateful for what I was able to learn. This was my chance to really get to know my identity in a way I never could.
5. Your Recent Life Transition is Bringing It Out
Transitions move us from one season to another. They also force us to let go and enter into new things we are often not ready for. This new territory often involves a new level of growth in how you see yourself.
When our identity is wrapped into the comforts of the current season, any transition or change can rock the boat.
Are you in the midst of a transition in life? Marriage? Children? Work? Are your children moving out of the house? Did you have to move? Find out a loved-love passed away? Move on from a church?
These transitions need to be processed in a healthy and fruitful way. But they are also times to revisit how you see yourself and allow God to ground you further into who you are as His loved child.
6. You’ve jumped into passions that are not true to how you are wired.
When you know who you are in your identity, you are content with flowing in that identity without striving, forcing it or being what you are not.
This also means being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you navigate stages of life with greater clarity.
7. You have no idea what You’re Passionate About.
When you really get to know your identity, your heart comes alive and you are able to connect to the passions that move you.
Awakening to who you are allows for flow to step into the journey that makes way for who you are. If you lack passions and have no idea what moves your heart, it may be time to revisit your identity with greater intention.
8. You find yourself suddenly, highly vulnerable to addictions, vices or excessive pleasures.
This symptom is actually top of the list. is actually one of the biggest signs of an identity crisis.
A lack of identity creates an inner crisis that looks for pleasure to escape the inner emptiness. If you find yourself overeating, being lured in excess, looking at porn or overworking, it can be a sign that your identity needs tending to.
What you need is love. But you cannot be loved by “trying to be better.” You also cannot be loved by performing for it. You must learn to receive unconditional love by connecting to your sonship and receiving the love of the Father.
This is what your heart was made for.
This is going to sound crazy to some, but if you feel yourself going through an identity crisis, consider it a gift. This can actually be a good warning signal for you to revisit the foundational aspects of your life that can be easily overlooked.
So What Do I Do?
Although there are a number of steps we can focus to regain connection to our identity. The first is really important. You’re gonna need to admit that is where you are. Until you see there is a problem, you will continue to live in broken patterns.
But when you are ready, an invitation awaits for you to learn what it means to be unconditionally loved by Father God. Only He can affirm and validate who you are to bring the fulfillment your heart needs.
But are you ready?
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