I realized something this past week.

I realized that I was letting my story be my identity, my idol.

Not long ago, I prepared my life map—my story from birth to the present—to share with some friends who are a part of a mentoring group. I knew pieces of it were going to require a lot of vulnerability.

I expected the sharing of those hardships in my life to bring release. I expected that I would have time to glow over the amazing opportunities that God allowed me to have.

Instead, in my sharing, I spent too much time building up to the hardship that my family experienced. It was a time of trauma for me, and I found myself reliving it in the moment of the telling. I’ve worked through this pain before and the toll of sharing surprised me.

As I was speaking, wishing that I had taken time to practice and make better connections, I gave in to the little voice inside my head. The voice told me that I was betraying my family by sharing that story. The voice told me that I was stupid for not having taken time to practice. It told me that I was not making sense. That I was leaving out pieces that were vital for the protection of my heart and of my family. That I took too much time and shared too much about one thing when I could have shared so many other amazing things God had done.

I was the last one to share. Everyone was tired from the weekend of vulnerability.  But still, I expected more . . . sympathy.

Sympathy.

I struggled emotionally until my husband spoke truth to me gently. He said, “I don’t think this is as big as you are making it.” I was confused. What did he mean? This was such a hard time and I know that God has used what I learned there. It’s part of me.

“Think of the 5 most important events in your life. If I am correct, this one does not even make the top 5,” he said.

He was right.

This hard time in my life, a part of my story, is not the whole story. It is not the theme of my story. It’s not even a majority of my story.

Am I able to connect with others because I have experienced hardships of my own? Yes.

Does it allow me to share how God has grown me, provided for me, blessed me through time I’d never have wished on anyone? Yes.

Does it define me?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

My identity is in Christ Jesus.

And then I think on Romans 8:35-39.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

My identity of the victim is an idol.

I am not a victim!

Shame over a hard piece of my story has no power over me.

In Christ, I am more than a conqueror!

by Renee Kim