We have more ways than ever to compare ourselves to others on a daily basis. Our access to each other’s lives is unprecedented and our sense of self-worth takes a serious beating on an almost daily basis. It’s not what God wants for us, and it’s not what we want for ourselves. So why is it so hard to stop? Donna Gibbs understands the devastation of the many “identity thieves” we let into our lives on a daily basis. The things that quietly tell us we are not good enough. That tell us if we just add or change one more thing about ourselves we might be acceptable, we might find peace. It is a grace to welcome Donna to the farm’s front porch today…
I felt a sense of vulnerability and a rage of anger unlike anything I had ever experienced.
My wallet had been stolen and the offender was using my identity for his own good pleasures.
I had been robbed.
I felt defenseless and violated.
If only I had known a thief had been lurking, I would have been more careful. I would have kept my guard up and been more alert.
But now, it was too late. The damage was done. I’d been betrayed by an unknown enemy, and the destruction was to my credit, my pride, and my overall sense of security.
Millions of people fall victim to identity theft every year.
The majority of those victims have no idea they have been targeted until months, or even years, after the crime.
But I want to talk to you about an even more common, subtler, and more dangerous form of identity theft that is claiming unsuspecting victims.
It is the theft of our purpose, our joy, our stability, and our very being.
Webster defines identity crisis as “personal, psychosocial conflict especially in adolescence that involves confusion about one’s social role and often a sense of loss of continuity to one’s personality.”
Unfortunately, I know only a few individuals whose “psychosocial conflict” ended in adolescence.
In fact, many women at every stage and circumstance in life continue to be just as conflicted as they were in adolescence.
What about you? Are you secure in who you are?
Or do you still feel like a teenager who is tossed to and fro by each passing circumstance?
If this describes you, then you will likely relate to some of these testimonies:
“I don’t know what to do with myself now that my children are out of the home. Who am I if not a mother?”
“When my husband left me, he took part of me with him. He was my everything.”
“I just finished college and everyone says I have great potential. Yet I am still trying to find myself, and I truly have no idea who I really am.”
“I take care of my husband and constantly run around taking care of the kids. I think I have lost myself in the midst of caring for everyone else.”
“My husband struggles with an addiction to pornography. Clearly I am not good enough or attractive enough. This is my fault.”
“I was abused as a young child. I’ve spent my life believing I am dirty and deserving of what happened to me.”
“My physical condition has gotten worse, and I can’t do the things I once could. I feel so inadequate.”
“I work so hard to keep everyone happy, and I hate conflict. I lose sleep if I learn someone is disappointed in me.”
“If only I had a boyfriend, I would feel better about myself. I feel so anxious and dejected when I don’t have someone special in my life.”
“My past prevents me from having a future. I don’t expect to ever be able to experience happiness.”
“If only I were thinner . . . smarter…younger…”
“I feel worthless.”
If you have ever struggled with thoughts or emotions like these, then you have been the target of identity theft.
Unfortunately, you are not alone.
So, join with your sisters, and let’s enter a journey that is mysterious but also freeing.
Let’s get to know our “thieves,” those areas that trap us and leave us vulnerable to feelings of inadequacy.
We’re living in a society surrounded by thieves, so we need to be prepared, don’t you think?
Thankfully, God always provides a way out. I want to give you a word of hope.
You don’t have to live the rest of your life feeling that you don’t measure up.
You don’t have to settle for living as if you aren’t enough.
You don’t have to settle for living with the emotional instability that results from insecurities.
You don’t have to settle for the relational chaos, indecisiveness, and unnecessary suffering invited by an inaccurate belief system regarding yourself.
It’s time to stop the theft of your identity and gain stability through rescuing the significance of the person you were created to be.
It’s time to experience freedom from your insecurities.Let God’s truths about who you are rescue you from the oppression of your false beliefs.
Submit your thoughts to His thoughts.
God loves you with an outlandish, radical love.
And I promise you, that love He has for you is beyond anything you’ve ever experienced in this life. Allow His love to cover you, to wash over you, to heal you, to retrain your thoughts about yourself, to stabilize your emotions, and to influence your decisions.
As you accept that covering of love and seek Him for insight regarding your worth, you will find healing for your mind and your emotions.
Let His be the solitary voice that declares your worth.
And then follow His footsteps by boldly correcting any attack of the enemy that fuels a false belief about who you really are.
Boldly refute the lies.
It’s time to stop the theft of your identity and gain stability by rescuing your significance as the person you were created to be.
It’s time to disarm the thief and take back the security that never should have been stolen.
Let’s get this rescue mission started!
Donna Gibbs is the author of Becoming Resilient and a leading Christian Counselor recognized on the referral networks of Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. She has been providing women and their families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor.
In her new book Silencing Insecurity: Believing God’s Truth about You, Donna helps women realize that you don’t have to let insecurity steal your identity or self-worth. In this practical book, she exposes the vulnerabilities and lies that produce insecurities in us starting from a young age, how to let those insecurities go, and most importantly, the way out of insecurity—for good.
[ Our humble thanks to Baker for their partnership in today’s devotion ]