Our 20's are weird.
There are so many different possible stages of life wrapped into that one 10-year time frame. Not just within the span of our individual lives, but across the board.
One 25-year-old has two children already, balancing work and motherhood. One 25-year-old is at bars until 2am just living the life. One 25-year-old is newly married. Another is working on her medical degree. Yet another has set off to travel the world, because, as they say, "these are the best years of our lives."
Is there any other age group that is on the whole so schizophrenic?
A theme that seems common throughout all of our 20's, though, is the struggle to find an IDENTITY.
For so long our sense of self has been shaped by our families, our high school friends, our hometowns, and maybe even our college.
Now we're on our own and we've screeched to a halt, looking around for clues as to who we actually are and wondering what we have been doing all this time. (Oh yeah, homework.)
For me, part of that experience was the realization that I had no hobbies. No passions. Nothing that I felt any more alive than usual doing. I'd caught glimpses here and there, but never really gone all-in on anything.
I trucked through high school and college, just doing my homework, playing softball (high school of course), going to church, hanging out with friends and just taking it one day at a time. Who didn't?
But I didn't pursue anything just for me. Just because I liked it. I didn't even know what I liked to do. I just wasted away free time watching T.V. or on Facebook. Then I graduated. Who wants to just go to work 9-5, come home, watch T.V. and go to bed, only to start over again the next day? I realized I didn't really have a sense of who I was outside of my day-to-day tasks and my new husband.
We all spend so much time seeking identity in so many things: Apple products, friends, jobs, riding boots, musical taste, campus groups, talents...
Those are all great things to enjoy. But what happens when we lose those things or they disappoint us? A basketball player who is paralyzed. Friends who drift apart. A CEO who loses his job. Even a college student who simply graduates.
We don't know who we are anymore.
The good news is we don't have to wonder very long. There exist some ancient words that tell us exactly who we are, day in and day out, even if we don't fully believe it.
I love this quote from Jon Acuff's blog:
As we rush off to find anyone or anything to determine our identity, the Bible sits quietly by with page after crazy page of truth about who we are.
I never really knew what it meant to "find your identity in Christ" until this past year. You're right, it does just sound like one of those Christianese nonsense terms that sounds warm and fuzzy but means nothing in practicality. Until you experience it.
I can't quite explain what it feels like other than the fact that when I know who the Bible says I am, I'm more at peace. I'm not so lost. I'm a part of a bigger story. I'm not just another warm body meandering around on the earth until I die.
So when you don't know who you are, when you feel lost and purposeless, when you can't figure out if there's a point to all this…take heart. You belong to Christ.
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
You are His and you are so loved. You are created to be in relationship with Him, and your identity is not found in what you do, what you buy or what others think about you.
He bought you with the price of his life, therefore you are His, and no one can change that.
One of the great things about that truth is that this identity brings SAFETY and FREEDOM.
Stable ground from which you can go out into the world with confidence and take risks, because your identity no longer depends on others.
I forget who I am sometimes.
I bet you do, too. But don't worry, God's word is there to remind you. Day in and day out.
This catechism turned on the lights for me. Maybe it will do the same for you:
Heidelburg Catechism Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
Have you ever forgotten who you are?