Over the course of the last 20 years of my life I have found myself in the middle of an identity crisis. From a young age, pretty much since I can remember, I have hung onto things that I felt could give me identity, worth, and value. At first it was sports, soccer specifically. Ive mentioned in a few of my blogs and videos that I never felt like I fit in growing up. As a result I decided to find my identity in soccer. I figured if I could work hard and get good at soccer, that would give me identity, worth, and value. Over time it became a combination of soccer and school. Then as I transitioned into college it became a combination of soccer, school, and my ability to hook up with girls.
After two a half years of college I was internally drained. I wanted nothing to do with soccer, in fact I hated it, I was completely done with school, and I was emotionally tired from the constant battle to find my worth in the never ending cycle of hooking up with girls. So as a result I quit soccer, dropped out of school, became a christian and set out to find my identity in something else. I would’ve have told you for the next few years that I found my identity in God’s love but if I was being brutally honest with you, I was finding my identity in my career, having proved the world wrong, not drinking alcohol, not hooking up with women, being the “ideal” christian, and my work ethic. I had dropped out of college with a chip on my shoulder and a dream to prove to the world that you didn’t need a college degree to be successful because so many people told me that I could not be successful without one. And well when someone tells you that you can’t do something, you have no choice but to prove them wrong right?
After a couple of years I had undoubtedly proved the world wrong and achieved my dream. Now I was a 23-24 year old with a great career, great job, and “the world at my feet” some would say. I had grown a lot in my faith in God at that point, read the Bible more than most, and I thought at this point in my life I should be able to find the happiness, inner peace, and sense of belonging I’ve always craved. Instead I found myself in the bar by myself four to five nights a week, battling with depression, and no sign of the happiness and inner peace I had craved my whole life. After almost a year I decided it was time that I figure out what was wrong with me.
It was around this time that I read the verse Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to do.” I had read this verse dozens of times. It was already underlined and highlighted in my bible. But for some reason it finally hit me and I got really honest with myself. For my whole life, like I just described, I had put all of my identity, worth, and value in things that could change or end. Soccer, school, career, girls, money, my work ethic, and so on. All of those things could change or end. So whenever they inevitably did change or end, because all my identity was wrapped up in them, I would all of a sudden feel like I lacked value and worth. As a result I would have to go find something else to give me identity, worth and value. Then when that ended or went south I would have to go find something else and so on. Eventually I was left battling depression, completely empty and unfulfilled to the point where I didn’t know what the purpose of all this was.
As I began to really meditate on Ephesians 2:10, and put my identity in that verse, I realized that there was a unique and individualized purpose for my life. That God created me exactly the way that I am for a specific reason and a specific purpose. I decided from then on out that I was going to put my identity, worth, and value in that verse because no matter what happened in my life, those words in that Bible would never change.
Because of the content I put out and my blogs, people reach out to me on a regular basis to share their story and many times ask for my help. Almost every time I talk to someone, what they are struggling with, christian or not, comes down to identity, worth, and value. It doesn’t matter how much worldly success they’ve attained or not. It doesn’t matter their income level, their age, their gender, skin color. It almost always come down to the fact that, like me, they put all their identity, worth, and value in things that could change or end. Its the same struggle I was having for 20 years of my life. Which leads me to believe that our society and world is having an identity crisis.
Here’s what I am going to encourage you to do. Slow your life down for just a minute and think about what really defines you. Think about how you react when the important things in your life don’t go as planned. Think about the state of your soul. Is it really fulfilled at the end of the day or is empty? I am not telling you to go and share it like I have with you in this blog, I am just encouraging you to look at your life and see if you are putting your identity in things that could change or end. If you are, then I encourage you to find something that doesn’t change. For me thats what God and Jesus says about me in the Bible. I am not saying that’s what it has to be for you, its just the only thing I have found that won’t ever change. Either way, know,that at the very core of you, who you are is worthy, valuable, important and you were designed with the seeds of greatness for a unique and individualized purpose that no one, no thing, and no circumstance can take away from you.