Our first home! We had skimped, saved and shifted money around to make it happen.
Even more exciting – this home was brand new. I was able to pick the carpet, paint, light fixtures – everything! (At least everything that I could squeeze into our starter home, small budget.)
But it was going to be ours.
Nearly every day, we visited our soon-to-be-home. We walked on the foundation slab; we wrote scriptures on the wall frames. We discussed, deliberated and debated over countertops, carpet and colors.
It was almost finished. The builders just needed to add the final touches, install the lights and hang the doors on the bedrooms.
As we walked through our future home, dreaming of the family memories we would someday make within these walls, we noticed that one of the bedroom doors wouldn’t completely shut.
We pulled and pushed, jimmied and jammed, but it
just. wouldn’t. budge.
Gregg called the contractor and told him our dilemma. To which the contractor replied, “It’s fine. Don’t worry.”
Not one to let something like this slide, Gregg kindly countered, “I don’t think the wall is straight.”
I don’t think contractors like to have their work criticized and called into question.
The contractor pushed back, hauling out some of his fancy tools to prove the straightness of his structure. The quality of his construction.
Gregg pressed a little more, “Try another wall.”
Gregg and the contractor proceeded to walk through the house going wall to wall in search of the faulty area, which eventually led them outside of our house.
Our brick house.
Turns out, the foundation was slightly off, so when they erected the brick exterior, one portion of the brick exterior was also off. This slight miscalculation threw off the integrity of the whole house.
If you’ve spent any time watching HGTV you understand the dangers that lie in building upon a faulty foundation.
I’ve witnessed Chip break the news to Joanna about dangers he discovered beneath hardwood and drywall.
I’ve watched the Property Brothers renovation budget blown to bits from an unexpected find in the foundation.
They had to fix it.
So they went to work…tearing down brick and rebuilding the wall to code. (I must add that because this was a super simple starter home on a very small budget, the company did just enough to get it to code. They didn’t tear the whole side of the house down and actually repair the foundation.)
My point in sharing this story with you is…
Sometimes, if we’re really honest with ourselves, isn’t this how we live?
How we attempt to navigate life?
Doing just enough to keep our lives afloat.
Just enough to look good so no one sees our pain.
Just enough to get by.
We adjust, adapt, patch, paint, coat and cover the cracks and misalignments in our soul.
But, the problem in doing this, it doesn’t deny the reality:
If the foundation is faulty, the stability of the whole structure is compromised.
This foundation is your identity.
And one day, with just a little extra pressure on an unexpected area, the weak area will cave and reveal the fractures and fissures as life as you know it comes tumbling down.
Your identity will drive how you live. A broken identity will negatively affect your whole life. It will affect your relationship with God and how you interact with others.
And unless you do the hard work of tearing apart what’s broken, you can’t move forward to live the life God intended you to live.
If your identity is broken, your life is broken.
A broken identity will…
- Steal your confidence,
- Destroy your self-worth
- Hinder your ability to make decisions
- Keep you from moving forward to fulfill the life God created you to live.
What are some of the things you cling to as an essential part of your identity? If someone asked you to describe yourself, what would you say? How would you respond?
Through the years, I have described myself as Gregg’s wife, Jim and Linda’s daughter, Jennifer’s sister, a student, a campus missionary, a pastor’s wife, and Rebecca, Brandon, Justin, Jordan and Jessica’s mother.
In 1 John 3:1, John is encouraging Christ followers to see themselves in a different light.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
You are a child of God. Lavished in great love by a good Father.
That is who you are and how God sees you.
You are not identified by what people say about you. You are not defined by your accomplishments or the people you associate with. You are not, “a failure”, “hopeless”, “ugly”, “ordinary”, “stupid”, “fat”, “dysfunctional”…
You get the picture?
Many of us spend far too much time looking at what we once were, thinking about what we are and dreaming about what we wish we could be. Allowing the memories of our past to haunt us like disturbing video clips from a horror movie.
My friend, that’s building on a faulty foundation.
But what if we invested this same amount of time and energy to becoming the person God desires for us to be? Building on the foundation of who He says we are?
God has a high calling on your life. He takes great pleasure in using ordinary, average people to do amazing things. He sees the incredible value, worth and potential in YOU!
He desires for you to become everything He created you to be, which may involve tearing down some walls—habits, attitudes and ways of thinking—and that may be a little scary at first.
But in the end, your identity will be built on a solid, unshakeable foundation that will endure the test of time.
And that is completely worth the work and mess of the renovation.
- Do you see yourself as a child of God? Why or why not?
- How have you seen a broken identity affect your life?
- If someone asked you to describe yourself, how would you respond? What would you say?