To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV)
As I sit in my mother’s backyard, I ponder where to begin this book. It’s a peaceful and unseasonably warm and windy December day. A neighbor’s dog barks in the background as I watch the gold and auburn leaves of autumn fall gracefully to the ground, confirming, as they do each year, that to everything there is a season.
I take a moment to consider what season my life is in, and I come to the stark reality that at the age of 36, I am in winter.
What you just read was the beginning of a book I thought about writing, and maybe someday I will. But what I want you to know is I wrote those words 20 years ago, and quite possibly even to the very day of my writing this post. It was December 2003, and back then my life was at a crossroads. I’d been out of work since February 2002 (22 months), and never expected it would be May 2005 before I started working full time again. I questioned my purpose, and, I suppose to a certain degree, the person I was meant to be.
I guess I was one of those people who bought into the lie of “the job makes the person.” But what happens when the job is gone? What happens when a role is substituted for one’s identity?
I began to seek out the answers to those questions. It took me nearly 20 years to come to the very simple conclusion that as a Christian, I am a child of God first a foremost. This is the defining cornerstone of my identity.
Chapter 1 Excerpt: I Am Who God Says I Am
Role vs. Identity
If I asked you, “Who are you?” Would parent, daughter, sister, employee, or wife be on your list of responses? Even though these roles are significant to us, they are not the core of our identities; they are components. Roles can come and go, but your identity is who you are if a role never existed. Make sense?
If every role, every title you’ve ever had ceased to exist, who would you be at the end of the day? That’s what we are after with this book – knowing our real identities. It’s the place where God is waiting to meet us and reveal to us the mystery of who we are in Him.
There’s been a lot of living and lessons learned in the past 20 years. But, I can say, “I am God’s daughter.” And today, as I watch the gold and auburn leaves fall like snowflakes in my own backyard, I can definitively say to everything there is a season. For me that season has turned into Spring, a time when God makes all things new, and I’m expecting it.
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“A life-changing and powerful book! First, this book had me laughing. Second, it moved me to tears. And, finally, it challenged me to evaluate the health of my own identity. Alicia does an amazing job of teaching about identity using her own personal life stories as well as those of the Bible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels lost in their identity and needs hope and lasting freedom. If that’s you, this book is your answer!”
Ushirika V. Johnson, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor