Is our identity found in Christ?

So lately I have been wrestling with this concept of identity – what does it mean… who does it mean… how does it work. I mean, is identity really all about “finding ourselves” and learning who we are? Or is there more – is there more to this idea of identity than we can even begin to comprehend? Maybe the reason why we feel distant from God is that we never grasp the concept of identity.

Most of the time, college students and those under 30 (although I would venture to say that 30 is not the magic cut off age for understanding identity) are constantly trying to find themselves. Going out into the world, seeking new adventures – it all sounds grand. But in the midst of it, you begin to realize you either have no clue who you are or that your idea of yourself needs some refining. I would venture to say that this is where the crisis hits. We then spend years attempting to understand who we are, spend time talking with others and even seek professional help to understand who we truly are and get a gasp on our identity.

I think we have it wrong.

I’m not yet 30, and I know I still have a long way to go in my growth. They say that when you graduate, you begin to realize how much you don’t know – and it’s true. As I spent four years attempting to understand whoI was, I realize that for about half of that time I was just focused on figuring out me. I was at the center of my identity. But as I began to learn more about Christ, I have slowly been developing these thoughts about identity that are in no way related to me.

As a believer in Christ, I believe that God is the source of my existence. My very being flows from his. If I attempt to create my identity around myself, I can no longer authentically hold to that idea that I come fromGod. While it may be reflected, I think the struggle comes when we forget that our identity was never about us.

We spend all of this time attempting to figure out who we are, but we seem to neglect discovering God. Just like all children want to know everything about their parents, we just write God off like a father instead of the one who gives us the very identity that we are seeking. Our identity is not found in our accomplishments, talents, abilities, things, our spirituality, our commitment to church or anything like that, but in God alone.To live any other way is borderline blasphemy.

Instead of attempting to assign our own identity to our lives, we need – furthermore must – have our identity assigned by our creator,but we have to seek to know him before that is even possible. Maybe we should just lay down the self-help book and begin to spend time in the presence ofGod. The glory of man is that we were created in God’s image to assign that image to others around us, but we must first allow our identity to be fully assigned outside of ourselves by Christ. Let us be a generation that is willing to take the risk that others will not; the risk to allow our creator to give us the meaning that we do not deserve, but in his grace, he assigns anyways.

Dive Deep,

Kyle Atkins

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The One About Respect

Submitted By Allison Gossage

Ever since Aretha Franklin sang the hit song in 1967, the whole nation has been singing about respect. And who doesn’t want respect, right? Today, I have an urgent message to share about sexual assault. Nobody likes talking about it, but maybe that is one reason it is so prevalent. Statistics say that one in three women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted at some point in his or her lifetime. Chances are, you know someone who it has happened to. Maybe they haven’t spoken up because they are ashamed or in denial or disbelief themselves. I hope that someday the taboo associated with sexual abuse and assault will no longer exist, but for now all I can do is be more open about my story and encourage others to know that they are not alone. If you are reading this and you are experiencing shame resulting from a sexually abusive situation, there are some things I want you to know.

1. You’re not alone. It happens to so many people, and yet many people do not have the courage to talk about it. When you are ready to talk about it, go to a trusted friend or adult. We even have two wonderful counselors right on campus; if you talk to one of them, you can be 100% confident that what you say to them will not leave the room. If you aren’t ready to talk to someone face-to-face, www.loveisrespect.org has a peer advocate system where you can chat online – confidentially, of course – with an individual around your age who has been trained in counseling victims of dating abuse.

2. It wasn’t your fault. I know, I know. Before it happened to me, I would always tell people this. I just couldn’t understand how someone who had been a victim of such a heinous act as sexual abuse could believe it was their fault. And then it happened to me and I found myself doing the exact same thing. Don’t let anyone tell you that you were asking for it because of what you were wearing or what you said. Don’t let them tell you that you allowed it because you didn’t verbally say no; silence is not consent.

3. If you’re not okay, that’s okay. If you are okay, that’s okay too. Okay. Let me explain this one. There is no such thing as an abnormal reaction when it comes to sexual assault. You may be emotionally numb following the incident, or you may have feelings of shame and disgust. You may want to talk about it, or you may not be ready to. Whatever you are feeling (or not feeling), it’s completely normal.

4. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. I know I said this already, but this time I am speaking to everyone – not just sexual abuse survivors. I know not all of us are the most sheltered individuals, but especially on a Christian campus, there are things we just don’t like to talk about – this is one of them. Guys, whether you talk about it or not, it still happens. Avoidance is not abolition. Don’t be afraid to take a stand and raise awareness, because this is real life.

5. Healing is possible. It is definitely not a quick and easy process, but don’t give up hope. Healing comes when you share your story with those who will listen, offer wise counsel, and pray with you. This is why we have the Breaking Free ministry. We have cards for you to write down what you are struggling with, and you can put them in any of the boxes labeled “Breaking Free.” This can be anonymous, or you can write your name on the card so that the Breaking Free team knows exactly who to pray for. The team meets weekly to pray for each individual who submitted a card as well as for the campus as a whole. There is power in prayer, and it really is so freeing to share your story and know that you have people praying for you.

Resources:
www.loveisrespect.org
www.rainn.org

Allison Gossage is a sophomore at TFC. She is on the leadership team of Breaking Free, and is passionate about helping others find true freedom in Christ. 

A Solid Beginning

By: Allison Lockwood

With a crowd of Screaming Eagles in the stands, our ladies first played at 3 on Friday afternoon against Trinity and just a couple hours later went up against Clearwater.  After two unfortunate losses against those schools, the Lady Eagles pulled off two great wins on Saturday.  They faced Florida Christian and Trinity Baptist at 11 and 3 where they proudly came out on top.  They won both of these matches in just three sets.

The weekend was “a chance for us to get to see the teams that play in the South that we don’t usually play”, said Team Captain Kaylyn Roedding, a Junior.  “We play Trinity again on October 2nd, so that will be a really big game for us.”  She remembers the first play against Clearwater when “Bethany bombed the ball and got a kill.”

So far these ladies are off to a great start, 9-3 at this point in the season.  With another recent win on Tuesday against Atlanta Christian College, the Lady Eagles’ next match will be in Gainsville, GA on Friday, September 18th, against Brenau University.

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