In about one month I will be finished my education at university after a combined 19 years of being in school.
I will be moving on from classrooms and hallways and entering the world of jobs, applications and adulthood. Not only is my identity as a student ending, but my relationships are changing too. Friends are moving away, getting married or staying behind. Everything is changing.
In the midst of what seems to be a season of life transition I find myself trying to establish things I can depend on. I'm trying to figure out which friendships will last, and who to invest in while I'm still in school. I'm trying to navigate relationships and change within my family as everyone seems to be going through their own life transitions. I watch out for meaningful experiences which shape my lens on the world. I look back to who I used to be, and look ahead to who I want to be - looking up at the role models around me. I want to make sure that who I am as a person: my faith, passions and personality don't change. I want to grow as an individual and as part of a community, but also need to hold on to my roots.
I used to hate change - once I even cried when my mom was planning on uprooting a horrendously ugly plant from my front yard. It was how I identified my house and I was distraught that that identity would change. My house would look different and I didn't like that. As I've gone through life I've sensed a pattern between change and identity.
When change came I used to get anxious because I thought my identity would change.
Navigating through this season where everything seems uncertain there is a temptation for me to feel stressed, anxious, or just plain freaked out. My relationships are changing, everyone else is changing, my work (education) is changing, and its all too easy to feel lost. But in the midst of what can seem chaotic, I'm learning that my true identity won't change and thus I can be at peace.
I am single, a student, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mentor - and all these characteristics can change at any moment. But my identity as a child of God - in His family - won't ever change. In this I can have peace knowing that my heavenly Father is in control of my life. To me it seems hectic and crazy. But to Him, my life is unfolding in a beautiful design of His creation. I can rely on this knowing that God works all things together for my good - because I've been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I can also have peace because God promises to finish the work that He started in me (Philippians 1:6). My true identity - in Christ - can be characterized as His child, under His protection and unconditional love. The Bible promises that this identity won't ever change - and I can hold fast to it as the rest of my life is caught up in a whirlwind of uncertainty.