Category: Encouragement

Identity Struggles

So what are God’s thoughts about identity struggles?  I am sure we would all agree we don’t know all of God’s thoughts, but we would equally agree that He has laid out most of his thoughts about mankind in His Word.  In his Word, identity is a big thing to Him. So much so, that He started out this whole world with making us in His Image!

So what is your identity? Is it where you live, what you wear, where you work, what you look like, who you hang out with, or how well you succeed?  If your answer to any of these is yes, then you may have just found the reason why your sense of self value is ever-changing, and you may be trying to be someone you are not.  Because each of these potential sources for identity, and your perspective of them, are ever-changing.

How important do you think your identity is, to your life and your sense of fulfillment, happiness, and success?   If God started the existence of the human race off with creating us in His Image, making our identity in Him, than that tells us that identity is a powerful force in our lives. The Word of God says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7.  Interestingly, neuroscience is discovering more every day about how much our thoughts of ourselves control our life.  How you see yourself, will be who you act like in life, how you feel, and where your perspectives come from.  The more you follow this truth, in the Word of God, you will find His Word chock full of who He created us to be.  You will also find in there who mankind decided to become as we listened to lies and not His truth.  But His answer to our slipping way, was to restore our identity, through Christ Jesus. At least 50% of the New Testament is about who we now are in Christ Jesus.  He restored us to our original image, through Christ!!!

God created us to live from our identity, and gave us the identity that would make us most fulfilled, happy, and successful. That identity is His image, in us.   He knows our happiness can only come when we get back to that core identity, being created in His Image. Then all other parts of our identity will come into balance and peace.

It takes being transformed by the renewing of our mind, to these truths, to begin to walk in the freedom this identity brings us.  It never changes, it is always who we are, we are forever valued as God’s chosen race, to be created in His Image.  His Image is love, peace, joy, and holiness.

In the press lately we have all seen much about Bruce Jenner and his identity struggles. I would like to say first, that we have all had identity struggles.  They may not always be in sexuality, but we all have dealt with or do deal with a lack of value, insecurity, uncertainly of who we are, and many more value issues.  Many in this world reject themselves every day, by never being able to say no, or by being prideful, and unwilling to change for their own success, or by not loving on those around them and thus producing an environment where people give them a hard time, or by never forgiving, and by putting themselves down, condemning themselves, people pleasing, being someone for someone else, and many more ways.

Could it be that Bruce Jenner moved into the ultimate self-rejection?  That He never accepted himself, his own identity? Therefore, convinced himself he wasn’t supposed to be who he was, and turned away from his masculinity, and male gender?  The unfortunate thing is that when any of us turn away from who we really are, we never find peace until we deal with our core identity issues, rather than our sexual identity, or financial identity, or social identity, etc.

I have spent my career helping people find freedom in life, through their true identities in Christ.  Which always leads them to loving themselves and building stronger, more loving relationships.  It is a glorious transformation!!  It is what God intended, for transformation.  Our path to being happy with ourselves, is not to reject who God created us to be. But it is to embrace who we are in Him, and be transformed by His love, peace, and joy in every other area of our life and identities!

Holiday Blues

The Holiday Blues!  Many around the country know what these blues are.  Some have no idea.  All the glitter, and fun, and smiles and presents, and family getting together.   Why would anyone have the blues? It is the happiest time of the year!  Isn’t it?

For some, it sure is. In fact, for many it was at one time.  But for others it truly is the saddest time of the year.  Those of us who have lost someone whom we spent every Christmas with for years, feel grief and the pain of the loss more during this season than any other.  Those who take on the stress of having to get the “perfect” gift for someone, or even for everyone, tend to dread this holiday.   We cannot forget to mention those who feel “forced” to spend the holidays with some unsavory character in their family, or many unsavory characters.   Just mentioning each of these things, I can hear many of you calling out, or even crying out, “please Lord, let the holiday pass by fast”.   You may even be setting your mind on the New Year, as a way to avoid thinking about this month, at all.

So is there an answer, or a hope for this month to be more than what we presently experience?  What do you think?  If there was, would you want to know what it is?  If your answer is yes to the last question, then I propose an answer.  As soon as I say the answer, you may think, “I know, I know”.  But do you really KNOW?

So what is the answer? Who is the answer, is the real question.  JESUS, He is yours and my answer!  Now WAIT a minute, don’t go anywhere.  I have more for you.  No not more than Jesus.  There is no one or nothing more than Jesus.  But there are empowering ways to receive the Answer.  What do I mean by that?  I am glad you asked.  LOL.

Well, if I were to tell you that Mr. Grace, down the street was your answer to a joyful holiday, would you need to do something to receive that answer?  Yes, you would need to go talk to Mr. Grace, right?    Now when you get there, Mr. Grace is going to tell you how he is your answer.  He starts out with, how amazing you are!  He goes on to say, “I am thinking every day, how I can bless you with my peace, love and presence and make your wonderful smile shine”.   He goes on.  “You are the apple of my eye.  Did you know that I designed you perfectly for the world you would live in?”  He says, “You are my son, my daughter for eternity, and I can’t wait to walk with you in my gardens one day.  But now we can walk together on this earth, as I watch you open each new “package” I have for you along the way.  Remember, every good and perfect gift comes from Me, and you have many more of those to open here on earth.  You have this twinkle in your eye that reminds me of the day I created you and all the amazing things I put in you that day.  Your eyes, your nose, your heart for that passion you have, and so much more.  I knew how much you would need me close to you, so I came down here on earth, and put on an earth suit just like yours.  I lived, I felt the pain you feel now, I died for you, and I broke the chains of the enemy from off of you when I rose from the grave.  I took the sting of death, of fear, and of sin so you would not have to.  I ripped the veil, so you could talk to me freely, and receive great truths from me that remind you how valuable you are to me, and who you are in me.  My son, my daughter I am right here, and you need my comfort more now than any other time of the year.  Come to me, come close to me. Hear my voice, and I will tell you new things.  I will give you greater revelation of my love for you, and for those around you.   I am holding your dear loved one right now, the ones who died and the ones who expect so much out of you this season.  Now, I want to hold you.  Cozy up on the couch with me, get a warm blanket, some tea and let’s make some special times together this season.  I know you miss your loved one, I know that pain well.  So how about this?   I am going to bring someone or a group of someones to your mind this week. When I do, I want you to call them up and open your heart and your doors (doors of your life) to them.  I am going to share life with you this season, and I am opening the door for you to do the same with others, as we make new memories for the Christmas season, together.  Honey, you can do this, I am with you now and always”.

Do you feel better?  I do!!  Because the answer is Jesus!  But He only becomes our answer when we sit down and hear His voice and spend time with Him.  That is the place we have relationship.  Relationship that far surpasses any on this earth, and fulfills to the depth of our soul.  So I don’t ask you to forget your love one.  But I do ask you, instead turn your focus to Jesus, on purpose, use this season to pursue a new and fresh relationship with Him,  and that one, or more that He sends your way.   Then when the season is over, email me and tell me about how Jesus helped you create new Christmas memories, with Him!

In Christ’s Love,

Lisa Winchell

www.inhisimagecounseling.org