One day a friend asked me, “Do you ever look in the mirror and not even recognize whose face that is? Do you ever forget who you are?”
Maybe that sounds odd to you, because who doesn’t recognize themselves in the mirror? You know what? I appreciated her question because I think she was just being honest about something we all wrestle with: identity. No matter how young or old you are, it’s easy to ask, “Who am I?”
For teens it might be easy to be who your friends pressure you to be and to forget who God made you to be. Plus, everyone asks you what you want to be when you grow up that it seems like they don’t care who you are now.
Sleep-deprived young mothers have spit-up all over their clothes and aren’t sure when they last had a quiet shower. You love your baby, yet you still occasionally wonder what happened to the young energetic woman with tons of free time.
Perhaps you’re the employee who looks in the mirror each day feeling more like a number than a valuable member of the team. You used to dream of changing the world, but now you’re simply happy to survive another day.
For empty nesters, like my friend above, it’s so quiet. Too quiet. After pouring so much time, effort, and love into raising children, you have no idea what to do now.
Retirees might not recognize the person in the mirror because of the wrinkles. Mainly though, the struggle is that our culture seems to value youth over wisdom and energy over peace, so it’s hard to feel valuable.
Let’s be real, most of our struggles with identity come because we confuse what we do and what we look like with who we are. Our identity is not found in either of those things but is only found in what God says about us. “But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, he who formed you: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine’” (Isaiah 43:1).
The next time you look in the mirror, you’ll see exactly who you are:
Handcrafted by God.
Bought back by God.
Called by name.
Maybe you should even write that on the mirror, just in case you start to forget.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who uses dry erase markers to write notes on the mirror.