Sometimes life gets foggy. For one reason or another, stress piles up and it becomes difficult to navigate or even find the path forward. When that stress is a result of intimate betrayal, especially when it has been repeated again and again, the fog is likely to gather all around our perceptions of ourselves. Insecurity is almost inevitable.
For me, finding my identity can seem impossible because it’s difficult to know what is truth and what is not when my thoughts are clouded by questions like:
- Who am I?
- Do I matter to anyone?
- What’s wrong with me?
- Am I worthless?
- Is there anything about me that’s likable?
- Am I ugly?
- Is there any purpose left in my life?
- How long until the people that are still around figure out they don’t want me either?
- Would the world be better off without me around?
These thoughts are heartbreaking. They’re debilitating. And they are dangerous! But most of all, they’re dripping with the lies the enemy uses in his assault against our very souls. Don’t get me wrong, the questions themselves aren’t really the problem, it’s the implied negative answers that are coupled to them in our minds.
When finding my identity, I may ask, “Who am I?” But my troubled heart is automatically answering, “You’re nobody.” And that, my fellow dearly loved daughters, is simply not true.
So let’s pull out our own weapons (that means get your Bible ready and get on your knees) and go to battle with the enemy. Let’s take back our souls, saturate them in TRUTH and hand them over to the safe keeping of our mighty El Roi – The God who sees me.
Finding my Identity when Beauty is Fleeting
It is inevitable. When we’ve been betrayed by infidelity, one of the hardest hit areas of self-esteem is our perception of our own beauty. We live in a world that puts far too much value on outward appearances. It’s almost impossible to be unaffected by it, even though we know we’re not supposed to be overly concerned about outward beauty.
But precious sisters, if you’re struggling in this area, please know that every single betrayed wife I’ve talked to has faced these same insecurities. You’re not alone, but we still have to tear down the lies and speak truth into our hearts.
(I find it helpful, not just when I’m working on finding my identity, but anytime I am trying to align my mind with God’s to speak truth out loud to my negative thoughts. So if you can, get somewhere private and read these verses out loud, then say the truth, maybe even into a mirror. It may feel funny, but it is a POWERFUL tool!)
Let’s ask the One who formed us to help us see ourselves through His eyes. Let’s look at what the Potter has to say about his precious jars of clay.
Created in the image of God
Genesis 1:27 – So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
Truth – I am created in the image of El Elyon – the Most High God! El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.
Psalm 139:13-18 – You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank-you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it… How precious are Your thoughts about me, Oh God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!
Truth – The Creator of the vast and awesome universe created me too. He made me wonderful, complex, and marvelous! Even better, He thinks about me so often that those thoughts are beyond counting and He will never, ever leave me!
God Looks at My Heart
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Truth – The Lord of Lords (who will ultimately judge us all) doesn’t place any value on what I look like. Our Great High Priest is interested in what’s in my heart.
Truth – The Sovereign Lord, who orchestrates all that is, all that was, and all that is still to come wrote in a part just for me. As I become what God created me to be, He will look at me and declare that I am beautiful!
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)– Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be greatly praised.
Truth – Beauty as the world measures it is temporary. Even the most beautiful woman in the world will grow old and her beauty will fade and someone else will surpass her. I cannot hold on to any value I might find by that measure because beauty is fleeting.
However, a genuine and righteous fear of the LORD, the Lion of Judah, makes me a treasure!
1 Peter 3:3-4 – Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is SO PRECIOUS TO GOD.
Truth – While outward beauty is fleeting, beauty that comes from within will never fade. I can think of many women who carried themselves with a gentle and quiet reverence for God. They seemed unshakably beautiful to me, even as they became old and frail. That beauty only grew!
Above all though, Adonai, the Lord and Master thinks that kind of beauty is precious, which makes it the kind of beauty I will strive for.
God, give me a gentle and quiet spirit, and make me a woman who fears You alone! As I strive for that goal, help me to rest in the knowledge that no matter what anyone else in the world thinks when they look at me, in Your eyes I am beautiful.
I was Bought with a Price
Unfortunately, when I’m finding my identity, fleeting beauty is only the tip of the iceberg. Far more devastating are the questions about my worth as a whole. I have often felt (from down in the pit of the depression that follows betrayal) like no one on earth sees any value in me at all.
Of course, those thoughts were not based in reality, but with a wounded heart they are common nonetheless. Even if they were true, though, even if there really wasn’t a single living soul on planet earth who believed I was worth the air I breathe, my Savior paid a very dear price for me. And THAT makes me worth a whole whole lot!
The same is true for you, my friend!
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 5:8 – But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Isaiah 53:5 – But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Truth – I am a sinner and the price for my sin is death. Jesus, the Messiah, paid that very high price. He was beaten and crushed when that is what I deserved and He offers His salvation to me as a free gift.
Mark 1:11 – And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Truth – Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, was precious to His Father. His Father loved Him dearly which means He was of great value.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 – Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians7: 23 – God paid a high price for you. So don’t be enslaved by the world.
1 Peter 1:18-19 – For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
Truth – I was a slave to sin, but I was bought with a price. A value was assigned to me, and it was paid.
What was the price? What did it take to purchase me? If I am without value then surely the price was small.
The TRUTH is, though, the price was so high it could not be paid with all the silver or gold the world has to offer. I could not be bought with anything we count as valuable here on earth. Not with wealth, not with power, only with the most precious commodity in all creation – the blood of the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. The Father’s precious Son – His most treasured One.
I am finding my identity in the fact that He willingly paid that very costly price. For me!
THAT is what I’m worth!
Finding My Identity as the Daughter of the King
But that’s not all! My value does not end with the incalculable price that was paid for me. After He purchased me, Yahweh, the Lord, Jehovah adopted me into His own family! For all eternity I am the daughter of the King of kings. His dearly loved daughter!
Galatians 4:4-7 – But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba Father.” Now you are no longer a slave, but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you his heir.
Romans 8:14-17 – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.
Truth – The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace adopted me into His family. Because He wanted me. To prove that I am His, to clothe me in His royal robes and place His crown on my head, He covered my ugly sins with the blood of His precious Son and filled me with His Holy Spirit.
He desires a tender, intimate relationship with me. He wants me to call Him “Abba, Father,” or “Daddy, Daddy!”
He doesn’t promise that as His child I won’t ever suffer. In fact, He tells me that on this earth I WILL suffer, BECAUSE I’m His child. But this life is only temporary and when it ends I will inherit His glory for all eternity!
Ephesians 2:19 – So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
1 John 3:1 – See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us his children, and that is what we are!
1 Peter 1: 3-4 – Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Truth – Because I know my inheritance is secure in Heaven, and there isn’t anything that can destroy it, I can live my life with confidence in the love my Daddy has for me. No matter what happens here, no matter how much it FEELS like this is going to last forever and I can’t overcome or survive, it is a lie.
The Alpha and Omega, The Ancient of Days holds my future secure. And I will live with Him forever, as a member of His family, sharing in all the riches of His glory! I am the daughter of THE KING!
THAT is who I am!
I was Created for a Purpose
There’s more! When if comes to finding my identity, not only does the One True God think I’m beautiful, willingly pay a dear price for me, and adopt me into His own family, but He also created me on purpose FOR a purpose! I was created for a very specific purpose planned out just for me.
I don’t have to wonder if there is any purpose to my life or if the world would be better off without me. God has filled my lungs with air and He keeps my heart beating. For as long as that is true, I DO have a purpose. I am right where I’m meant to be. For as long as I’m alive I must continue to seek and follow The Bright and Morning Star, trusting my Good Shepherd will show me the way.
Set Apart for God
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Jeremiah 1:5 – I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you to be my prophet to the nations.
Truth – I was created by the Master Builder and I am His masterpiece! He made me and, like Jeremiah, He set me apart for a purpose – to do the good things He planned for me before I was even born! I am finding my identity in that calling!
Finding my Identity in God’s Plan for Me
Proverbs 16:9 – We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps
Proverbs 19:21 – You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purposes will prevail.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
Truth – God is in control. No matter how much it may seem like life is spiraling at times, His purposes WILL prevail! I can trust Him. I don’t need to try to understand what He’s doing, because I probably can’t. I need only to seek Him – the Comforter, the Counselor, the Advocate, and He will show me the way.
Romans 10:17 – So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Psalm 32:8 – The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Truth – If I’m seeking God, I will be diving into scripture every single day. I’ll be looking in the Bible before I make plans or decisions, crying out in prayer all day, everyday. I will be looking for opportunities to be thankful and joyful because I will be looking for (and finding) what God is doing in my circumstance. As I do these things, He has promised the Spirit of Truth to guide me and advise me.
Trusting God’s Good Plan
Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Truth – The Author and Finisher of our faith has promised He will finish what He has started. He made me, He purchased me, He adopted me, and He has a purpose and a plan for me. He WILL see it through. He will accomplish His work!
THAT is my purpose!
Finding my identity through the Fog
If you are experiencing the darkness of betrayal, I pray these truths will cut through the hard shell of fear and doubt we tend to raise as shields against the pain. You are so beautiful and precious to the only One who really matters – The High King of Heaven!
* If you want to learn more about your identity in Christ, here is a whole series through the book of Ephesians about finding my identity in Him.
* And here is a post from my friend Starla at Coffee with Starla along those same lines. My Identity is in Christ – 30 Day Scripture Writing Plan
I will leave you with this prayer which Paul prayed over the church in Ephesus. It is my prayer for us all – may we truly experience the width and length and depth of His love for us and see Him accomplish more than we have even dared to hope for as we seek to honor Him through our pain!
Ephesians 3:14-21 – When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now, all glory to God, WHO IS ABLE, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! AMEN.