It's in all of us. Whose will you choose?
Growing up I distinctly remember my identity. I allowed the world to determine it. Due to my hobby of pageantry I was “the beauty queen.” My family, my parent’s friends, my peers, and many strangers gave me that identity. It was great…for a while. Until it failed me. After a 7-year loosing streak I hit a several year winning streak. But, when I didn’t win, I considered my performance and myself to be a failure compared to the one(s) who did win. I chose the hobby of pageantry to embrace the temporary identity as the beauty queen rather than my eternal identity as daughter of the King. Both royalty. One fading. One continuing to grow brighter than Swarovski rhinestones. If only I could have learned from my second child 15 years ago what I know now.
As I watch Asa, our newly adopted 10-year-old son, blossom in his new home, one thing stands out over everything else: he eagerly embraces the identity of his new family while refusing to stay in his old life. He sees Mama and Daddy’s wedding band tattoos and grabs a pen to draw one for himself. He sees the doctor exam Mama first and he let’s them exam him. He sees our head bowed in prayer and our hands raised in worship and he does the same. He isn’t concerned with what anyone may think. He doesn’t hesitate to do what we do and say what we say. We offer him candy like he was offered in the orphanage and he turns it down. We give him Chinese music and television shows to watch and he changes it to Western ones. We call him “Yan Yan,” the name he had for 10 years, and he doesn’t respond. We call him Asa, his new name, and he jumps in attention. He embraces his new identity assertively, eager to jump in and learn what it is all about, while refusing to look back, even at old pictures.
It makes me think about the identity that I am showing him, and how much I lack the identity that he so eagerly wants to embrace. I was born with Adam’s identity and chose to embrace the identity that God, my Father, offers me, as His daughter. As “blah, blah, blah” and “yeah, yeah, yeah”as it can sound, it is true that I have the same option as Asa had when he said, “Yes” to being an equal heir to Billy Wayde in the Harris family. This same option, the option that God offers to anyone who wants to be true royalty, was decided before time began.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ…” -Ephesians 1:5a
In advance of His creation accepting or rejecting him. In advance of Jesus dying on the cross. In advance he predestined that we should have the option to be restored to Him through the perfect sacrifice of His son. He didn't chose this with remorse or sadness in his heart. He chose it with great pleasure. That is why we praise Him. We praise Him because he continues to pour out His grace on us, his children (and hopefully his soon-to-be children), as we continue to embrace our true identity as royalty.
“…This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear son.”
Over the next few weeks I hope to encourage you (and myself) in fearlessly embracing your identity in Christ, just as Asa is going full-speed at embracing his new life in the Harris household. We will look together at:
As we rediscoverr the truth about who we are as everlasting royalty, let me assure you that it doesn’t always look like royalty. In fact, Paul labels the believers in Ephesus as “saints” who are “faithful followers” of the Lord Jesus Christ. He reminds them that “the truth is in Jesus” and we must put on the “righteousness and purity of the truth.” As dazzling as this purity sounds and actually is, it comes with much mud; rejection, suffering, and perseverance. I would like to say that it will look like the the royal family on the cover of People magazine, but it won’t. It is dirtier and more of a “Cinderella story” than Kate could have ever imagined.
Thankfully, and only by God's divine sovereignty, Asa is choosing to embrace the identity of the new family to which he belongs. Identity. It's in all of us. Whose will you choose?
On a side note, this Friday, June 16, I will be on the “Kickin’ it with Karen” show on I Am Christian Radio at 12 noon EST and will be discussing the recent adoption of our eldest son. If you have any questions about the adoption process, our journey, why we chose this, or anything else, send an e-mail prior to the show to VictoriaHarrisPR@gmail.com. And be sure to set a reminder to tune in online at www.iamchristianradio.com.
If I miss you Friday, I will see you back here in one week for our Identity: Who you are now vs. who you were then. (Part 2).
Victoria Harris holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Victoria is a lover of Jesus, a wife, biological mom of a toddler and adoptive mom of a tween. She is a former Miss Florida Teen USA and Mrs. Florida U.S. Follow her on twitter @VictoriaDHarris, Facebook at www.facebook.com/vdharris or instagram @VictoriaRatliffHarris.
Victoria is a wife, mom, ambassador of Jesus, and a lover of all things that involve learning.