Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Am....

What are you? Who are you?

Recently, I wrote quite a bit about my anxiety and depression. As I gathered my words and talked to others about the subject, one of my friends made a great point. It was Amy, . She said (and I'm paraphrasing) "I don't say 'I'm depressed or I'm anxious', I say, "I have depression or I have anxiety." Since she put it to me that way a few weeks ago, I have never referred to myself as depressed again. That's not who I am, it's what I have.

Same with my weight. Instead of saying, "I am (fat, overweight, pleasantly plump, skinny, thin, insert your word here ________)", say, "I have weight issues" or something like that. When we say, "I am ________", it just implies that that's our identity, and I don't like that. Nope not one bit!

Maybe you have a disability. You've been labeled disabled. It's still not who you are. It's your condition.

When you have a cold do you say, "I am a cold."? When you have strep throat, do you say, "I am strep throat."? Of course not. However with other issues, especially those that relate to the mind or body, we carry and label ourselves as if that's what and who we are. It's a condition not an identity. Conditions change. Our identity does not.

Many people use the roles they have in life to define who they are. "I am a wife." "I am a mom." "I am single." "I am a lawyer." I am a teacher." "I am a friend." Still, all of those can change. All of them. They still don't define who you are. Not really.

Even this blog is called "I am beautiful." It's a positive term and one I hope you do believe about yourself. But even so, it's not who you are, it just describes you.

In order to fully live like a child of God, we have to believe ourselves to be children of God. Once you accept your identity in Christ, it cannot be robbed or taken away from you. Jesus is your Savior, He loves you, He forgives you, He is with you, and that is that. Your responsibility in all of this is to live your life for Him and make decisions to take care of yourself and try to honor God in all you do. You can do that most of the time. And the times that you don't, well, it doesn't mean that you aren't His Child anymore, it just means you messed up. I love where we are told of our identity in the Bible.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation; the Old Is Gone,the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Read this from the Life Application section of my Bible:

"Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated----we are re-created....we are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a new life..."

Do me a favor. Fill in the blank: "I Am _________________" and use your identity here.

Call yourself by name.

Beautiful Blessings,

forever a New Creation in Christ Jesus, Child of God, Daughter of the King

Do you know Jesus? Would you like to? Visit: . And as always, if you have any questions or want to talk about it, just get in touch with me and I'd be overjoyed to speak with you:)


Joyful said...

Excellent Melissa. Thanks for sharing this. I think I'm going to have to re-learn to rephrase much of what I say!

I am His,

Karan said...

I love this and am certainly going to share it with our ladies bible study group! It's amazing how re-wording something can make all the difference in the world. Thank you, as always, for sharing your journey.
In His Love and Hope,
A redeemed and restored child of the Living God

Cortnee said...

hi melissa.

thank you for the encouraging words.

we are not what we think we are.

we are so much more than a label.

Cortnee said...

and also. how do i subscribe to your blog???

im confused by the link you have...


Amy L Brooke said...

Beautifully put. A good reminder for me today!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Melissa,
The label I came into today with was "I am a bad mom." given to my by my 4year old son, when he was frustrated with me yesterday. Looking back now, i see how it happened, and why... however at the time, though i didn't realize it, i took it to heart... it almost made me cry right then and there... i was physically and emotionally exhausted... and my daughter refused to go to sleep till 11pm (a 2 year old) and, and... the list goes on.
I went to a friends house today, and slowly the things we talked about are sinking in. she gave me a good dose of Truth, and much compassion as i cried all over her.
I always am giving myself labels. I never realize it till way past the even usually... but you are right... I am depressed or anxious... are ok in the times when you are struggling with it in that instance... but what we mean is "I am feeling...." not "I am....." Does that make sense?
I have caught myself saying more and more, as I have come out of the depression especially, I struggle with depression, rather than I am depressed. It makes a big difference... a distinction I never used to make.
God bless,

Deb said...

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for reminding us that we need to watch how we label ourselves. I found this is also true when dealing with our children. Instead of telling them that they are bad, we should tell them what they did was wrong.

Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

I just wrote last night about value, our value in Christ... and an illustration that my counselor gave me yesterday.
I thought you might be interested. Here's the link.

God bless,

Cazandra said...

My sons have hemophilia and I refuse to call them "hemophiliacs". I have always chose to say they "have hemophilia".

I needed to hear your words to remind myself how I talk and label myself.

Thank you, so much.