Identity Crisis (Jessica Wachter)


“I quit!” I had been trying my best, but it was too frustrating. I remember I had practiced so much – and yet I wasn’t getting any better.

My dad patiently let me huff about for a few minutes. “You’re not allowed to quit.”

“Why not?” I spat. “I’m not going to be any better no matter how hard I try.”

“You’re my daughter. You’re a Wachter,” he stated, “and Wachters don’t quit.”

So I didn’t. And to this day, any time I want to quit I hear those words from my father. Wachters don’t quit. Over the next several years I would add other things to my identity portrait – and any time I faltered, I would run back to re-examine the image I had painted of myself. Oddball, talks to much, laughs loudly, bookworm, Christian, introvert, perfectionist, caring, adventurous, independent, foodie…. the list could go on forever. “Know Thyself” was my mantra.

That was until I realised how flawed my portrait was.

Nearly every identity issue begins with the misconception that we are not dependent and created – we love to pretend that we are “self-made.” Remember, we don’t find an identity. We receive one.†

Since I arrived in England, there have been days (days upon days) where I have walked to the bus arguing with God. “Why did you put me here? What are you doing? I DON’T UNDERSTAND! Can you please just tell me what is happening?” And every time I always hear Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts I think toward you… thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” The ESV puts it like this “For I know the plans I have for you…. to give you a future and a hope.”  Funny, God. You say peace but why is my heart in so much turmoil? And I certainly don’t have a hope for a future.

Over the past four years I have found my identity in my intelligence, my social standing, my relationships, and my ministries. Why is London so difficult? Because every single thing I found my identity in has been stripped away. My intelligence pales to those around me. My social standing has been forced back to square one. The relationships I held so dear, are now thousands of miles away and busy with their own lives. My stateside ministries have not only continued, but flourished in my absence.

Any time I rely on anything other than Christ to tell me who I am and give me meaning, my life falls to ruin around me.

I don’t need to impress God to warrant His love and approval. (1 John 3:1) In fact, if it were up to me to impress Him I would be the most miserable person alive. (Isaiah 64:6) When Christ took my sin on Himself, He gave worth to my life. Ultimately, I can only experience unconditional love and reconciliation with God if I accept and receive what Jesus did on the cross on my behalf (I John 1:8-9, Ephesians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

I am saved. I have been bought back. I’m no longer under the punishment of the law. (Galatians 3:24-25) Not only am I no longer condemned because of the law, but I have a new identity. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20) I am free to be who He desires me to be. My life is no longer ruled by the law of sin (Galatians 5:1)

You will not find your identity in what you have, but in who has you. You will not find your identity in what you do, but n what has been done for you. And you will not find your identity in what you desire, but who has desired – at infinite cost to Himself – a relationship with you.†

Over the next few posts I want to share what has become the common theme of my time here in London – my identity crisis and how I am discovering who I truly am.

The Truest Thing About You: Identity, Desire, and Why It All Matters, David Lomas, 2014

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