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One of the most important things in our lives is to know who we are. A most dangerous problem arises when we don't know who we are; other people and our circumstances attempt to define us. When in fact, no matter what other people say about us, how others feel we deserve to be treated, and no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, our core identities remain the same. Even if the circumstances we experience are by the doings of others or by our own doing, or in some cases, undoing, we must remember who we are. In fact, how others behave toward us, the mistakes we make, and what we go through are totally separate realities from our God-given identities.

For example, most of us have heard the phrases, "You're better than this." or "You don't deserve that.", well, in the case of athletes, a great athlete is still great even if they make a mistake, is fowled or worse, gets hurt during a game. Even further, if a referee or coach fails them somehow, a great athlete remains a great athlete; that's part of who they are. Those skills and talents were given to them by God; everyone cannot do what they do the way they do it.

Where do we begin to find out who we truly are? We look to the One who knew us before He formed us in our mother's wombs (Jeremiah 1:5). God declares in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans for us are good and not evil, giving us a future and a hope. No matter what we go through, or what is said to or about us, because yes, there is an enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), God never changes His mind about us; in fact, He promises to that no weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). But it is our choice to seek out His purpose and do our part to live out that purpose. Living life from the place of who we are, allows us to live authentically; our identities are founded in who we are, not our doing. Our Creator truly offers us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). He can work in us and with us to help us live that abundant life, but He will not force it on us; we must do our part.

Below is a poem from my book, Life Experiences: A Poetic 31-Daily Devotional. Enjoy and be encouraged!

Who am I?

Who am I? Am I defined by the way you look at me Or the words you speak? Am I defined by the way you reject me And choose another above me? Not even equal.

Am I defined by the way I comb my hair Or by the clothes I wear? Am I defined by the way I walk And the way I talk? No one else looks just like you either.

Who am I? I am who I am Not another. Created by the Greatest I Am His hands, not yours.

You will not define me You will not confine me To a box

I am set at liberty By the One who died for me And for you And for all.

I am defined by His love. Completed by His faithful hands Thoroughly known Totally accepted.

Who am I? I am His Not yours And He is mine.

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