“Who am I?”
Deep down, that’s a question we’re all asking ourselves. Sometimes it’s answered for us by others … and not always in a good way.
Author Michele Cushatt remembers being 19, in college, and overhearing some fellow students talking about her. One of the boys in the group said, “Michele would be beautiful if she wasn’t so fat.”
She was crushed, embarrassed, and humiliated. Worst of all, his comment solidified what she already believed about herself: Beauty was out of reach for her. The script to her life became “I could be beautiful if _____” – if she were taller, thinner, had different color hair, or was smarter. Two weeks later, she packed up, left that college, and never went back. That’s how deeply that moment impacted her sense of identity.
Many people seek their identity through marriage, friendships, titles, or a career. The trouble is, you can lose any of those things. And if something is replaceable, it’s not really core to your identity. The only thing that you can’t lose that truly answers the question “Who am I?” is Jesus Christ, whose love for us is the same “yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
The unchanging love of God provides us with the security that we need to face our weaknesses with confidence. The real you that God loves, embraces, and saves is both bad and good, sinful and saved, needy and provided for, broken and beautiful. You don’t have to fear the broken places inside of you. All of it is welcomed, loved, and can be transformed by the Father.
Michele’s search for her identity in Christ crystalized for her when she was diagnosed with cancer. The moment sent her on what’s been a seven-year journey of chemo treatments that have taken her to the brink of death and intensive surgery that removed two-thirds of her tongue and rebuilt it from tissue from other parts of her body.
Michele now says, “I’m trying to learn to be in that place where to live is Christ and to die is gain. That’s easy to say, but hard to live out. I want to become someone who lives in that tension with the faith of knowing that God is there.”
If you or someone you know is in a dark place, I encourage you to join us for our program “Knowing Who You Are in Christ” with our guest Michele Cushatt. Her story is all about seeing the Lord in the midst of difficult places and discovering how to deepen our relationship with Him.
Here is a sneak peak of Michele in the studio with Jim and John.
Michele has spoken at the popular Women of Faith conferences, and she currently cohosts the “This is Your Life” podcast. She’s also an accomplished writer and blogger. Look for her book I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is in our online store. Join us on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app.