Hi, my name is Laura Armstrong and I am in the midst of a quarter-life identity crisis.
“Hi, Laura” says the ICVA (Identity Crises Victims Anonymous) crowd.
Could it be because I’m currently working a part-time job that has nothing to do with my field of study, making me feel completely incapable of achieving what I hope to do with my life? Is it the fact that I had to give up a last name that became an identification marker for years and the basis of a lot of fun nicknames? Maybe it’s that I’m a newly married, young woman who is trying to find her bearings as a new wife. Or could it be that I desperately miss and crave the community that is no longer down the road or in the same house as me?
I’ll take “All of the above” for 400, please, Alex.
Even worse, I don’t know how to make it go away. I find my interactions with others seeping with insecurity. Am I upsetting them? Did I do something to make them not want to be around me anymore? Have I lost my extroverted side?
The volume of questions that circle in my mind is deafening.
I gotta be real. I struggle with blog posts like this. The ones that are honest and vulnerable. Mainly because I think, “Save it for your journal, honey. You’re making other people uncomfortable and like they have to do something about your problems.”
This is mean and not right, I know. And for those who I know who blog like this, keep it up. I’m just jealous I can’t be that transparent. It stems from a deep cynicism which has actually improved over the years. So thank you, Jesus, for that.
And thank you, Jesus, for shaping my identity. For telling me that regardless of where I am, my job (ESPECIALLY my job), friendships, my appearance, etc. that you are the basis of my identity. When I was in junior high, my youth leader imparted great wisdom to the gangly and awkward:
“Find your identity in what does not change. Find it in Jesus Christ”
12 years later, that phrase still pierces my heart. I am so quick to find who I am in the affirmation of my friends, the love of my husband, or an image I can portray to others. But in fact, friends and husbands make mistakes, and I do not have the strength to wear the mask of confidence and security 24/7.
So why talk about this? Why not save it for my journal where the Lord and I can duke it out. Because I need help with this. I need my friends to point me toward Christ before they point me toward their love for me. I need truth spoken to me that reminds me that whatever anxiety and insecurity I feel is but a grain of sand as compared to the vast ocean of God’s acceptance and identity of me as his daughter. I need the bind of the enemy’s hand to shrivel in the light of what God says is true.
I’m currently in the middle of a high school hallway writing this, listening to a Taylor grad teacher in the other room talk about how a kid tried to share a joint with him while he lived on campus. That’s weird. But what’s weirder is that I’m about one hug away from tears in the middle of a day of substituting. I feel a great sense of sadness underpinned with an overwhelming calm–like when I cry uncontrollably in the arms of my husband, feeling every emotion x100 but knowing that I’m safe within his grasp. In this way, he is such a physical representation of God’s embrace. I love him for that.
And today, I’m going to trust the voice of one who says this,
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12
I am shamelessly a work in progress. I am wrecklessly loved by my Creator. I am eternally identified by Jesus Christ.