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A 26-Year-Old's Identity Crisis

By Kirsten Nicole

June 21, 2023

Photo Credit by Billy Pasco on Unsplash


This week, I was driving down the main street of my hometown, as one does, having a delightful chat with my little sister. We were on the way to purchase some mac n' cheese and a sweet treat for dinner. All in all, an odd time to have an identity crisis. But...I did.


As I pulled into the turn lane to the grocery store, I was thinking through all of the writing projects on my to-do list, and considering whether I would be able to get them all accomplished by the end of the week. The jury is still out on that one.


Suddenly, the thought struck me...


"If the Lord asked you to give up writing, Kirsten...would you do it?"


I froze. My heart sank.


WHAT??? Like.....WHAT???


Writing has been my whole life! It's what I've done since I was nine-years-old. I would fall asleep creating stories in my mind. I bonded with siblings over the stories I wrote for them. I went to SCHOOL for writing! I spent A LOT of money on those degrees. I wrote a novel. I teach writing for a living. I'm planning on a writing conference in August! I've just started growing my platform. I've received positive feedback. I'm working on a play....


How, on earth, could I give up writing?


It's...it's who I am.


Did I have all of those thoughts before I actually made the turn, while sitting in the turn lane? Yes. Yes, I did.


The thought of it made me sick to my stomach. Seriously. But it kept repeating in my mind.


"If the Lord asked you to sacrifice writing, would you do it, Kirsten?"


And I realized something about myself. My identity was "writer." If I lost, writing...who would I be?


I knew in that moment, that setting up my entire identity in being a writer was dangerous....and sinful. I knew that my identity should be primarily, solely in Christ and His saving work within me. But was it? In my mind? It's one thing to say your identity is in Christ, it's an entirely other thing to consider giving up everything that you hold dear to act upon that identity.


To be clear, the Lord gives His children gifts and abilities in order to glorify and honor Him. They are not inherently sinful. My desire to write, teach, act is not sinful in itself. But when those things become who I am before Christ...then I have broken the second commandment, making an image, an idol to worship instead of King Jesus. Which, if you read my guest post on Moriah's blog, you may notice as I did, that I break the second commandment way more frequently than I care to admit.


If I'm honest, it would be SO hard to sacrifice writing on the altar of my heart. Would I be willing? I don't know.


And, while I know that's not the right response, that's where I am in this moment. I haven't worked through it all the way yet. I know where I should end up. I know the right answer in my head, but my heart hasn't caught up yet. Had I been asked to give up writing in the last two years during the break following my degree, I would have readily offered it up. Interesting that the Lord convicts me about idolatry after jumping back into writing and remembering that I love doing it.


If the Father was willing to give up His one and only Son for sins He never committed, how could I deny giving Him all of me. Including my writing?


Perhaps it was a warning. A reminder to prioritize my identity in Christ before I become so entangled in a writer's identity that I can't give it up. Perhaps it was a reminder that everything about me, including my writing, should be for Him and not for me. I hope so. But I will be praying, asking the Holy Spirit to help keep my hands open, because I can't do that on my own. I'll pray so that I can say like Corrie Ten Boom,


"I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands."


Has the Lord asked you to give up something precious to you?



3 Comments


mischelmiller
Jun 24, 2023

This is a beautiful reminder to all of us!

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mbburgio
Jun 21, 2023

At a crossroads in my “ministry“ “giftings ” at this precise moment.

definitely praying and pondering my identity as a worship team member/choir member. Intentionally stepping back for a bit of time to reflect and hopefully gain direction. Feeling challenged if it’s the quote unquote authority figure in this ministry or God or both bringing this to the forefront in my life right now..

Sorting and sifting through human hurt and frustration and continuing to want to serve is challenging. Thanks for helping me begin to navigate this from a more take a step back and watch what unfolds attitude and for me to actually be okay with the unknown…

❤️🫶🏻Barb


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Guest
Jun 21, 2023

You are in a loving grammas prayers....I love and respect you more than you know.....

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