By Natasha Ruddock, Lead Pastor's wife
Are you questioning who you are? Maybe what your purpose is, or what your values are? If so, you may be going through what some call an identity crisis.
With the Pandemic and the lockdown situation, I found myself struggling as we started to come out of lockdown. Chatting with others so were they! I felt a bit depressed and like I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was having an identity crisis but only God could bring me through and begin to heal my mind.
An “identity crisis” can happen at any age but most common are adolescent identity crises and midlife crises. An identity crisis is losing sight of who you are. It’s believed that personalities are developed by resolving crises in life.
I have experienced a few identity crises in my life.
In my twenties, I had started work after my A Levels but felt that there had to be more to life than this. I went back to study to do a degree but still felt something was missing, I was searching not knowing that it was God that was missing. I ended up giving everything up and travelling around the world on my own. It was the best thing I ever did!
In my thirties I got married and moved to Manchester. I left everything and I felt like didn’t know who I was. That time, I had come to know Christ and He helped me navigate it.
We all face identity crises in life, but it is how we navigate them.
The scripture that God gave me was Romans 12:2. It says this:
“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
If you’re experiencing an identity crisis, you may be questioning your sense of self or identity. This can often occur due to big changes or stressors in life, or due to factors such as age or advancement from a certain stage (for example, school, work, or childhood).
I don’t know about you, but this year has been the year with the biggest changes and the most stressful ever! That is why we have seen a dramatic increase in mental health issues and suicides. People have been faced with an identity crisis.
My heart cry’s out to parents who are dealing with children with identity crisis, whether it is gender, mental health or finding themselves. Even Brandon our three-year-old had an identity crisis after pandemic. He loved being at home with Mummy and Daddy for three months and when it came to go back to nursery, he had a meltdown.
Social isolation, job and financial losses and loss of coping mechanisms has pushed many to the brink. For many everything that was their foundation was taken away. We live in a society where God has been removed and there is no longer a standard. Anything goes!
During my identity crisis coming out of lockdown, I watched The Lion King with my son Brandon for the first time. There is a scene where Simba who lost his father in a stampede and ran away. He meets a baboon called Rafiki who knew his Dad. He tells him that his father is still alive.
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This clip really spoke to my heart. It reminded me that Father God in heaven lives in me but sometimes we forget who we are, and what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Sometimes we have to remember who we are, and whose we are!
Proverbs 27:19 “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.”
Water in the bible symbolizes salvation, eternal life and spiritual cleansing. So, when we look into the Word of God which brings salvation, and eternal life, your heart reflects the real you.
We are told in Proverbs 4:23 to:
“Above all else guard your heart, for everything flows from it.”
We have to be so careful what we allow into our heart – negativity, fear, anger, lies. Be careful who and what you surround yourself with as will affect who you are. It will affect your identity, and this affects your purpose.
When we accept Jesus and choose to follow him, spiritually we are covered in His blood. We are adopted into God’s family and Jesus’ blood that was shed on the cross for you has the power to defeat death, sickness, depression, and sin. It is like having a spiritual blood transfusion. You have everything you need to overcome! It won’t happen instantly but it’s a process.
We have been given so much by what Jesus paid for in death, specifically in relation to your identity.
You need to learn who you really are. Who are you?
If you are battling with depression, mental health issues, an identity crisis or contemplating suicide today, I want to reassure you that God created you and He sees the finished product, but we only see the process.
If you feel that you don’t know who you are, here are five things I encourage you to do:
Know that you are made in God’s image. Gen 1:27. Everything is available to us through Christ.
Study who Christ is. Don’t look to the world. If we study who Christ is and we are a reflection of him. The bible is a good starting place. We are renewed by the Word so we can become more like Christ.
Spend time in God’s presence. Don’t turn to other things to define you or give you value. Be led by the Holy Spirit so you can be led in truth. He encourages and reassures us of our identity in Him. Then He can renew us and our mind.
You are not held hostage to your past. Don’t allow the enemy to put you in mental bondage. God forgives. Choose to believe his word.
Affirm yourself in the Word. The Word of God is a two-edged sword. The world can distort our minds, but we combat the lies by knowing the Word of God.
If you are struggling with anything, I have mentioned to you. Know that God can help you. I speak life, truth and hope into you if you are going through a crisis. If you don’t know Jesus, today you can change that. Today, you can ask him to come into your life and show you who you really are.
If you would like to find out how, go to our page I want to know Jesus, pray the prayer and contact us.
Natasha Ruddock is the lead Pastor's wife at Victory Outreach Birmingham.