• Melanie Boutiette

New Identity


"He had always dreamed of playing pro-football..."


My step-dad, Paul, had always loved football. He lived and breathed football and sacrificed hours of sleep, socialization, and activities for long practices in the heat of summer, conditioning and training, early morning runs and more. He poured his whole heart and life into the games he played at Casa Hall, a prestigious private Catholic boarding school that he had received a scholarship to while in high school. When he was rewarded with a big scholarship to play football at Notre Dame, his dreams were coming true. He even planned to go on and play professional football. He was, after all, a tight end for one of the most prestigious college football teams in the nation. But a knee injury waylaid his dreams and aspirations during his sophomore year at Notre Dame. Not only could he no longer play ball, his dreams died along with a large part of his identity—for a season.


There was no touchdown for success of playing pro-ball on the football field of life and he had to redirect his plans along with his identity…


"Her identity as a designer was ripped apart at the seams..."

She had studied fashion design at the prestigious school in New York City called the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). After graduation and armed with her degree and talents, this designer worked on everything from TV commercials, to costumes or clothing for commercials, photo shoots, and films. She used her creative talents to design the wardrobe for whatever job she acquired. Then the door opened for her to design children’s clothes for a nationwide retail company. This talented designer sacrificed long hours, weekends, and a social and family life to hit deadlines. She even took on the workload of other employees when there were looming deadlines. But in one short meeting, the boss announced they were laying her off along with other loyal employees and consolidating the design department. Her skills, hard work, sacrifices and talents were no longer needed.


And her identity as a designer was ripped apart at the seams...



"Her identity as a surgeon was beyond repair..."


She had spent years earning her undergraduate degree, passing her MCAT examines, going to medical school, specializing in surgery, and then doing her residency before finally becoming a surgeon. It was a hard road to success while sacrificing long days and nights to finally become a renowned surgeon. But as her name and reputation grew, so did the stress of keeping up with the grueling hospital and surgical hours, while caring for and treating patients. And when her life hit a crisis, there was no surgeon that could fix her personal and marital struggles that led to difficulties in her profession.


Her identity as a surgeon was broken and beyond repair…


When any of us place our confidence, success, dreams, and aspirations in the hands of another, disappoint is sure to follow. An accident, the economy, personal struggles, and much more can derail any of us at any given time. But God always has a plan even when it seems like hope is lost…


Our identity can never be based on our physical strengths, abilities, career, or the whims and fancy of others. God wants us to find our identity in Him simply as His beloved son or daughter. For when the trials, disappointments or difficulties come, our security can be shaken. Even through the trials that life brings, He can redeem it all. He especially wants you to know your true identity as His beloved child. And He has a way of redeeming all things for our good…


Paul found a whole new identity and career in the oil and gas industry and built a successful company after the injury altered his plans…


The designer learned that being a mother and homemaker brought a far more rewarding identity than working for a demanding company that was quick to eliminate you…


The surgeon reinvented herself as a physician and found joy in serving and helping patients with disabilities find the much-needed resources and help…


Every one of these people had their identity shattered for just a while… But they found another way; God helped them. He is the giver of new dreams and visions. And with Him, you can always find a secure identity.


"For I know the plans I have for you..."


Beloved:


I know this is a difficult season with challenges and changes all around you. But tune out the noise and the bad news and let Me renew your hope. Let Me tell you who you are: you are My beloved. I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Though the world is shifting and shaking all around you, find security in Me. Let me give you the true identity as My beloved.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)