By, Melody Holloway
A few years ago, I heard this example about fluid. The structure of fluid allows it to take the shape of whatever it is poured out into. It’s ability to change is a wonder, but this ability also means that water has no shape. It has no shape or identity of it’s own. Water is ever changing. It has no will or power to make decisions without being acted upon or influenced. Lastly, water is constantly losing some of itself with each transfer.
Wow! I would contend that many of us are often fluid, like water without a fixed shape or identity. Each new environment means a change in how we present ourselves. Our identities are constantly changing to reflect the values of the “world” we currently belong to. This constant change results in a sense of confusion and anxiety.
I can definitely say that fluidity is appealing. Being free of all labels, stereotypes, defined roles, etc. somewhat resonates with me. Growing up, I had a lot of labels that I ascribed to such as: preacher’s kid, Holloway, Christian, black, athlete, smart, etc. While many of these labels were implored in my search for who I really was, I often struggled between having a sense of pride and joy due to these labels or feeling bound and restricted by them. Much of my confusion concerning my identity came from trying to maintain a reputation that would meet the approval of each social circle I encountered. With each label came a new responsibility to be and act a certain way.
This fluidity, the freedom to be whatever we want or feel we should be, has left us in this extremely anxious, confusing, disconcerting, and ultimately degrading situation. Now, as a disclaimer, a confusion of identity is not the sole reason for all that anxiety and stress. However, I do think much of the stress and anxiety that so many experience is in a large part to this question of identity. Anxiety is a response to stress. What we believe about ourselves and about God, determines how we respond or act.
So who are you? Who is God? These are life’s most important questions. However, I don’t think we have been coming to these questions appropriately. It’s not about who you are, but it is about who God is. We have started with self, and we must start with the Savior. We have put all trust, all focus, all hope in ourselves. We have forgotten God - what He does, what He’s done, and who He is. Instead we go on this journey of self-discovery so we can hopefully muster up enough of whatever the world says that we need to live this life. As we focus on ourselves, we continually reach the limits of our humanity.
I ran across this a couple years ago, and it changed my perspective. In Exodus 3:11-13, we see Moses questioned who he was and focused on his own power to fulfill His purpose and God’s plan. However, in verse 14, God replied to Moses with, “I AM THAT I AM”. Moses did as we do; he started with himself. God, with that simple, yet powerful response, reminded him that it didn’t matter who he was, but that God was the “I AM.”
“I AM” was all that Moses needed, He is all we need and all that we need to know. Your identity is not found in a person, a place, a promotion, or a preference.
What you do is not who you are, but you are who God says you are; and His voice is the only one with the power to declare anything over your life.
I’ll close with this, Women are never more valued, uplifted, cared for, and beloved than by the God of the Bible. Any human distortion of God results in a distortion and ultimately destruction of His creation and it’s intended purpose. Women always lose when Christ is not winning the competition for their body, mind, and soul. Let this encourage you to know your God, know His Word, and know His ways. It is that knowledge that keeps us fixed in a culture that forsakes our Heavenly Father.