Who am I really? Am I a child of my father with all that goes with it? Do I sense my identity by my role as a father of two girls? Am I defined by the fact that I am married or work for a large multinational corporation? Is it my hobbies? Is it my relationship with God?
The simple answer is ‘no’ to every question above. I am not defined by anything that I am or do, period. The longer explanation is a bit more complex, however my pursuit to understand the answer and it’s meaning is important in the day-to-day journey.
A wide range of factors hit me day to day in shaping my perspective of who I. I wish that I could ignore these events and factors, but my mind twists and turns with each experience. As much as I concentrate on my purpose and mission, I find an equally strong force pulling me in directions I do not understand and cannot anticipate. As I grow older, and especially when I spend time with my brothers, I see more and more of my father coming through me. On the whole this is not a bad thing, but is this my identity?
The question of self is especially relevant as I deal with the new woman coming of age in my 14-year-old daughter. There is nothing that prepares a parent for this experience. I can see her struggling and I know that I cannot give her the answers she seeks. She will fight through the process to find the answers that she owns and believes in. I do see that she is not now or ever will be defined by who I am. Her value and identity is based on a single premise; she is a child of God, a child of forgiveness, of joy and riches, because of God. “It wasn’t Abraham’s [my] sperm that gave identity here, but God’s promise.” (Romans 9.7)
As I understand what gives Carli identity I also see what shapes you and I; God and God’s promise alone.