I’ve been thinking a lot lately about identity. You see, for many years when people asked me what I did, I told them I was “a singer.” I didn’t just tell them, I sing; I had to say, I am a singer. For me, being a singer was who I was – not just what I did. I wanted to feel big. I wanted to feel important. Being a singer was my identity.
And then God called me away from singing. No more band, no more studio work, no more writing songs, worship leading – nothing. It was a test.
Do you trust me, Sherri?
But God, this is who I am!
No. This is what you do. This is not your “who.”
And with that, the journey of finding my true identity began.
Although it was my choice to obey God and leave my singing behind, I began licking deep wounds and seeking all the sympathy I could find. I’ll never forget sitting on my friends purple couch crying my eyes out, telling her I felt like I was dying. Truth is, I was. I was dying to self. I was dying to all of the aspirations of being “great” in the worlds eyes. I was dying to my will, my desires and many, many other things.
But mostly, I was dying to my false identity.
Why did God so desperately want me to really get who I was? Because I wasn’t free. And I wasn’t very happy. Although I was a Christ follower, the truth was, I was operating out of a false identity and as a result, everything I did: how I behaved, thought, acted and reacted, all stemmed out of it. I didn’t get how much I was loved by God. I didn’t get what being His child really meant for me. And so, all of the singing and performing in the world could never satisfy me.
See, it’s not that telling people that I was “a singer” was wrong in and of itself. That wasn’t the problem.
It’s when it turned into the primary identity that I operated out of that it became unhealthy.
After a few years in the “desert” with God diligently and proactively learning about who He was so that I could then learn about who I was, I began to better understand my true identity. And even better than that, own it.
So, who do I think I am now? At the core, I am simply Sherri Bennett, daughter of God, made in the image of my Father and a big-time “Daddy’s girl.” I am also a singer (yes, God brought that back again), a writer, a mother, a wife. But now, I operate out of the core identity on which all of these other things that I do, are built on. And I am more fulfilled and happier than I ever was in my career before.
I’m curious. Who do you think YOU are? What identity do you honestly, typically operate out of on a regular basis? Mom? Boss? Boyfriend/girlfriend? Pastor? Musician? How do you think that is affecting your life? Or, what does operating out of your identity mean to you or do you even think it’s important? And by the way, if you are someone who knows me personally, there’s no need to put any identification in your responses such as your name or title, e.g., “your sister.” This way others will not know who you are. I want to respect complete anonymity in this blog so that all will feel safe to be completely honest.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!