This is a testimony of God’s saving grace before my identity shifted to being a born-again Christian. I have thought about writing this article on a personal note to encourage those who are too “tired” and on the verge of losing hope. No, don’t give up yet. Hold on tight because God has something to tell you.
How Jesus Wiped My Identity Clean
Identity Before: How I Overcame Depression
A study revealed that a huge percentage of the human population goes through phases of depression at one time or multiple times through the entire course of their lives. Some were able to overcome it and only had one case of it. Some go through recurring seasons of it. While there are some who, sadly, lost their lives over it.
Who was I in those 3 categories? I was the first one. I had a major depression back in 2012 wherein after going through several setbacks all at the same time, I felt no other choice but to end my life. At that time, everything was dark and bleak and I felt like I was in a deep pit.
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What triggered it? I just came out of a violent breakup, a dreaded health issue, a case of cyberbullying (God used this as the starting point of my personal blog), academic and career pressures, financial issues, and emotional hang-ups from previous experiences.
A Dark Pit
I never really thought I could get out of that pit. I was trying to solve things out on my own that I never realized I was already heading towards a major self-destruction. After sending a text message at around 2 am to my brother, he invited me to church. This isn’t the only scenario where my family helped me overcome an ordeal. So yes, I am grateful I have such a great family whom I can depend on when things get really rough.
But this is not always the case for everyone. My best advice in times of deep, inner turmoil is to head down to the nearest church. Then talk it out with a church worker or the pastor and they can lead from there.
I can still remember vividly what happened that one Sunday. The moment I heard the pastor’s preaching, I knew God wanted me to be there at that exact moment – I felt like the message was solely intended for me. All that emotional baggage came falling off one by one and I sure did struggle to keep those tears from falling, too.
Identity Now: God Reminds You
After this encounter, I knew God was talking to me to remind me who I am and why I was inside that church at that moment. He assured me of these things:
1. You are loved.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“We love each other because he loved us first.” – 1 John 4:19
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
2. You were bought at a price.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” – Romans 5:8
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
3. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
4. You are victorious over every enemy.
“But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken!” – Isaiah 54:17
5. You are called to live pure and uncorrupted lives.
“God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:7
6. You will receive power through the Holy Spirit.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
7. You are a son/daughter of God.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
“For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
When I got out of the church, I felt like an entire lifetime of burden was lifted off my shoulders. There’s a renewed strength and a healed heart when I walked away that day. I used to think so much of the failures and disappointments I encountered in life that I allowed them to define my identity. But God reminded me that those are NOT my true identity.
To this day, I have been carrying my identity as a Christian – saved, loved, and daughter of the King. The forces of the enemy may attempt to break me again multiple times. But I am afraid that was a thing in the past that I no longer wish to relive. I am now a new creation and each day I will live out this thought until God tells I bid this world farewell.
If you’re in the same situation wherein you’ve felt the world failed and have forgotten you in so many ways and a lot of times, believe in this – God will never forget you. He is our Rock and our Redeemer, our only source of hope, and He will wipe you out clean. Don’t give up because God will never give up on you. You are too precious in His eyes. Go on and claim that and He will give you enough reasons to make a fresh start. Lastly, hold on to this truth:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
What part of your identity in the past are you still struggling to let go? Do let us know in the comments section so we can pray for you.