It’s time for me to come out. I am a woman, and I am a pastor. I lead a church, and I teach men and women alike. I love Jesus with all my heart, and I have no doubt that He has called me. But, not everyone agrees. Not everyone understands. They interpret certain passages of the Bible to mean that women should not lead a congregation.
The last place I led was controversial in a different sort of way. There were many people who didn’t realize that, in our pro-life organization, we loved the woman and her baby in the womb, seeking ways to support families facing unexpected pregnancies. For almost nine years, the organization and I were under fire from those with differing viewpoints.
Now I’ve stepped into a world where many of the people who supported pro-life ministry are opposed to women in ministry. The shift is dramatic and feels unsettling. During a season in which I feel quite vulnerable, a man posted on the church Facebook page, “Wait, you have Bibles and also a woman preacher!” His comment punctuated the rocky, alienating path I sometimes feel I’m walking on.
My dear husband reminded me, “You’ve settled this with the LORD. You know you’re call to do what you’re doing.” I really love him! His words brought me back to remember my identity. Yes, I am confident that the LORD has called me as a minister of the Gospel. It is an honor to serve Him in this way regardless of others’ opinions.
When it comes to identity, however, it goes beyond what we do. Sometimes our job or relationships define us. When a change happens, whether or not we were prepared, it may cause confusion. We may question our value or purpose. Our accomplishments (or lack of them) do not define us. What we do (or cannot do) does not define us either. Our identity always begins with knowing Jesus and who we are in Him. It’s about being and abiding in Him.
If you suffer from an identity crisis, search through the New Testament. Look for the phrases that include “in Christ” or “in Him.” It is a worthwhile study that will inspire and strengthen you. Here are some verses to get you started.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
Galatians 3:26 NIV
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
Ephesians 1:4 NIV
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 John 4:13 NIV
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
Who are you in Christ? All those things you just read and so much more! Remember your identity.
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