When I was a student at the University of Missouri, I kept my ID card throughout all the semesters I was there. I didn’t want to stand in line in the heat in the Brewer Field House. I also didn’t want to have my picture taken. My husband on the other hand, went every semester and had a new card made. He loved having a new card so he could chronicle his journey. I’ve long since lost that ID card, but I do remember my student ID number.
When I resumed my educational journey in pursuit of a Master’s degree in 2004, I received an ID card from Trevecca Nazarene University. I still have it. When I went to Sioux Falls Seminary, they gave me another one. Back at Trevecca for my doctoral degree, I received a new one with the same numbers as the old one. And of course, I have a driver’s license.
ID cards are useful. However, despite their name IDENTITY cards, they tell very little about me. Oh they tell you I am a nerd. I like to go to school. They tell you I have brown eyes and how old I am. But they tell you so little about me as a person. I recently wrote a blog about identity on Sounds of Hope, you can read it here.
I wear so many hats. I put the hats on to indicate the role I am in – wife, mother, student, grandmother, daughter, woman, employee, pastor, cook, chauffer, church leader, etc., etc. But those are roles, they aren’t who I am. I’ve spent a lifetime of trying to fulfill my roles at the expense of me.
I’m learning who I am. I am learning what makes me tick. I am learning that my identity is who God made me to be. I was sharing with my husband some of the things I learned about myself while living on campus for 9 days. It was a grueling experience. However, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am overly conscientious, I learned I am a bit of a perfectionist and in order to achieve the best, I have to know the rules and expectations – when I don’t, I am very frustrated! I learned that I can come across as snobby, when I am really just shy. I learned that I can be part of a group and succeed at tasks I didn’t think I could do. I learned I am a pretty okay person – that I am just me, I am who I am because I am wired that way and it’s okay to be me.
Seems we’re ending this blog with questions for you to ponder this week.
My question to you is are there times you are afraid to be you because you think people judge you?
I have – I still do… but I’m learning that it’s just me – my identity, who I am… and there’s no judgment in that … The Creator made you the way you are, with all your uniqueness – Remember the children’s song: This little light of mine – here’s the verse for you today
Hide it (YOURSELF, YOUR UNIQUENESS, YOUR IDENTITY) under a bushel NO
I’m going to let it shine
Hide it under a bushel NO
I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!