Identity Labels

In my life, I've had many identity labels: daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, enemy, group exercise teacher, fitness freak, Pastor’s wife and many more. But the one identity I choose to hold closest to my heart is daughter of the King--King Jesus. 

 All through life people will associate you with a label or an identity. We know how brutal people can be to one another. Honestly, Christians can spew more venom towards each other than the world ever could. More often, though, you label yourself. In your mind, you see yourself the way you think people see you, and you start thinking God sees you that way too. You start replaying over and over in your mind how you see yourself until it actually starts to manifest. Many times, this identity is negative. Maybe people associate your identity with something in your past. Maybe it's your job. The devil would like nothing more than for you to forget who you are in Christ. He wants you to forget the price Jesus paid for you on the cross and only look at who you think you've become in the life. 

 While I am thankful for most of my labels, the one I hold closest to my heart is being a child of God. There is nothing wrong with wife, mom or even fitness freak but there is no power in those labels. There is no security in those things. They're all based on human conditions. The true power in life comes when you finally see who you are in Christ and understand the great price He paid just for you. Put your trust in Him not in the hats you wear. Those all involve people. 

 People will let you down. I will let you down. The only One who has unfailing love is Jesus.

It's taken me a long time to put my identities in the right order. In some ways, it's freeing to realize all things fail and are seasonal except One. 

Take time today to think about what your identities are or how you've been labeled by other people or yourself. And remember you are a child of God. All the scriptures below apply to you no matter how you feel about yourself. God's word is true and unfailing. 

I am a new creation in Him!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 

I am righteous and holy.

“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24

I am saved by grace as a gift, not by my performance. 

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8

I am a victor.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

What Are You Doing With Your Words?

Our words have the power to speak life or death to a situation. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child we were ecstatic. What I had always dreamed of was happening. We began to spread the word to the ends of the earth. We had visions of the baby being dedicated in front of the church, being held up like the lion king. Then one day there was a threat to the pregnancy. I was terrified. Being a mom at the ripe age of 21, I had not quite developed a lot of faith. Everyday that passed I thanked God for my baby, but internally I was falling apart. I remembered a paper of scriptures and confessions our church nursery had given me. One stood out to me - "I speak life to this baby. I command it to live". I felt at this point all I could do was confess that over this baby all day. So I did. All day long I spoke that over my baby.

The baby was born and we named him Alexander Christian Yandian. Now that baby is a college freshman.

Our words have the ability to speak life or death to our world. The word says "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 NKJV). It's more than just positive or negative confession--words have power--literally. I'm not coming from a name-it-and-claim-it point of view. I'm not saying you can speak a million dollars into existence. But what I am saying is when we speak words over our life, or other people's lives, they have the ability to manifest because, as Christians, our words have spirit behind them.

Proverbs 18:21 says "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." I, by nature, am not a bubbly happy person. I am more of a pessimist, my-glass-is-half-empty kinda gal. I've really had to work on myself over the years to speak words of life over myself, my life, and my family's lives.

What words are you speaking over your world? Are you speaking words of life or death?

Removing The Victim Crown

Our world today is constantly telling us we are victims. For the most part that is true. There are victims of crime, abuse, neglect, etc. We hear about it everyday. Sometimes the victimization is on a little bit smaller scale. We have been wronged, lied about, slandered, treated unfairly--and the list goes on. Really, every person we come in contact with has been a victim in some way or another. Every person has a "story". You watch TV and any prime time athletic competition show or talent show highlights every contestant's story and how they overcame adversity and are no longer a victim. Perhaps you're a victim of yourself. You never let go of mistakes or you are incredibly hard on yourself. I know for myself I never thought I wore the victim crown until recently. I found myself stuck in some thinking patterns, stuck in shell of unworthiness. We can often be harder on ourselves than any person could ever be on us. We know the internal battles we face daily. 

What's my point? My point is we are not called to live as victims. It is very easy to say out of our face hole "I am a victor not a victim," but do we really believe it down in our hearts? Do we really see ourselves as forgiven, fully capable people? I have recently come upon this phrase: "get past what you'll never get over". That struck me like a bolt of lightning.  There are things in life you will never get over but you can get past them and move forward to a happy and productive life. 

When I was 6 years old my step-dad began to abuse me sexually. This was the beginning of a dysfunctional life I waded around in for decades.  I will never get over that but I am past it. I can talk about it and help people who have turned to self destructive patterns trying to medicate that pain.  

The first step to removing the victim crown is to recognize we are wearing it. Take it off. Stop looking backwards. Nothing can be done about the past, but the future is wide open. When you constantly go over in your head what's been done or what you did, you're chaining yourself to that part of your life. Lift up your head, put on a new crown of confidence, love, forgiveness and strength. 

"But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head." Psalm 3:3