Every time I look at my I.D., I think of how different I am now from the smiling girl in the picture. At the time of the photo, I’d just moved into campus and was yet to make friends, yet to decide on keeping my print journalism major, yet to find a stance on what Christian dating means, and still worried about how to start and lead a campus ministry. A smooth, long weave frames my face as I smile a hopeful smile, anxious for that “college” feeling to kick in. And though it’s been nearly half a year, which might seem an inconsiderable length of time, I realize the growth I’ve experienced within a few months cannot be compared to the time in which it spanned. I also know that the change didn’t come at my own pace; but a more hysterical path that God took charge of.
As I stare at the picture, today my natural hair flows longer than most can believe, a style I’d always been afraid of trying. Today, I’m more than excited to enter into USC’s Communication major, and have learned more than I want to know about true Christian friendship and relationships. In the amazing chaos that was my first semester of college, God gave new meaning to my walk with Him by giving me a new definition of who I am: establishing my identity as His daughter.
The more I look into my I.D., the more the word “identification” becomes apparent, and even more, the confidence I receive from knowing my identity. I know I’m the witty-Nigerian -ENFJ- daughter of Christ obsessed with art and culture and all things chocolate. I know that He gave me gifts in the form of writing, leadership and an innate sense of intrapersonal relations. I also know that I’m one of His many children, and that some of us are still figuring out what it means to be His child. So here are a few practical ways to identify the woman He made you to be.
- Identify your talents. Our natural gifts and personality types are clear indications of who H e created us to be. If you’re the artistic type, who has a way with words and people, He created you to be someone who demonstrates leadership through expression. If you haven’t already, consider taking a Meyers-Briggs test and read up on your natural strengths, these are so specific, I can promise they’ll give you clarity on your quirks.
- Identify your dreams. I once heard in a sermon that God Himself is a dreamer and put this characteristic in us; which makes up for that uncontrollable tendency to conjure fantasies we seek so hard to actualize. Your dreams speak from your heart and indicate what makes you happy, and more often than not, these desires stem from God’s will for your life. Pinpointing your dreams can give you a glimpse into His plan for you, and how that ultimately factors into your role for God’s kingdom.
- Identify your testimony. Once upon a time, there was a confused girl who lived in a world of hopelessness. Suddenly, she is overwhelmed by the presence of a light that brings her joy, and comforts her every time memories of darkness rear their ugly heads. No matter how small, there was a time in your life when the girl in the story was you, and God brought you through a dark period. It is written that we overcome by our testimony, so reflect on yours and give Him the glory for it.
- Identify people who can benefit from your testimony. Random talks with new girls in my ministry reveal many similarities in our struggles, and I’ve been told that by sharing what God did for me, other girls are encouraged to seek and grow in Him. You’d be surprised at the number of people close to you who can benefit from hearing your stories of struggle.
- Identify where you lack faith. You can’t move forward in your life if you’re confused and doubting that the next step has greater things for you. Be honest with God, letting Him in on what frustrates you and give Him the space to turn things around.
Lastly, pray. Begin an internal conversation with God based on His word, and ask Him, even challenge Him to reveal Himself in simple ways. I remember being seriously angry at running out of deodorant one morning, and so I let God know that He had to do something about it. That night, I went to a survive-midterm-season event for freshman where one of the corporate sponsors was Lady Speed Stick, who gave out an abundance of free deodorant. Though I’ve since learned that I’m in no place to tell God what to do, that experience is one of the many ways that God spoke through to change me from the anxious girl in my I.D. card, to the expecting girl typing away at her P.C., praying for whoever God’s reaching out to for redefinition next.