Identity Theft Insurance

Remember these commercials? Hilarious. A bad actress’ voice coming out of a weight lifter’s body. A valley girl’s voice coming out of a couch potato’s body. A middle-aged wannabe ladies’ man voice coming out of a female dental hygienist’s body. The humor (and slight discomfort?) comes out of the disconnect; we know it’s inauthentic. We know that something is not right.

When I left for Colorado in February, I was already deep into feeling that disconnect within me. I knew there was a separation between the way I saw myself and who God says I am. I knew I could never fulfill God’s plan for my life as long as I was living with that disconnect. Trouble was, I had no idea how to bridge that gap. Four days in the beautiful mountains of Colorado spent focused 100% on God seemed like a great opportunity figure it out…with the Holy Spirit’s help, of course. So when each of us were asked on the first night to share why we were there, I said I wanted to learn what it meant to be a daughter of God. Well, he answered my request and then some, repeatedly speaking into my heart over the course of that weekend and restoring the identity I’d lost years ago.

You might be wondering, “What did he tell you? Who did he say that you are?” Well…I’ve got a little notebook with pages and pages of things he spoke to my heart, but they are too precious to publish. Just as you keep your social security number to yourself, some things the Lord says are treasures that must be hidden in your heart so the world can’t pillage them.

What I will tell you is this: Identity can only be stolen when we get lazy in protecting it. This protection cannot be outsourced to some insurance company or credit agency; we must handle it ourselves. I became lax and allowed my environment to define me; people, things, jobs…all kinds of outside, changeable, inconsistent things. Such instability! Security, authenticity, and wholeness can only come when who we are is defined by something (or Someone) unchanging.

Which brings me to my tattoo. Victims of identity theft are constantly looking over their shoulder, feeling unsafe and insecure. Not only is losing your identity an inconvenient hassle, it’s frightening. The fear is so common there are companies that exist solely to monitor client accounts in order to minimize damage when a breach occurs. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take measures to prevent a breach. To keep myself from landing back in that fearful, unstable place or becoming lazy in my duty to guard my identity, I got a reminder that would be easily visible, with me all the time, and keep all those things Daddy God spoke over me at the forefront of my thoughts. Every time I look at my wrist, that flower and its purple blooms remind me of how God sees me, of specific characteristics and gifts he gave me. The dandilion-like appearance reminds me I’m constantly shedding more of me to make room for more of him. It also makes me mindful of the seeds I’m planting and the harvest I’m expecting.

Getting a tattoo isn’t something I’d encourage you to do each time you need a reminder or you’ll wind up looking like Guy Pierce in Memento, but I do encourage you to use a prop or two to help you hold onto the things God speaks to you. Amy, my retreat buddy, has a couple of great blog posts (here and here) about using props as reminders. These items are not idols, but rather triggers you can use to help you fight for, watch over, and protect those words from the Lord. The goal is first to attain authenticity by reclaiming our identity; then, preserve and maintain.

What about you? What’s the status of your identity? Are you using any props to remind you of things God’s spoken to you?

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8 thoughts on “Identity Theft Insurance

  1. I love this post! My tattoo is also my reminder, (though I am still trying to figure out who exactly I am in Christ) I know a large part of that is being a warrior. My tattoo is a large cross representing the warrior aspect, I then have ethereal wings coming out from behind it because that warrior is operating in the spiritual realm. I am still just starting my journey to figure all this out, I know that journey only ends when we get to go home but your blogs have been a great guide for me thus far. Thank you for sharing your words.

    • Tiff, I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey! This identity piece is so fun because the way God sees us is so much better than we dare to see ourselves…he loves us so much! I can’t wait for you to hear more and more from him. 🙂

  2. Amanda, I cannot believe how unbelievably timely your posts are for me! This past week I have really started to feel like I have lost myself – specifically in knowing who God created me to be. About 6 months ago, I created a Vision Board. It is filled with affirmations for myself – talents and gifts I believe the Lord has given me. Who I am, attributes of a woman with integrity. This Vision Board has been hanging in my bathroom, but overtime, I have forgotten to look at it.

    Last week, I began trying to read over the board each morning as I am getting ready for work. It is amazing how these words wash over me and further solidify the truth of who I am. This Vision Board is a trigger for me.

    Just curious… in what ways do you “quiet your spirit” so you can be still and listen? I’m so much on-the-go that even when I stop and sit and attempt to have this time of quietness, my mind still races. Do you deal with this and how do you overcome it?

    • This may not work for everyone, but my “quiet time” is rarely actually quiet. 🙂 I have a playlist on my iPod that’s just worship music…songs that take me into his presence. So I’ll turn on that music and sit or bow or take whatever posture feels right and I sing to him. That helps me focus on him and shut out the noise of my day. Usually it’s after a couple of songs worth of worship when my soul is quiet enough to hear him. Does that make sense?

  3. Yeah sister! Jesus and I were talking just this morning about fighting to maintain and grow the freedom that He releases in us. Glad to share the journey with you, even across state lines! And thanks for the “share” 🙂

  4. Amanda,
    Thank you for this blog! The area of identity theft really hit home for me in more ways than one. Benny & I were actual victims of identity theft immediately following our wedding ceremony and then I can also relate totally to the “Identity Theft” you are referring to in your blog. You are absolutely right, I am…well WAS constantly looking over my shoulder, constantly questioning, constantly unsure of my life and felt completely out of control. It was a violation that I pray no one I know ever has to face. As for he identity theft you are speaking of, well, I too understand that completely. I was everything to everyone, being who I THOUGHT everyone wanted me to be and didn’t have a clue who my Daddy wanted me to be or ow much I meant to Him.

    Long story short, I began to just cry out to Him because I was miserable and I was the ONLY person who knew it (except for Him). And when He began to answer, I was surprised by what He was saying, whispering and dropping into my spirit. I was created from Him, by Him and to glorify Him. I too started to write down all the precious things He’d speak to me, I go back to those writings on a regular basis and continue to add to them.

    I decided to get a tattoo of the infinity symbol but I didn’t want to get it because it’s “the cool thing to do” lately. I wanted it to mean something. And I’m going to get it on my wrist as well, as a constant reminder of what I have fought for and what the Lord has died for so that I might be happy. It will be a constant reminder of new beginnings in Him that never end and the “Me” that He see and my marriage. All of the things I have fought for and He wants me to never give up on or go backwards.
    Thanks again!
    Ang

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