Yesterday, a dear friend of mine got married.
It was a beautiful celebration.
I even cried. And let me tell you… I nev.er. cry at weddings. Like, it just doesn’t happen. But, she had music from Pride and Prejudice for the bridesmaids so I was already a little sappy-minded, and then when they opened the doors for her, and I saw her there just beaming with her gorgeous smile… well, I lost it. I was so incredibly happy that she had found her match that I just started to bawl… joyful bawling, but well… way too much sniffling to become a polite southern woman (not that I’ve ever been “a polite southern woman” despite my mother’s excellent training in such matters).
And then… next thing I know… her name is changed.
Like, she was no longer Ashley Hepsted. She was suddenly Ashley Amron.
I was like… whoooaaaaa. that was quick. I mean, I know she got married and everything, but before Facebook I had time to let the new name settle in for a while before I actually SAW it in black and white print. But nooooooo, now I have to come to grips with my friend being a married woman all of a sudden!?!?! So. totally. weird. (Like, in a totally awesome cool kind of weird way.) Cause, it’s not like just because her last name changed all of a sudden she was just an entirely different person! She’s still the same Ashley that she was before she walked down that aisle, right? Right?!?!
Well…… it sorta hit me.
When a woman gets married, her identity truly and actually changes. Like, we get new social security cards. new driver’s license. new email addresses. new monogrammed towels (okay, maybe that’s pushing it). We start out marriage changing little bits of ourselves. And although on a basic level, we are still the same person… we are taking on a new identity. One that is fused to us through love.
That’s just like our switch when we covenant ourselves to Jesus. Because of Love, we have a new identity. We are still the same basic person, but that new identity is starting to change little bits of ourselves.
And it happens just. like. that.
This new identity that we grab on to… it takes effect as quickly as a name change on Facebook.
And it changes… everything.
So, while I’ve got you here… a few years ago I was in a bible study called Me, Myself, and Lies. (Awe.some. study if you are looking for something) and she had a list of verses that helped with truthfully labeling yourself… or, in this case, correctly stating your identity. I typed them out and reworded them into the first person.
Read a couple (or all) of them out loud. Allow the Word of God to remind you who you are now.
- New: I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Cherished: He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
- Strong: God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
- Chosen: I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
- Complete: In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
- Loved: If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me. And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
- Unfinished: I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
- Free: Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
- Pardoned: So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
- Capable: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
- Saved: Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
- A Masterpiece: I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
- Welcome: Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
- Understood: Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
- Guarded: I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
- Valuable: God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
- Loved: See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
- Family: But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
- Included: So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
- Selected: I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
- Holy: Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
- Changed: I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
- His Heir: And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
- His Friend: He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
- Delightful: For the Lord my God is living among me. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in me with gladness. With his love, he will calm all my fears. He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
- Bold: Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12